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HOW to GROW BROCCOLI | How to Grow Series

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Learn to Grow Broccoli…..plus, a printable planting guide! BROCCOLI is such a fantastic addition to any garden.

Broccoli needs:

  • Well-drained
  • Fertile soils
  • Sunny location

Along with being a stand-alone vegetable,  fresh broccoli is a perfect addition to salads, omelets and vegetable dishes, plus broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients:

How to Grow Broccoli

Nutrients in Broccoli

Complete How to Grow Series!

WE WILL COVER:

  1. Soils
  2. Sunlight
  3. Temperature
  4. Planting instructions
  5. Cold Hardiness
  6. Days to Germinate
  7. Thinning
  8. Varieties
  9. Days to Maturity
  10. Harvesting
  11. Storage Tips
  12. Plus, a few fresh Broccoli Recipes!
  13. Container Gardening
  14. Printable Growing Handout

Find Your Zone:
FREE USDA Hardiness Zone Planting Guide

1. SOILS:

Depending on your geographic location, soils vary tremendously and need different soil amendments.

It is easy to find out how to test your soil with this inexpensive soil tester from Amazon.

2. SUNLIGHT:

Broccoli loves full sun but can tolerate a little bit of shade; 6 Hours of full sun should be enough for a healthy crop.

3. TEMPERATURE:

Broccoli can be grown in cooler temperatures; it is a cool-weather crop.

They do not tolerate hot weather so plant in spring approximately 3 weeks before your last predicted frost date.

For a fall harvest, plant in mid-August so the heads mature in the cool of autumn.

Sow your fall planting approximately 60 days before scheduled hard frosts for your area.

seedlings growig indoors under grow light

4. PLANTING:

BROCCOLI is a High Feeder: Remember to Rotate Your Crops

Since broccoli needs to be planted in cooler weather, either:

♦Plant indoors 8 weeks before the last frost

♦Direct Seed 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost

♦Purchase Started Seedlings from a Nursery

Special Note: If starting broccoli seeds indoors, plan on covering transplants with either plastic tunnels or cloches to protect them.

Specifics on Starting Broccoli Seeds Indoors:

  1. Start seeds approximately 6 to 8 weeks before your last scheduled frost
  2. Do not start too early as the broccoli seedlings will get too leggy and spindly
  3. Use a starting mixture or potting soil
  4. Fill your cups, 6 pack cells, or other little pots with starting mixture
  5. Plant 2 seeds per cells and cover with 1/4″ to 1/2″ dirt and tap firm
  6. Broccoli seedlings need a good source of direct light
  7. Follow instructions from the grow light manufacturer or have a good south-facing window
  8. Water to keep starting mixture damp but not soggy
  9. Transplant when about 6″ tall
  10. Cover with plastic cloches, plastic milk jugs with tops off, plastic tunnels or cold frames

Specifics on Direct Seeding Broccoli:

  1. Broccoli is a high feeder and needs well-drained, fertile soil
  2. Add compost and organic matter to your garden soil
  3. Consider an All-Purpose Fertile or Fish Emulsion
  4. Plant 3 seeds per foot
  5. Cover with 1/2″ dirt and tap firm
  6. Seeds should be planted about 4″ apart in rows
  7. Rows should be 36″ apart
  8. Soil needs to be kept moist throughout the growing season
  9. Hand weed or mulch to suppress weeds

Find Out How to Stop Cut Worms!

Cut Worms can destroy your broccoli seedlings overnight.  Protect them now!

French Watering Cans are especially useful.

♦Please Note: add this information to your Gardening Journal.

how to grow series

5. COLD HARDINESS:

Broccoli can withstand cool weather. It does best under 75 degrees. So, set out transplants at the last frost. Cover with cloche or tunnels.

Direct seed 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost. It will take broccoli seeds longer to germinate in cold, damp weather.

6. DAYS to GERMINATE: approximately 8 days

Broccoli seeds typically germinate in approximately 8 days.

7. THINNING: 

Broccoli seedlings should be set out approximately 24 inches apart. If direct-seeded, thin your broccoli plants to 24 inches apart. When broccoli plants are to close together, small button type heads may grow instead of full normal size heads.

8. VARIETIES:

  1. Belstar  65 Days
  2. DiCicco 50 Days
  3. Fiesta 65 Days

9. DAYS to MATURITY:  50 and 65 days

Dates vary but you can pick mature broccoli heads in approximately 50 to 65 days. And, then continue harvesting side shoots.

