Gardening Articles: Care :: Soil, Water, & Fertilizer

Salt-Stressed Broccoli More Nutritious?

by Charlie Nardozzi


Broccoli is a nutritious, cool-season crop and a popular ingredient in many recipes. It’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants (cancer-fighting compounds). Now researchers in Spain have found that adding a little salt to the water you apply to growing broccoli plants boosts nutrient levels in the vegetable.

In trials researchers irrigated broccoli plants with 40- or 80-millimolar concentrations of table salt (1/3 to 2/3 teaspoon per quart of water). They found that plants watered with the 40-millimolar concentration had higher levels of calcium and the antioxidant glucosinolates in the leaves and florets, and lower levels of nitrates (thought to be harmful to health). The only downside was the overall yields were lower in plants irrigated with the salty water.

For more information on this research, go to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

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