How to Grow Broccoli Plants
Broccoli is a tasty and nutritious cool weather crop. It is very popular
in home gardens. Broccoli is a member of the mustard family, and was
originally cultivated from wild cabbage. Like other members of the mustard
family, broccoli has a strong, distinct flavor.
Medical studies show that the Broccoli plant is beneficial to your health.
The studies suggest that they help to guard against cancer, especially colon
and rectal cancers.
In addition to all of the other benefits of Broccoli, it is low in calories.
Did you Know? One U.S. President openly proclaimed his distaste for
Broccoli. While he made a seemingly innocent statement of his food preferences,
it created quite a stir. Who is the President? If you guessed George Bush
(the first George), you are correct.
Days to Maturity:
Plants form a large head in about 85 - 90 days. After picking the primary
head, most varieties will produce secondary shoots with much smaller heads
all season long. They can be harvested well after the first frost in the
How to Grow Broccoli Plants:
Broccoli is a cool weather crop. The plants prefer full sun, and a rich garden
soil. It grows best in the spring and fall. Fall crops will survive long
after the first frost, and even after the first snowfall. Flavor is best
in cool and cold weather.
Ideal soil pH is 6.0 - 7.0. See:
Soil pH levels
Sow Broccoli seeds as early as the ground can be worked. We recommend an
early indoor start 3-4 weeks before the last frost. As soon as the garden
is ready for planting, transplant seedlings. Spring frosts will not affect
When growing broccoli, keep soil moist during the growing season. Fertilize
with a general purpose fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.
Harvest compact heads before they begin to flower. As soon as the first floret
begins to open, broccoli loses its sweet flavor and becomes bitter. Harvest
side shoots in the same manner.
Broccoli grows slowly in hot weather. It forms few heads during this period.
Most home gardeners avoid growing broccoli during the hot humid months of
summer. Once the weather cools in the fall, the plants produces smaller florets
Did You Know? Broccoli and Cauliflower are the only two vegetables
that are also flowers.
Temperatures - Ideal germination temperature by vegetable
Ideal Soil pH -
Insects and Pests:
Broccoli is extremely susceptible to insects. The most common insect
problems are aphids, and cabbage loopers.
Cabbage loopers are the larva stage of a moth. Those white moths that visit
your garden and yard are the culprits. Some people call them white butterflies.
Try placing a screen or insect netting over the plant, so the moth can not
lay her eggs. Commercial growers apply insecticides to control them.
Aphids are controlled by frequent spraying. Organic controls in the form
of soap or garlic sprays are also effective.
Broccoli plants are fairly resistant to most plant diseases.
More on Plant Problems
Broccoli thrives in cool and even cold weather. It can be among the first
plants in your garden each spring. Start them indoors, and plant them before
the last frost, freeze or snow. They will survive below thirty degrees. In
the fall, they will be your last crops to survive the increasingly frequent
Garden Broccoli Recipes: May we suggest:
on Growing Broccoli