How to Grow Broccoli
Instructions for Growing Broccoli
in Your Vegetable Garden
*** Easy to Grow! ***
Broccoli, a member of the cabbage family, grows as an annual in the vegetable garden. The flower stalks are green, purplish to white in color and the plant has tiny yellow flowers. The edible part of the broccoli are the heads, leaflets, and the stalk.
Try growing broccoli also in a container garden or even indoors. See container gardening.
Dietary fiber, Vitamin A, C, K, B6, Folate, Chromium, Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Selenium
Growing broccoli can be successful in nearly any climate, except for the most extreme hot or extreme cold climates. If growing for seed, it does require a cool winter to reach maturity.
Broccoli prefers well drained soil, in full sun.
Growing broccoli requires soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. (See how to test your soil's pH level.) Prepare your garden bed with well-rotted manures, compost or fertilizers. If your soil is sandy, you will need to add an extra nitrogen supplement to the garden soil.
You will need 3 to 4 months for the growing broccoli reach to a harvestable size in the garden. Once you've harvested the primary broccoli head, side-shoots will grow and provide smaller additional harvests.
"How to" Tip for Growing Broccoli
To maximize your side-shoot crop, leave the outer leaves on the plant when doing your primary harvest.
You can sow seeds directly in your garden at 3" apart, ½” deep, during late spring. For an extended harvest period, plant successive sowings (one month apart between plantings).
For an earlier start, plant your seeds indoors in small 4” pots. Transfer to garden beds planting 20” apart in rows 3 feet apart (plant in the garden when seedlings are 4” tall and at least four true leaves have appeared). This takes about 6 weeks from when seeds are planted.
Plants grow quickly so keep soil lightly moist by watering frequently. Cut down on watering as heads mature. If you don't provide enough water during the growing season, your broccoli plants will go to seed without forming the broccoli heads.
Broccoli is a heavy feeder. Fertilize weekly throughout the growing season with a liquid fertilizer such as compost tea or liquid seaweed.
When growing broccoli, the main insect pests are larvae from cabbage moths and white butterflies. They can be controlled them with sprays or dustings.
Curling of the leaf (known as whip tail) is an indication of a trace element molybendum shortage.
In cool, moist climates, watch for downy mildew. Providing an area with good air circulation and plenty of sunshine will help avoid this problem.
"How to" Tip for Growing Broccoli
Practice good vegetable gardening by rotating your crops within your garden space with each new season. This will prevent many plant diseases.
When buds are large and firm but not yet flowering, harvest (cut) the large central head, leaving about 6” of stalk attached. Leave any small branches attached, as they will bud and grow throughout the season for additional smaller harvests. Broccoli will continue to grow and bear in your garden until severe cold weather arrives.
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.