Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, and finds its origins in the Mediterranean region. Italians favor broccoli a lot, and it is known to be one of the healthiest vegetable with more than 10 vitamins, loads of minerals, and high protein. Original varieties of broccoli only produced small flowering shoots, contrary to the modern kind which has a large-headed.
How to grow broccoli
Broccoli is easy to grow if you are in a cool weather with a good amount of sunshine.
Pests and diseases
Many insects love broccoli, that's why it's better to grow them early after winter starts, to harvest before the pests arrive when the temperatures get warmer. It is also very important to never plant a brassica in the same area of the garden year after year. The best is to rotate on a 3 years cycle. You can also use a floating row cover to protect your broccoli from the insects.
How to keep the seeds
If you want to keep your seeds, you will often have to wait 2 years before the crop goes to seed. It can be the first summer if you plant your broccoli very early. Be careful to isolate your crop from other brassica varieties because it can cross with them, at least 1 km apart.
Ifyou live in a cold area with winter temperatures that drop below 20°C, you can tranfer the plants inside (greenhouse or unheated garage for ex), and replant them in the garden in springtime. You will see them flowering, and giving seedpods that you can harvest once they become golden-brown.
Store them in a cool dry place, and broccoli seeds will last for about 5 years !