Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gardening Article: Get Your Daily Fiber Naturally by Growing Organic Broccoli

Growing vegetables may seem like an impossible task, but many people who make the effort to grow their own produce find that the process demands management not garden magic.

Broccoli provides key nutrients to the body and even has anti-cancer properties, but its most tangible health benefit is its high-fiber content.

Fiber is valuable in helping improve your digestive system and making you feel fuller faster. Fiber can even be useful in lowering cholesterol. While any vegetable is better than no vegetable at all, organic broccoli is particularly important as a staple in your diet because it lacks the dangerous chemicals and compounds that can get into your body through non-organic produce.

Those chemicals are designed to improve vegetables as an overall product by preventing fungus, pests and other maladies that can ruin produce. Luckily, there are organic measures that can be taken to encourage high-quality broccoli heads without sacrificing the health and safety of this vegetable. You should also store your gardening tools in sheds or other safe places to keep them from getting damaged or contaminated in ways that could taint or otherwise hurt your broccoli crop.

Follow these quick steps to create your own organic broccoli patch:

Use Seed Trays

When broccoli seeds – which are very small and round – are planted directly in the soil, it is easy for gardeners to lose track of where they planted. Furthermore, seeds also become more susceptible to bugs. One solution to these problems is placing the seeds about one-inch deep in seed trays. In these trays, the seeds can begin to grow without being consumed and lost to insects and small animals. Space the seeds three inches apart and water daily. Continue to grow the seeds for four to six weeks, at which time the broccoli seedlings will have grown enough to be transplanted from the seed tray into the garden.

Providing Requisite Sun Exposure

When young broccoli plants are transplanted into your garden, location matters. Broccoli needs at least four hours of sun exposure every day for the most beneficial growth. This four-hour requirement applies throughout the entire calendar year, so in most cases, it is wise to place broccoli in a wide-open area where there will be minimal interruptions of daily sunlight.

The plants should be set into the soil about 18 inches to two feet apart to prevent their roots from infringing upon one another's territory. In nutrient-rich soil – which is more likely the case if you frequently compost and keep chemicals out of your garden – you shouldn't have to worry about natural fertilizer to bolster the health and prospects of your broccoli heads.

Keeping Out Pests

Rabbits and other small animals are the biggest threats to a healthy broccoli crop. Mesh garden fencing should be placed around the garden to keep furry critters out of your fresh vegetables. If deer are a concern in your area, you may need to put up three-foot tall fencing. Always make sure there are no spaces at the base of the fencing for animals to squeeze underneath. You might also consider installing certain plants known to repel certain kinds of animals – this is most effective when you know you are dealing with one or two types of intruders.

By taking a few simple preventative measures, you can drastically reduce the risk of your broccoli becoming afflicted with fungus, disease or pest plagues that ruin plants. Over time, you will hopefully come to realize that raising healthy produce organically is easy and effective. Not only does this lead to a more satisfying gardening experience, but it also improves your health and your family’s.

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Author bio: Kristine digs all things organic. When she isn’t trying to figure out how to make her whole life organic, she is blogging on the behalf of Sears and their other quality products.

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