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

31 Aug 20, Jimmy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I had 5 purple broccoli plants planted in April from seedlings that have grown really well but have failed to develop any heads at all. What went wrong?
31 Aug 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If really big leafy plants then your soil was too rich in Nitrogen.
17 Aug 20, ashley shepherd (New Zealand - temperate climate)
my seedlings keep getting ruined, they start to grow then fall over/out with no roots left. I dug around and looks like grass grubs in my beds how do I rid my garden bed of these?
19 Aug 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Ring an agricultural supply company and ask to talk to an agronomists. Would probably be some grub or worm in the soil. I have never had the problem in 40 years.
06 Aug 20, Anthony Ryan (Australia - temperate climate)
My broccoli plants have finished producing main flower heads some side shoots are still growing though. Once they finish producing flower buds do you pull out the plant or cut or trim it so it will regrow next winter. I have heard both broccoli and cauliflowers are biennial if so what should I do for my cauliflowers also. Any help would be greatly appreciated
07 Aug 20, Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Some (sprouting) are perennial some are annual. I don't know why anyone would trim the plant then look after it for 6-8 months. Far less work to just pull it out and replant new seed/seedlings next Autumn.
11 Jul 20, Sue Hotker (Australia - tropical climate)
What direction should I plant broccoli and cabbage, eg. nth, sth, west or east facing? Morning or afternoon sun?
13 Jul 20, (Australia - temperate climate)
N S is probably the best thought it wouldn't matter really. Sun all day.
12 Jun 20, April (USA - Zone 5b climate)
Could I plant broccoli from seed now for a fall crop?
04 Jun 20, Glenn (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Does anyone know where I can buy Green Dragon Broccoli seeds in Australia?
Showing 1 - 10 of 290 comments

If you have a search aquadulce fava bean - you will find info about height etc.

- liz

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.