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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

13 Nov 17, Mike Adams (Australia - temperate climate)
My broccoli has a white looking growth on them what could this be? Thanks Mike
14 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Search the internet for diseases of broccoli.
14 Nov 17, Larry Krieg (Australia - temperate climate)
Try looking up White blister (Albugo candida). I get this is my broccoli at times and it may be what you are observing. There are pictures on the website www.agric.wa.gov.au/broccoli/diseases-vegetable-brassicas?page=0%2C1 Cheers Larry
09 Nov 17, Clare Stockdale (Australia - temperate climate)
Once flowers have formed, can the plant be productive or should I throw it out? This is broccoli I'm talking about.
10 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Once broccoli has flowered it has gone too far.
21 Oct 17, marie (Australia - temperate climate)
I'm new at gardening in Sydney Australia.(I'm originally from Canada) Am I in the temperate zone? when is it best to grow cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts. our broccoli heads are separating. the cauliflower is yellow and completely separated. And no sign of sprouts growing as of yet
23 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Broc and cauli plant seeds April May and transplant seedlings May June. Not cold enough for Brussel Sprouts in Sydney Read the notes here for all 3 crops..
23 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You are in sub tropical by the climate zone here. If you live in a coldish part of Sydney you would be temperate. The best is probably to have the crop mature by July August.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 223 comments

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. This cool-season crop grows best when daytime temperatures are in the 60s F. Grow in both spring and fall, but avoid mid-summer crops as hot weather can cause premature bolting.

- GJX

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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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