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Broccoli – January Gardening Tips from The Culinary View

Tips for your Garden in January

as recommended by Charla Anthony

January – who knew, there is so much going on in the garden and landscape this month? Get ready, get set, go plant! Wow, loads of edibles can be planted and there are trees to prune, too. The mostly leafless winter landscape is opportunity also to study and observe plant structure to determine if pruning would be beneficial. The cool season edibles harvest surges for many fall planted crops such as broccoli, beets and many of the leafy greens. It’s that time of year when we promise ourselves to do things better or differently. If you’ve never grown veggies, why not try this year? And if you do, add a new one or variety.

Keep a close eye on weather predictions and be ready to protect plants in the event of a freeze. Here are a few garden activities for this month.

Plant seeds of beets, carrots, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, English peas, edible pod peas, and radish. Also, it’s time for those small plants of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bulbing onions and green onions to get in the ground. Herbs to plant are dill, fennel, oregano and seedlings of parsley.

Harvest beets, collards, lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, turnips as well as citrus and persimmons.

Broccoli, either you like it or you don’t. President Bush made public his disdain for this veggie member of the cabbage family, inadvertently bringing it to the forefront of the culinary world. Shortly after broccoli made the front page, along comes broccolini. Baby broccoli, right? Not exactly, this relative newcomer to American dining is actually a hybrid. The longer lanky version of broccoli was first created about 1993, and is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. Compared to broccoli, it’s flavor is more mild, with a slightly sweeter taste.

Plant:                      Jan. 20-March 5; Sept. 10-Nov.15

Light:                       full sun to partial shade

Water:                    average

Soil needs:           well-drained

Fertilization:      2 weeks after planting; again when heads form; after harvesting heads

Recipes abound these days for delicious methods to prepare broccoli . I grew up eating it slathered in melted American cheese and butter. Not too bad, but what kid doesn’t like cheese? Nutritionists rave about its benefits, so if you’re a gardener, be sure to grow broccoli, but don’t expect President Bush to come for dinner.


Charla Anthony is the Brazos County horticulturist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Bryan, Texas. Find local gardening information at Gardening question? Call 979-823-0129 or email


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