Tips for broccoli planting

Written by Joy

Nov 02 2021

Tips for broccoli planting
Broccoli is a delicious vegetable rich in vitamins. It is one of the easiest plants to grow in the cruciferous family and requires little maintenance during the planting cycle. Besides, it also  belongs to the cruciferous family with cabbage. The unique thing about broccoli is that it can be harvested twice a year (autumn and summer). Now, its time for every gardeners to find a piece of sunny and fertile soil in your garden and start growing broccoli!

1. Planting time of broccoli

Many people think that broccoli can only grow one season, but it's not true. Broccoli can be grown in two seasons, in March and July. It's a good choice to start planting in mid-March and harvest in early June. If it is planted in early July, the harvest will be ready by mid-September. Because broccoli prefers warm, cooler weather, the harvest in March is generally better than the harvest in July.

The method of planting broccoli

Sowing broccoli

Test soil pH

Broccoli is suitable to grow in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Gardeners can detect soil pH and add different nutrients to adjust soil acidity. During the planting process, the medicine regularly checks the soil pH.
The local agricultural extension department should be able to provide soil testing tools and methods.
If the soil pH is below 6.0, you can use acid compost or compost.
If the soil pH is higher than 7.0, adding sulfur particles to mix is also a good choice.

Make sure the soil is fertile and well drained

If the soil does not meet the above conditions, you'd better need to make the necessary preparations.
If the soil is prone to waterlogging, experts recommend that you consider building a garden planting tube to lift the soil off the ground. If possible, it is necessary to use cypress as a plant box, because cypress will not rot when exposed to water.
To make the soil more fertile, you can add four inches of mature compost to the soil. If the soil is very poor, organic fertilizer with high nitrogen content can also be added.
Organic fertilizers like alfalfa, cottonseed meal, manure, etc. are very suitable for growing broccoli.

Choose a sunny area for broccoli

Although broccoli likes the sun, it also needs some shade.

Sowing broccoli seeds directly outdoors

If the broccoli is harvested in summer, sow it two to three weeks before the last spring frost. If it is an autumn harvest, sow directly outdoors 85-100 days before the first autumn frost.
Rotate seeds indoors. If you want to plant seeds indoors, youd better plant them in peat pots or other small broccoli seedling pots, and pay attention to ensuring sufficient sunlight.
The steps of indoor seeding are the same as outdoor broccoli seeding, except that no dilution is required when separating plant broccoli seedlings.
You'd better dig rows of 1.25 cm deep pits, each row 7.5-15 cm apart. You should put a few broccoli seeds in each pit and fill it with soil.
If planting outdoors, gently rake the soil with a rake so that the soil covers the broccoli seeds without harming the seeds.
If planting in a peat pot, you'd better use your fingers to lightly cover the broccoli seeds with soil.

Soak the soil with water

But be careful not to leave puddles, the broccoli needs to be well drained. If growing indoors, moisten the soil with a spray bottle.

Adjust soil temperature

When planting broccoli seedlings outdoors, it's a good choice to use mature compost, leaves or bark as organic mulch to make the soil temperature suitable. If the planting area is cold, it is recommended that gardeners can cover with black plastic to increase the soil temperature. You can buy plastic coverings in the garden supply warehouse, but use black plastic that is not too hard like oilcloth.

Outdoor thinning

When the broccoli seedlings grow to a height of 2.5 cm, they need to be thinned in order to give them enough space to grow. You could leave broccoli seedlings that look relatively healthy and thin the seedlings at intervals to ensure enough space between the seedlings to grow.

Indoor broccoli seedling transplantation

Seedlings need to be transplanted when they grow to a height of 10-15 cm. It usually takes six weeks to transplant seedlings. The height and development of the broccoli seedlings are much more important than the germination time.
It's necessary to water the broccoli seedlings thoroughly before placing them. Before transplanting seedlings, youd better ensure that you have roughly completed a suitable soil preparation method, including fertilization.
Dig a hole about 7.5 cm deep and plant the broccoli seedlings at 0.4-0.6 meters apart. It's a good choice to bury the soil in the bottom leaves of the plant, but don't cover it. Small varieties can be planted one foot apart.

