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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 7°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 35 - 50 cm 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

08 Dec 17, Kenneth Chagunda (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
what type of pesticides are used on the plants and what type of fertilizer should be applied too.thanks
03 Dec 17, carol (New Zealand - temperate climate)
growing broccoli do you cut any outer leaves?pls
24 Nov 17, Julie Baglin (Australia - tropical climate)
Hi, I live in Maitland. My broccoli plant has heaps of large, healthy leaves, but no broccoli yet. Is this normal?
27 Nov 17, Phil Andrews (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Julie are you in Maitland South Australia or Maitland New South Wales either way it doesn't really matter how old are the Broccoli plants? As long as they are healthy the heads will come eventually.
27 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Probably too much Nitrogen in the soil. Also they are better grown into winter not summer.
22 Nov 17, kenneth (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
what pesticides should be should used on broccoli if attached
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 229 comments

The thing to do to stop it going to seed is to get and eat it fast or freeze it.

- 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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