I was able to help plant a few things while I was at home for spring break, and broccoli was one of them. Broccoli is one of the vegetables that needs to be planted earlier in the year so we plant it in our spring garden closest to the house.
Mom buys the broccoli plants at our local greenhouse just three minutes up the road. They are cheep if you buy them by the flat. I think we bought sixteen plants this go-around and my youngest sister and I planted them all this afternoon.
Mom had just finished spraying the grass with broad-leaf poison to kill the clover and dandelions so we had to perch uncomfortably on the stone wall around the spring garden in order to plant the broccoli. We used the stone wall to measure how far apart the plants needed to be though. One plant in front of every stone.
The hog-wire that you see in the picture is not for the broccoli. It's for the sugar snap peas that are planted on the other side.
We use the spade or our fingers to dig the hole. Then we mix the dirt with what we call black-dirt which is really old cow manure that we get from our neighbor across the way who owns a huge dairy farm. The black dirt is so old that it no longer smells bad, isn't sticky, and is smooth and rich. We're super careful as we place the plants into the holes that we've dug. It's easy to traumatize and kill them.
After patting the soil around the plants we water them and move onto the next one. Planting is easy when the ground is well worked. We've been working with and strengthening the soil in the spring garden for over five years now so the dirt is very good.