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Growing Broccoli

Savor Sweet, Delicious Yields Picked from Your Garden

Subspecies: Brassica oleracea var. italica

Growing broccoliBroccoli is an annual that grows best in cool weather (60° F). Growing broccoli can be done in the spring and in the fall, but it does not bloom well in hot weather.

Romanesco varieties make nice additions to landscaping arrangements.

Broccoli is very high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A and is sometimes considered to be a ‘super vegetable’ in that it is one of the most nutritious vegetables, jam-packed with a number of essential vitamins.

Read on for our full guide on how to grow broccoli.


Seeds should be planted at a depth of ½ inch.  Seeds should be placed in the ground from late spring through the first half of June. Soil temperature should be 70°- 80°F for adequate germination to occur within 4 – 7 days.  There should be 15 – 18 inches between seeds and 32 – 36 inches between rows after broccoli seedlings are transplanted or thinned.

Plants may be transplanted farther apart if the goal is to harvest larger heads of broccoli. If smaller, more tender heads are desired, space plants closer together. By harvesting early, and small, a higher yield may be achieved by the harvesting of a second round of heads.

Some varieties of broccoli will form abnormally tiny heads if the temperatures become unseasonably warm.  These heads should be removed.

A new round of seeds may be planted in late July for an early fall harvest.

In Zone 7 and warmer, fall broccoli crops will often overwinter.

Broccoli plants have shallow root systems. The soil surface should not be cultivated with tools. Adequate mulching must be used to retain soil moisture and prevent weeds from taking hold.


Amadeus is a mid-sized broccoli with fancy heads that are dark blueish green.  The heads are especially round and dome shaped. This variety produces a large number of heads for secondary harvesting.  Amadeus can be planted for early and late harvests.

Marathon is a late season type of broccoli and is known for performing well, even in cold temperatures. It is an ideal fall broccoli.


Remove Cabbage worms manually and destroy them. Using row covers made of netting or tightly woven cheesecloth will help protect the plants from Cabbage worm damage. Row covers need to be removed from the plant rows once summer temperatures are consistently above 78°F.

Home Storage

Store broccoli dry and unwashed in a plastic bag or in an open bowl in the refrigerator. Broccoli will keep up to 10 days after harvest.

Broccoli may be chopped and blanched, then frozen in plastic bags or air tight containers. Fall harvests that are frozen will last through the winter. Broccoli stalks should not be discarded. The stalks can be chopped or dices and frozen along with the heads. Stalks may also be cooked and pureed, then frozen for use in soup stocks and egg dishes.