Growing Broccoli

Brassica sp. : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S               S    
    T               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 7°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 35 - 50 cm 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
  • Nearly ready for harvest
  • Early stage
  • 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

22 May 24, Madeleine (Canada - Zone 3a Temperate Short Summer climate)
I planted my seeds directly in the garden over the May long weekend. Will they grow?
10 Jun 24, (Canada - Zone 3a Temperate Short Summer climate)
Probably not, depends if you look after them carefully. It is a fine line between over watering and under watering. Then watering them regularly as they grow. Seedlings are very slow growing the first few weeks. Good luck.
13 Dec 23, STEVE (USA - Zone 8b climate)
is now a good time for Brocclli Planting?
13 Dec 23, (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Best to wait until January/February if you can
31 Mar 23, marco (Australia - tropical climate)
one of my plants flowers so i pulled it out .space ...the others are looking good !! i have noticed the lush green look has a glowing yellow look in the leaves .any tips .
08 Feb 23, marco (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
my broccoli did seed and they grew wild in the garden .Today replant in a new area .so we see how they go ....just thought i reply to my post to let u know what can happen ..i live on the gold coast queensland .
03 Sep 22, marco (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
hi i live on the gold coast qld .my plants have been planted late in the season .they do not produce much so i let them grow for the seeds .they have the seed pods going on .if i let them grow and seeds drop .will they grow next season or do i have to collect the seeds for the next season .
30 Sep 22, Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
If you let the pods drop and they split, the seed may germinate in the next few weeks. Best to collect the dried pods before they fall and collect/store the seed for when you want to use them. Keep in mind, seed will not germinate true to type if the parent plant is a hybrid.
29 Sep 22, (Australia - tropical climate)
Broccoli seeds need to be planted very shallow to germinate - 2-3 times their diameter. Very hard to control that if you leave on the ground, Are the plants heirloom or hybrid. Hybrid don't grow true to type.
26 Jul 22, Fourester (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I tried seeding broccoli in mini pots for a fall crop, and apparently too much sun scorched the seedlings even though they were well watered. How much daily sun exposure should they get during 90 degree F temperatures? I am at home most days, so I can move them around.
Showing 1 - 10 of 313 comments

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