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

18 May 21, (USA - Zone 10a climate)
I live in zone 10. It is now May and my broccoli has, of course, stopped producing. If I leave them in their pots thru the sumner, will they produce again in the fall?
02 May 21, mary Olenick (Canada - Zone 5b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
I tried to grow broccoli once in garden boxes. they grew very tall and spindly but the heads didn't amount to much. What am I doing wrong?
04 May 21, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
They were probably too crowded together and not enough light. Broccoli need about 25 - 30 cm square each as a minimum.
28 Feb 21, Richard (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, how soon should I net my broccoli if at all? Thank you
01 Mar 21, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
Any time after planting. Rain is the starting point of insects and grubs so keep an eye on them after rain. I would net after the last weeding you are going to do.
15 Feb 21, Wayne (Australia - temperate climate)
Can I plant broccoli in the same bed as tomatoes after I have removed the used tomato plants. Also my Broccoli grew big and leafy but the fruit itself bolted and flowered immediately???? They were very well watered and a mild summer here?
16 Feb 21, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
You can grow anything after anything as long as you prepare the soil well for the next crop. People talk about crop rotation, it doesn't have to happen that way, It grew big and leafy because you over fertilised. It probably bolted and flowered because you were growing it into hotter weather. It says here you can plant Sept to Nov. Depending on you temperatures I wouldn't be planting that time of the year unless you have quite cool weather into Xmas. General rule you plant winter harvesting crops late summer early autumn and summer harvesting crops after the cool/cold winter.
05 Jan 21, Mark (USA - Zone 9b climate)
What is a good varietall of broccoli for zone 9b?
06 Jan 21, (USA - Zone 4b climate)
Go to a seed selling website and look at different broccoli. Most broccoli will grow in a variety of climates. Each climate will have a preferred planting time.
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?
Showing 1 - 10 of 301 comments

Try Oasis Horticulture on the net - you will probably have to contact them.

- Anonymous

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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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