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Growing Broccoli

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S P P                

(Best months for growing Broccoli in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 45°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 14 - 20 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-16 weeks. Cut flowerhead off with a knife..
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile, oregano)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chilli, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • Early stage
  • Nearly ready for harvest
  • Side shoot regrowth after main head cut

Keep well-watered as seedlings. If left without water they will bolt to seed and be inedible. The plants should grow to develop plenty of large healthy leaves, then the green flowerheads follow, which are cut for eating. Leave the plant growing after cutting the main flowerhead, and get additional crops from the sideshoots which will develop.

Watch for cabbage white butterflies and remove the eggs and caterpillars as soon as possible.

There are two main types of broccoli. The purple sprouting is hardier. The heading varieties cope well with warmer weather.

Once a plant opens its yellow flowers then it is generally past eating as the flavour gets a bit overpowering and the plant gets very woody. Harvest them sooner rather than later.

'Broccolini' is a variety grown for the edible stalks. Grow fast with plenty of water and food, and pick as soon as possible.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Broccoli

The stem (peeled), leaves, and flowerhead are all edible.

Steam for best flavour. Peel large stalks, slice and steam.
Goes well with blue cheese sauce.

Your comments and tips

29 Apr 19, Lawrence Umba (Australia - tropical climate)
I am a farmer from Papua New Guinea at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level. I am trying to produce Broccoli in my farm and wonder is it going to be like growing Broccoli at Australia -Tropical, or do I have to do my own trials. Thank you
27 Apr 19, Katherine (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
We live on Norfolk Island and have just bought a house with a market garden and planted our first crop of broccoli 2 weeks ago. We have noticed the leaves have white squiggly lines on them and have small holes in them. We are planning on continuing the organic gardening of the previous owners.
12 May 19, Danielle (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Katherine, the squiggly lines are from leaf miner and the holes in the leaves are from cabbage moth caterpillars. Check under the leaves for yellow eggs, and also pick off any caterpillars, i'd reccomend netting your broccoli.
06 Mar 19, Terry (Australia - temperate climate)
In a 4 bed crop rotation is it safe to plant crops like brassicas in the same bed in both Autumn and Spring in the same year.
06 Mar 19, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
You can plant brassicas year after year after year if you like but then you are not doing crop rotation are you .Read up about crop rotation to what it achieves.
04 Jan 19, Patrick (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
My broccoli has now gone to flower. Do I leave it in, or pull it out and plant more next year? Can't find a website to tell me if I keep it or start again. Thanks.
06 Jan 19, Mike Logan (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Pull it out. It's life cycle is ending.
15 Sep 18, C (Australia - temperate climate)
Broccoli variety for warmer weather, Melbourne spring
16 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Look up some seed selling websites and pick the one you want to grow.
29 Aug 18, hayden (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
i live in hanmer springs, i have grown broccoli under greenhouse to protect from harsh frosts we get here. they have grown all through winter and i harvested the heads few weeks ago, and have been eating the side shoots ever since. june july they stopped growing hibernated, but last month has seen warmish temps so evrything has shot away. greenhouses are great.
Showing 1 - 10 of 259 comments

My broccoli has now gone to flower. Do I leave it in, or pull it out and plant more next year? Can't find a website to tell me if I keep it or start again. Thanks.

- Patrick

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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