How to Plant & Grow Broccoli

Overview

Homegrown broccoli can be nutritious and tasty when it is eaten fresh from the garden or cooked. Luckily you can easily plant and grow broccoli with a bit of site preparation and regular watering. Broccoli is a hardy plant that enjoys cooler weather and can be planted in early spring in most regions. Plan to plant two to four broccoli plants for every household member.

Step 1

Select a site for your broccoli which receives only about two hours of direct sunlight each day. The planting site should have good drainage, but not dry out completely.

Step 2

Test your soil following the directions on your test kit to determine the nutrient and pH levels and treat as needed to adjust it to the needs of growing broccoli. Broccoli prefers average levels of nitrogen and high levels of phosphorus and potassium, as well as a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8.

Step 3

Dig the soil to break it apart as much as possible and mix the lower soil with top soil. Add a layer of garden soil or compost to the top of the bed and mix it in thoroughly.

Step 4

Dig a hole for each broccoli seedling the size of the pot it is in, spacing each plant 18 inches apart with rows set 30 inches apart. Place a seedling in each hole and press the soil around it lightly to hold the seedling in place. Broccoli only grows to two or three feet high, so no staking is needed.

Step 5

Water the seedlings well enough to make the soil damp all around and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season. Avoid wetting the foliage when you water to keep the chance of disease down.

Step 6

Treat your broccoli for pests with your desired method of commercial or organic pesticides as needed to ensure your broccoli leaves are intact and able to supply energy to the forming head. Other pests, such as rodents, typically aren't a problem, however, use fences as needed to keep them away from the garden if they become an issue.

Step 7

Plan to harvest your broccoli in 55 to 85 days after you have transplanted your seedlings. When you cut the head, be sure to do so just below the usable florets and not by removing the entire plant. Any side stems which are left will form new heads which can be harvested when they are mature.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and pH
  • Shovel
  • Garden soil or compost
  • Hand trowel
  • Broccoli seedlings
  • Water
  • Pesticides, as needed
  • Knife

References

  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
Keywords: growing broccoli, planting broccoli, growing broccoli how-to

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for WidescreenWarrior.com as a contributor and podcast co-host.