top of page
  • Writer's pictureStronger Roots

Growing Broccoli

Updated: May 10, 2022


-Vitamins like A and C (immune system)

-Folic acids (helps with fetal development)

-Minerals and nutrients like potassium, calcium, iron

-Fiber source (aiding in digestion and hearth health)

-Full of Antioxidants (helping prevent diseases and cancers)

-Lowers blood sugar

-Greater protein levels than most vegetables


-Well drained soil

-Add aged compost/fertilizer to the planting bed before planting

-For a fall harvest, broccoli can be direct-seeded into the garden in the summer(mid); For a spring harvest, start seeds indoors in the winter.

-❗️Warm weather in late spring will cause plants to bolt and flower; Weather too chilly in spring will cause broccoli to form flower heads that will not develop

-INDOORS 6 to 8 weeks before last frost

-OUTDOORS 2 weeks before last frost

-Germination temperature: 45°F to 85°F - Will germinate at soil temperatures as low as 40°F.

-Plant ½ to ¾ “deep, 3” apart

-Plant seeds and transplants at the same time for succession crops or plant early and midseason varieties at the same time


-Full Sun (6 to 8Hrs)

❗️If long stems develop, try repotting the seedlings deeper (up to the first leaves); provide more light

-INDOORS: When plants are 4 to 6 weeks old transplant to garden OR 2-3 weeks before last frost date

-Transplant when plants have 4 or 6 true leaves and space 12-24” apart

-Space Rows 2-3’ apart

-Space further together to harvest large central heads; Closer spacings for smaller central heads. ❗If you harvest secondary heads, you will get a greater total yield from the closer spacings.

-Thrive outdoors in 65°F to 70°F

-Water regularly; soil must remain moist

❗️Do not get developing broccoli heads wet when watering, as it can encourage rot

-6.0 to 6.8 soil pH (slightly acidic)

-FEED: regular applications of compost tea or side dressed with aged manure/organic fertilizer every month.

-Grow in both spring and fall

❗️Avoid mid-summer crops as hot weather can cause premature bolting

-In Zone 7 and warmer, fall broccoli crops will often Overwinter

-❄️ Broccoli is frost hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F

-Plants have shallow root systems; Mulch to protect roots, reduce weed competition and conserve moisture


-‘Calabrese’ is an Italian heirloom with large heads and prolific side shoots that will mature for harvesting. Great for fall planting, too.

-‘Flash’ is a fast-growing, heat-resistant hybrid with good side-shoot production once the central head is cut. Great for fall planting, too.

-‘Green Goliath’ is heat-tolerant with giant heads and prolific side shoots.

-‘Purple Sprouting’ This is a very cold-hardy heirloom that produces multiple small, purplish florets on each plant instead of a single large head

-‘Romanesco’ This ancient Italian heirloom boasts unique chartreuse pointed spiral florets

-‘Eastern Magic’ It handles growth in the spring and the fall well, developing into massive blue-green crowns with a delicious flavor. Despite being cold tolerant, this type also handles heat well.

-‘Destiny’ Most broccoli varieties are unable to grow well in these locations, especially zone 11 because they are cool-weather crops. Destiny is a fantastic choice for southern gardeners who still want to enjoy home-grown broccoli

-‘Rapini’ This is an Italian heirloom that develops into flavorful, asparagus-like side shoots and leaves. It grows well in the early spring and late fall when other crops tend to be less productive


-The central head should be harvested when it’s fully developed ❗️ before the individual buds open into small, yellow flowers

❗️If the plant has bolted (flowered) it’s too late to pick

-If the central flower head feels tight, picking can be delayed. Once the buds start to loosen, start the harvest.

-Remove the central head, leaving the plant in the ground to develop side shoots. Heads will be significantly smaller, but you can remain harvesting longer.

-Broccoli that matures in cool (fall) weather has a tender texture with sweet flavor.

-Broccoli is ready to harvest in 55 to 85 days when grown from transplants: 70 to 150 days when grown from seed


-Broccoli heads can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days (unwashed)

❗️ Washing before storage encourages bacterial head rot

-Blanched broccoli to be frozen and stored up to 12 months.

❗️Cold and moist storage is a challenge. Refrigerators provide the cold, but they also dry the air.

-Place broccoli in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper section of the refrigerator.

❗️Unwashed broccoli will keep in the refrigerator for about one week.


-Broccoli can be attacked by cutworms, cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, cabbage root flies and a plethora of other larva and grub; ✅ Combat with row covers, sprinkle wood ash around base of plant, keep the growing area free of weeds, keep soil from being too wet, use insecticidal soap solution, hand picking off infected leaves or plant with chamomile, dill, mint, rosemary, and sage to deter pest.

-Broccoli is susceptible to yellows, clubroot, and downy mildew; ✅ Combat with removing infected plants and practicing crop rotation.

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page