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How to Grow Broccoli in a Container

By Shelly McRae

Broccoli can be grown in containers on your porch or patio. A cool weather crop, broccoli can grow to be two to three feet wide and 12 to 15 inches high. The wide spread of this member of the cabbage family can add a lush look to your container garden. Sage, thyme and rosemary all deter cabbage fly, which can harm broccoli plants. Placing containers of these herbs near your broccoli plants may aid in keeping your plants healthy, and are nice additions to your kitchen garden.

Plant seeds indoors in mid August. Broccoli seeds germinate in temperatures ranging from 75 to 80 degrees. Keep them in indirect sunlight and allow them to grow two to three inches tall before moving them outside.

Harden off your seedlings by introducing them to the outdoors. Leave them out on a table in direct sunlight early in the morning for no more than three hours. Do this for at least two weeks.

Prepare pots for the seedlings. Use one five-gallon pot per seedling or two to three seedlings in a 15-gallon trough or tub. The containers should be light in color, porous and have drainage holes on the bottom.

Use a soil mix that is designed for container gardening. These soil mixes are lower in nitrogen and dry out more quickly than in-ground soil. Watch the water content of your soil closely; you do not want it to become too wet or too dry.

Plant your seedlings in mid September. Broccoli is a cool weather crop. Broccoli plants prefer partial shade and the containers shouldn’t be allowed to heat up the soil to more than 80 degrees.

Do not over-water the seedlings. Allow the water to warm or cool to the ambient temperature before adding it to the container.

As the plants grow, check for pests such as cutworm and cabbage worms. Remove any pests immediately. Keeping the containers 24 to 36 inches apart as the plants mature will help prevent infestation and promote air circulation.

Harvest the central head as it comes to maturity. Side heads will continue to grow well into the cooler weather. These can be harvested as they mature.


Things You Will Need

  • Seeds Pots Soil

About the Author


Shelly McRae is a freelance writer residing in Phoenix, Ariz. Having earned an associate degree from Glendale Community College with a major in graphic design and technical writing, she turned to online writing. McRae has written articles for multiple websites, drawing on her experience in the home improvement industry and hydroponic gardening.