Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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
    Early stage
  • Nearly ready for harvest
    Nearly ready for harvest
  • Side shoot regrowth after main head cut
    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

05 Oct 17, Saints (Australia - tropical climate)
I want t grow broccolli between latitude 12south and 10 south and five miles from northeaat auatralia coastal line. please advise
06 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - tropical climate)
Go to Vegetables and Herbs above and read about growing it in the TROPICS. Sounds like to live at the top end of Australia. Good luck.
30 Aug 17, stella jackon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
where would be the best town or city in Australia to grow broccoli
31 Aug 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
How long is a piece of string? Anywhere - it is a cool weather season crop. Plant from April onwards. Really hot places it would dry out if not watered a lot. Read up about growing it.
02 Aug 17, Natalie (Australia - tropical climate)
I planted my broccoli at the beginning of June and they have grown very well but so far They haven't developed a head. I fertilised them every two weeks since planting them until a couple of weeks ago when I was told that I had overfertilised them. Is this why no heads have grown?
03 Aug 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They won't head up until probably 10-12 weeks old. If you used a high % N fertiliser (12-15% N ) then you have over fertilised them (also depends how much you put on). If the plants are very big too much N. Stop fertilizing them and maybe cut the watering back a bit Trial and error. I have planted seeds this year and have had poor results -back to seedlings for me with broccoli and cabbage..
22 Jun 17, Lyndel -- Toowoomba Qld (Australia - temperate climate)
We live in Toowoomba and would like to know the best time to plant broccoli seeds please. Also, a clarification as to whether we are a temperate or sub tropical climate please??
24 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
You are temperate to bordering cool - you probably have warmer summers than cool. If you are high up in Toowoomba you maybe lean to temperate - if down in a hollow lean a bit to cool. By the guide on this website you plant seeds Feb and transplant Mar-April. Buy some well established seedlings and plant now.
26 Mar 17, Diane (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted my broccoli in January it's getting big enough but it's seems to be taking awhile to fruit it gets full sun and the leaves are good maybe I planted too soon
27 Mar 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Diane -- Temperate area - Bundaberg - I generally don't start planting until March - too hot and the chance of a down pour of heavy rain. Rain also brings out the moths. It has rained here the last 2 weeks on and off (8") and the plants can be smashed a bit if quite young. I'm planting broccoli seeds this arvo into egg cartoon (1st try). Maybe a bit shade over them for some or all of the day. Most plants grow slower and develop a better end produce when grown into the winter. When grow into the hotter months they tend to run to seed quicker.
Showing 1 - 10 of 215 comments

Post a question, comment or tip about Broccoli

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

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support Gardenate

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free 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.