Planting Depth:1/4” -1/2”
Days to Germination:7-15 days
Like all members of the Brassica family, Broccoli prefers sunny, cool weather, though some new cultivars can be more heat tolerant. Broccoli thrives in moderately fertile, well-draining soil. Raise as transplants, sowing in sterilized seed mix, 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Provide even moisture, good light and ventilation. Transplant out to the garden 2 to 3 weeks before the last expected frost. A complete organic fertilizer under each transplant will keep Broccoli happy all season. Don’t allow young transplants to dry out or they may bolt (go to seed). Harvest spears where they emerge from the main stem using a sharp blade before their buds open. Side shoots form after the main head has been harvested: continuous cutting of side shoots promotes additional side shoots. Wait 4 years before growing Broccoli in the same location.
A New Use for Old Leaves
Brassicas such as Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage benefit from a nitrogen boost. An excellent way to provide this—and trace minerals as well—is to till or fork some autumn leaves into the bed, the fall before planting. If the leaves have been composted for a year or two, so much the better.
A Swish in Time
The little green worms on your Broccoli are harmless--but not the most appetizing garnish. After picking, soak the heads for 10 minutes in a sink full of heavily salted water, then swish the Broccoli before removing it. The worms, killed by the salt, will fall to the bottom.
Let It Bloom
Nothing goes to seed quite as relentlessly as Broccoli. You are, after all, growing heads of tasty green buds, and a bud is determined to become a flower unless cool weather slows it down. One tries to keep up with the harvesting—to encourage the production of new bud-laden shoots—and to snip off flowering stalks promptly. After a certain point, the edible stalks diminish and soon the plant is a riot of yellow blooms. Tidy gardeners then rip the plants out and compost them. We like to leave some for the bees, who are grateful for this superior nectar source.
Deer Resistant Seed Varieties