Can you grow broccoli in AeroGarden?
Yes. You can grow broccoli indoors with your Aerogarden, but you will have to make your own seed pods, since there are no broccoli seed pods available out there on the market. You also have to keep in mind that broccoli is a plant that will later on become too big for your smart garden and will therefore have to be transplanted to soil outside.
How to grow Broccoli in AeroGarden?
If you really want to grow broccoli in your AeroGarden, you will have to make your own pods. So how can you make your own pods? There are two ways on how to do it. You can buy the seeds and a grow anything seed kit, which includes all the parts that you need for making assembling your seed pods.
The other way to do it is just to buy new grow sponges, nutrients, grow labels and of course the broccoli seeds. I would recommend that you go with this method since this is probably not your first time growing something in your smart garden. This way is also much cheaper and much more nature-friendly.
The plastic parts can be reused many times before they get worn off. So take the plastic grow baskets and grow domes from your previous plants and reuse them for growing broccoli. Once you have all the parts that you need, the process is the same for both methods.
- Insert up to 3 seeds in every grow sponge. Inserting 3 instead of just one will highly improve your chances of success. In the end, the strongest one will dominate the seed pod.
- Put your grow sponges into the plastic grow baskets. You have to make sure that they are in deep enough but not too deep.
- Put on a grow label. You can just put it on and go over with a hot iron, but be very careful not to hurt yourself. You can even skip this step if you do not want any grow labels. They are not a vital factor in the plant’s growth and no damage will be done if you grow your seeds without them.
- Insert the grow baskets with grow sponges into the slots on your Aerogarden. Apply a little bit of pressure until you hear a click. That is when your seed pods are installed. You just have to put on the grow domes but the procedure is the same. Apply just a little bit of pressure and wait for the click. Make sure that everything is sitting as it should and if it is, then it is now time to start with the waiting game.
Aerogarden broccoli timeline:
Week 1: You have just planted your seeds so don’t expect to be eating fresh homegrown broccoli anytime soon. Just make sure that your plant has enough water and nutrients that it needs for optimal growth. It normally takes around one week for the broccoli seeds to germinate.
Week 2: Some of you just might start seeing some first signs of success. A small stem with two or three little leaves on the top should start rising out of your seed pods. If they do not, don’t worry. Just leave them some more time. Remember this is a longer project, but if you like broccoli it will be worth it.
Week 3: By now you should be seeing some early signs of success. If you don’t, maybe it is time to start figuring out what you did wrong.
Week 4: The waiting game continues. Make sure that your smart garden has enough water and nutrients. If you don’t, then all those weeks of waiting will go to waste. You do not want that to happen, do you?
Week 5: If you remember what your seedlings used to look like just a week before, then you should notice a difference. The main stem is getting stronger and stronger, while the leaves on it are multiplying. There is not much more time until you will have to transplant your broccoli to the soil.
Week 6: If your main stem has at least 3 strong stems growing out of it, then it is time for you to transplant your broccoli into the soil. But if your 3 branches still do not look strong enough, then I would recommend that you give your plant a little bit more time. Don’t worry, it should not last more than 1 week for your plant to be ready for transplant if it’s not there yet.
Week 7: Transplanting time! By now your plant should definitely be strong and big enough to get transplanted. Since there is not enough room for it in your AeroGarden, it is now time that you move your broccoli plant to soil.
How to transplant broccoli from AeroGarden to the soil?
You have two options. Either you go with moving the plant into a pot and keep it indoors/outdoors or you just take the plant and move it outside. Keep in mind that it will take some time for the plant to adapt to the outside environment.
So how do you do it?
- Take out the seed pods by grabbing your grow baskets with two fingers. If you try pulling it out by the stem, you might end up damaging the plant. Be careful while taking them out. They might not give up that fast, because the roots underneath can get tangled up. Keep your cool and take your time. Try to gently pull it or wiggling it around for a bit. If that won’t work you can still use gardening shears or scissors to cut the roots but I would use this as a last resort.
- Prepare your new growing environment. I’d highly suggest that you use big containers. Around 3-gallon size was the one that worked for me. Fill the containers halfway up with soil. I always recommend the pre-fertilized one over any other. This will make the process much easier because you will not have to fertilize the soil yourself.
