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Growing Broccoli

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S T             S T T

(Best months for growing Broccoli in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings

  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 45°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 14 - 20 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-16 weeks. Cut flowerhead off with a knife..
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile, oregano)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chilli, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • Early stage
  • Nearly ready for harvest
  • Side shoot regrowth after main head cut

Keep well-watered as seedlings. If left without water they will bolt to seed and be inedible. The plants should grow to develop plenty of large healthy leaves, then the green flowerheads follow, which are cut for eating. Leave the plant growing after cutting the main flowerhead, and get additional crops from the sideshoots which will develop.

Watch for cabbage white butterflies and remove the eggs and caterpillars as soon as possible.

There are two main types of broccoli. The purple sprouting is hardier. The heading varieties cope well with warmer weather.

Once a plant opens its yellow flowers then it is generally past eating as the flavour gets a bit overpowering and the plant gets very woody. Harvest them sooner rather than later.

'Broccolini' is a variety grown for the edible stalks. Grow fast with plenty of water and food, and pick as soon as possible.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Broccoli

The stem (peeled), leaves, and flowerhead are all edible.

Steam for best flavour. Peel large stalks, slice and steam.
Goes well with blue cheese sauce.

Your comments and tips

15 Sep 18, C (Australia - temperate climate)
Broccoli variety for warmer weather, Melbourne spring
16 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Look up some seed selling websites and pick the one you want to grow.
29 Aug 18, hayden (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
i live in hanmer springs, i have grown broccoli under greenhouse to protect from harsh frosts we get here. they have grown all through winter and i harvested the heads few weeks ago, and have been eating the side shoots ever since. june july they stopped growing hibernated, but last month has seen warmish temps so evrything has shot away. greenhouses are great.
16 Aug 18, KOBAMO NTWAETSILE (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
greetings farmers. I need advice on how and when to produce broccoli vegetable in Botswana. the good responsive type for our climate condition. thanks in advance
27 Jul 18, Ann (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
First time of growing broccoli we had brought from nursery and planted they have just not long got a head and have notice that there is little ones on the plant also from what I have been reading through that doesn't usually happen til after the main head has been cut but for some reason it is just wondering if this has happened to anybody else
30 Jul 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
My broccoli last year/this year were like that. My plants were way too big (too much Nitrogen) - all leaf and very little heads. Try planting after a crop that has used the N and if you have to, add a bit of fertiliser when the plants are half grown. A small amount.
01 Aug 18, Ann (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks for that I do put seasol on them every couple weeks as I have a few different things growing in the same area so it all gets done
10 Aug 18, (Australia - tropical climate)
If you prepare your ground before hand and have added compost/manure/fertiliser then the plants won't need any more feed while growing.
24 Jul 18, Steve (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I'm growing broccolini, they are shooting but they're changing into yellow flowers. what should I do? this is my first time ever that I'm trying growing them. Thanks
25 Jul 18, Frank (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
You should have picked them before they flowered.
Showing 1 - 10 of 252 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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