Adjust the soil temperature.

When planting broccoli seedlings outdoors, you'd better use mature compost, leaves or bark as organic mulch to make the soil temperature suitable. Covering the cross with black plastic increases the soil temperature. Don't forget to water the soil thoroughly after transplanting.

Conserve broccoli

Water the broccoli on time

You'd better water 2.5-3.75 cm deep every week, and plant broccoli to keep the soil moist.
If you want to grow broccoli more professionally, you can use a rain gauge to measure the moisture of the soil.
Be careful not to water the broccoli flower bones when watering, as that will make the flower bones moldy.
If it is under extremely hot or extremely dry conditions, watering should be added.

Fertilize every three weeks after planting broccoli

When fertilizing broccoli when new leaves are growing, it's time to use organic fertilizer with high nitrogen content like fish emulsifier. Fast results need to be fertilized twice a week in real time.

Don't dig pits to transfer soil

The roots of broccoli seedlings are very shallow. Turning the soil may cause accidental damage to the root system and affect the growth of broccoli.
If there are weeds around the broccoli, you'd better use mulch to suppress the growth of the weeds instead of pulling them out directly, otherwise the root system of the broccoli may be damaged.
Chemical pesticides can also be used to remove weeds, so that the root system of broccoli will not be damaged.

Harvest broccoli

The broccoli can be harvested when the flower bones are tightly closed and dark green. You'd better not wait until the flowers turn light green or yellow before harvesting. When the corolla reaches the stem, cut it off with garden shears.
For the growth period of special varieties of broccoli, please refer to the Select Varieties section.
Do not break the corolla. Its a good idea to cut with scissors to use the next growth.
After cutting the corolla correctly, new buds of broccoli will grow on one side of the stem.

Broccoli Select variety

Choose a large-headed broccoli variety

If you want enough growth space, you can choose a large-headed broccoli variety. Large-headed broccoli varieties can grow large corollas between fall and spring. These are the most common varieties. If planting these broccoli varieties in spring, it usually takes 50-70 days to mature, and if planting in autumn, they usually mature in 65-90 days. There are the following varieties of large heads
Vegetative bud

Sprout varieties can be planted in warm winter

The characteristics of the smear bud varieties are that they look thicker but have smaller corollas and grow well in autumn and winter. If planted in spring, it usually takes 50-70 days to mature, and if planted in autumn, it usually matures in 65-90 days. There are the following varieties of wiping buds:
De Cicco
Purple Peacock
Purple Spruce

Fertile soil can grow Roman broccoli varieties

The corolla of Roman broccoli varieties is vortex or cone, which is very beautiful when grown in the garden, and it is very crisp to eat. Roman broccoli varieties are best grown at around 80°C and require sufficient water. If planted in spring, it usually takes 75-90 days to mature, if planted in autumn, it usually takes 85-100 days to harvest. The Roman varieties are as follows:
Rome Italy

Broccoli Rab grows faster in cool weather

These varieties can harvest buds, so they are more fragrant than other varieties. If planted in spring, it usually matures in 40-55 days, and if planted in autumn, it usually matures in 50-75 days. There are the following varieties of broccoli rags:
Early Autumn Rapini


White and purple broccoli varieties are sown after the spring frost.
When transplanting broccoli seedlings, the expected maturity period should be at least 10 days less than expected.
Broccoli can germinate at a temperature of 4.5°C. (Find more Winter Vegetables here.)
Dwarf beans, cucumbers, carrots, beets and broccoli are good symbiotic plants and can be planted in the same vegetable garden.
Note that if the weather is warm, it is best to plant broccoli seedlings in the fall.


Broccoli is easily bitten by cabbage caterpillars and loopworms. Check the broccoli every day to remove parasites on the plant. You can also plant broccoli under the mulch, or use BTK, rotenone, pyrethrum and other chemical agents to remove pests.
In summer, cabbage bug larvae and locusts tend to bite broccoli.

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10 Best Winter Vegetables that Improve Your Health