Broccoli Head Growing in Garden

10. HOW to HARVEST: 

  • Begin picking your broccoli as soon as full heads appear with tight buds
  • After the main head has been cut, watch for lots of side shoots
  • Cut side shoots as sprigs of broccoli
  • If cabbage looper caterpillars are a problem, simply soak in saltwater for 15 minutes and then rinse

11. STORAGE IDEAS: 

  • Wash and Store Broccoli for fresh eating
  • If cabbage looper caterpillars are a problem, soak for 15 minutes in saltwater and then rinse
  • Store in the crisper drawer
  • Rinse, Blanch and Freeze

Ball Canning and Freezing Resource Book

12. RECIPE IDEAS for Broccoli

Lightly Steam and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and Lemon Pepper

Roasted Broccoli

Healthy Broccoli Salad

Do Not Forget to:

  • Simple Eating Fresh!
  • Beautiful garnishes plus work very well on Vegetable Trays!

13. CONTAINER GARDENING:

Broccoli can be grown in pots or containers. They are a fairly large plant so care must be taken to provide adequate growing room. Provide a large pot or container with at least 20″ of dirt or potting soil.

Keep soil moist throughout the growing season. Watch for too hot of temperatures if growing in a greenhouse setting.

Harvest when heads are full and then continue to harvest side shoots.

14. PRINTABLE GROWING GUIDE:

Yield: Depends on Number and Variety of BROCCOLI Plants

HOW to GROW BROCCOLI | How to Grow Series

fresh garden head of broccoli that is ready to harvest

Steps to Growing BROCCOLI

Matures In: 1 month 24 days 14 hours
Total Time 1 month 24 days 14 hours
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost Inexpensive

Materials

  • Broccoli Seeds or Seedlings
  • Starting Mixture
  • Planting Cells or Small Pots
  • Or, if Direct Seeding-fertile Garden Soil

Tools

  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Trowel
  • Gloves
  • Watering Can

Instructions

Quick Planting Review:

♦Plant indoors 8 weeks before last frost

♦Direct Seed 3 to 4 weeks before last frost

 

Specifics on Starting Broccoli Seeds Indoors:

  1. Start seeds approximately 6 to 8 weeks before your last scheduled frost
  2. Do not start too early as the broccoli seedlings will get too leggy and spindly
  3. Use a starting mixture or potting soil
  4. Fill your individual cups, 6 pack cells, or other little pots with starting mixture
  5. Plant 2 seeds per cells and cover with 1/4" to 1/2" dirt and tap firm
  6. Broccoli seedlings need a good source of direct light
  7. Follow instructions from the grow light manufacturer or have a good south facing window
  8. Water to keep starting mixture damp but not soggy
  9. Transplant when about 6" tall
  10. Cover with plastic cloches, plastic milk jugs with tops off, plastic tunnels or cold frames

Specifics on Direct Seeding Broccoli:

  1. Broccoli is a high feeder and needs well drained, fertile soil
  2. Add compost and organic matter to your garden soil
  3. Consider an All Purpose Fertile or Fish Emulsion
  4. Plant 3 seeds per foot
  5. Cover with 1/2" inch dirt and tap firm
  6. Seeds should be planted about 4" apart in rows
  7. Rows should be 36" apart
  8. Soil needs to be kept moist throughout the growing season
  9. Hand Weed or Mulch to suppress weeds

DAYS to GERMINATE: approximately 7 to 9 days

 

THINNING: 

Broccoli seedlings should be set out approximately 24 inches apart. If direct seeded, thin your broccoli plants to 24 inches apart. When broccoli plants are to close together, small button type heads may grow instead of full normal size heads.

 

DAYS to MATURITY: 50 to 65 days

 

HOW to HARVEST: 

  • Begin cutting your broccoli as soon as full heads appear with tight buds and are fully developed
  • After main head has been cut, watch for lots of side shoots
  • Cut side shoots as sprigs of broccoli
  • If cabbage looper caterpillars are a problem, simply soak in salt water for 15 minutes and then rinse

 

 STORAGE IDEAS: for Broccoli

  • Wash and Store Broccoli for fresh eating
  • If cabbage looper caterpillars are a problem, soak for 15 minutes in salt water and then rinse
  • Store in crisper drawer
  • Rinse, Blanch and Freeze

 

 

Notes

  • BROCCOLI is a High Feeder: Remember to Rotate Your Crops
  • IF CABBAGE LOOPER CATERPILLARS are a problem: simply soak in salt water for 15 minutes and then rinse

NOTE: Cut Worms can destroy your broccoli seedlings overnight. Protect them now!


COMPANION PLANTING for Broccoli:

Broccoli loves to be planted by Beets, Celery, Lettuces, Onions, Spinach & Potatoes but NOT by Peppers, Tomatoes or Strawberry!

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How to Grow Broccoli is part of the How to Grow Series and first appeared on OriginalHomesteading.com

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