- Remove the plants from the grow baskets. If you can I would highly recommend that you try taking out the plants with grow sponges without cutting the grow baskets. This way you ill be able to reuse them later and save some money. This is also a more nature-friendly method. If you will have problems taking out the plants, try to wiggle them a bit or try to cut off some roots. Do not use much force! If nothing else works you can cut the grow basket off with gardening shears or scissors but be very careful because when it comes to cutting plastic, you can easily cut yourself.
- Put the plant into the soil. Do not worry if you left the grow sponge on. In fact, you should leave it on. It will not do any damage, quite the contrary, it will even help your plant to grow big and strong. Grow sponges are made out of Canadian Peat moss and are therefore 100% organic. If you compost it, it will also have a good effect on your compost-it will reduce the smell that comes out of it.
- Fill the remaining half of your container with soil. Whenever it comes to this step, I always leave a little bit of room at the top. This is because if your container is filled up to the top, you will definitely make a mess when it comes to watering your plant. And since you will have to move the plant around, later on, this is definitely not a thing that you would want to do. Try to make as close to none mess as you can.
- Keep the soil moisturized. Once you are done with replanting, you should water it right away, but be careful not to use too much water, because you can ruin the plant. If you want to keep growing your plant indoors, then this is the end of the process. Just make sure that it gets enough sunlight and that the soil doesn’t dry out.
- If you want to move your broccoli outside, you should move the plant outside for at least one hour to start and then increase the amount of time that your plant spends outside every day. Keep in mind that in 2 weeks your plant should be 100% acclimated and be able to spend the whole day outside. Watch out for the temperature though. If there is still a danger of frost, you just might want to keep the plant indoors for a bit longer and in that way prevent all of your hard work to go to waste.
Once your plant is acclimated to stay outside for the whole time, just dig a hole in your garden and plant your broccoli in. Again you have to make sure that the soil is wet. If you have used pre-fertilized soil, you do not have to use any other fertilizers.
How to take care of AeroGarden broccoli:
There is not much to say here other than to keep your soil wet. You might have to water the plant on a daily basis from the start. Just make sure not to overdo it. Too much water can damage the roots and be equally bad for the plant as not having enough water.
How to harvest broccoli?
Your broccoli should be ready to harvest in about 60 days after you have first planted it in your AeroGarden. So if you have transplanted it correctly, it should not take you more than 3 additional weeks of waiting before you can take a knife, and make a delicious meal out of your successful harvest.
There are two ways of doing it once your broccoli is ready for harvesting.
Main head harvest method:
For this method, you will have to use a knife so be careful not to cut yourself! The head should be anywhere from 3 to 6 inches big. Keep in mind that if you see any signs of flowers appearing on your broccoli it is time to harvest it right away with the main head harvest method! So to cut the broccoli just go from 5 to 6 inches below the head and cut it with a knife.
Just like the name indicates, by this method, you will cut just a part of your broccoli instead of its whole head. It is perfectly okay to cut just a part of it. So cut the smaller stems that are growing on the sides. They should be about 2 inches long. If you go with this method you can also use a knife but I would suggest that you use gardening shears instead.
Benefits of broccoli:
Broccoli has a big nutritional value because it has Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Fiber, Potassium, and Folate. So if you want to finally get started with your new year resolution from 10 years ago and start eating healthier, broccoli is definitely the way to go. Amongst other things, broccoli can lower your cholesterol levels, helps you with healing wounds, will stimulate the production of new cells in your body, etc.
The only bad thing about broccoli is that kids do not like it. In fact, even in cartoons broccoli is usually the bad guy. So if you have a family your kids will definitely not be fans of your new plant. But you can get creative and add broccoli to other foods instead of serving just the small trees. Mix it with pasta, mix it with lasagna, mix it with mac and cheese, …
After every last harvest or replanting, you should clean and sanitize your AeroGarden to prevent the spreading of bacteria and root pathogens. Plants are also living beings and do prefer a clean living environment. If you leave your water bowl dirty, it will highly impact your next indoor gardening project. The results when it comes to harvesting will be much worse or even none. I can not stress this enough-Clean your AeroGarden!
Thank you for reading this article and if you have any questions or experience to share, please leave it in a comment below. May your broccoli grow big and strong. Have a nice day!