Broccoli is a classic vegetable that fits into many international cuisines and offers plenty of nutrition. If you want a variety with tight heads and prolific flowering, try growing Belstar broccoli. With just 66 days to maturity, you will be enjoying your own broccoli crop in just a few months! Keep reading for further Belstar broccoli info, including when and how to plant this delicious variety.
What is Belstar Broccoli?
The Belstar broccoli variety is an organic hybrid variety suitable for either spring or summer planting. Just like any other broccoli, Belstar doesn’t do well in hot temperatures. Plants in the Brassica family are high in vitamins C and K, fiber, and manganese. They are being studied for their ability to fight cancer. Broccoli is one of the tastier varieties of this family.
The Belstar variety is very adaptable and produces stress tolerant plants. Not only does it develop a large central head, but the side shoots produce numerous smaller heads. The florets are dense and deeply bluish green. The largest heads can reach 6 inches (15 cm.) across. The plant also has great disease resistance.
Belstar Broccoli Info
Belstar can be planted in spring or late summer. It has an excellent ability to germinate in warm weather, but plants should be protected from extreme heat. Broccoli needs well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter incorporated and a soil pH of 6.0-7.5. Plants need plenty of water to ensure good flower head formation.
Mulch around the plants to keep soil cool and prevent weeds. Practice crop rotation with non-cruciferous crops to help prevent disease and pest problems. Broccoli’s tight heads absorb chemical sprays easily and is hard to rinse off any remaining residue. Use organic sprays to prevent contaminating the heads.
Tips on Growing Belstar Broccoli
If you want a spring crop sow seeds in flats 1/4 inch (.64 cm.) deep, three to four weeks before planting out. You can also sow into prepared beds when soil is warmed up and workable. Thin seedlings to 18 inches (46 cm.) apart. The best temperatures are 60-70 F. (16-21 C.).
For a fall crop, start seeds 10-12 weeks before the first expected frost. Direct sow 2 to 4 inches apart (5-10 cm.) and thin once plants have two pairs of true leaves.
Harvest the side shoots as they come to promote more and help establish the large central head. Ice broccoli after harvesting to preserve the crunch.