tips for planting broccoli

Tips For Planting Broccoli

tips for planting broccoli

Broccoli is a cool-season vegetable that prefers sunny locations and rich, well-draining soil. Incorporate organic matter and a complete fertilizer before planting seeds or transplants 1/4-1/2 inch deep in spring. Thin plants to 12-20 inches apart when seedlings are 2-3 inches tall.

Water consistently but avoid overwatering; broccoli seedlings and young plants can be damaged by too much water. Mulching conserves moisture and suppresses weeds.


Broccoli thrives in cool weather and does best when planted during the spring and fall. Its cool season status also means it’s a good vegetable to start indoors in soil specially formulated for starting seeds or in peat pots and transplanted outside as soon as the weather warms up. However, if you choose to plant directly outdoors, give your broccoli plants enough space – 18 inches or more between each seedling (depending on the variety). If you pack them in too tightly, the heads will suffer. Overcrowded plants are also susceptible to fungus, such as white rust or black leg, which rots the roots.

Before planting, amend your garden bed with compost and manure to improve nutrient levels and drainage. After planting, lightly mulch around each plant to hold in moisture and suppress weeds. Be sure to water as needed to maintain moist soil throughout the growing season, especially during germination. If conditions become too hot or dry, your broccoli may bolt (produce flower petals and seeds) before forming its tight head of buds.


A well-placed broccoli plant gets plenty of sun to grow large, firm heads. Check the heads often to ensure they are tightly closed; if they show signs of opening, cut them off right away to encourage more growth of bite-sized side shoots.

Whether you’re planting seed directly in the ground or starting seeds indoors, broccoli requires full-sun soil that’s rich in organic matter. Incorporate several inches of compost or manure to improve native soil, and amend it with lime if necessary.

When it’s time to transplant broccoli seedlings, harden them off a week or so before you put them outside for the day. Keep the plants in a sunny, protected spot and bring them back inside overnight to protect them from cool temperatures. As with all cool-season vegetables, proper soil and weather conditions are crucial to broccoli’s success. Keep up the good work, and you’ll soon be enjoying this delicious vegetable. Happy gardening!


Broccoli is a cool-season crop that thrives in mild, cool weather. It does not like heat and tends to bolt (go to seed) rapidly in warm weather. Because of this, you must plan carefully to ensure that the broccoli you grow comes to harvest in the right season.

In areas that experience a long growing season, you can plant broccoli seeds in the spring or summer for fall harvest. If you live in a short-season climate, it is best to start seeds indoors in late summer and transplant into the garden for fall planting.

Before you transplant the broccoli seedlings into your outdoor beds, amend the soil with some compost or manure to increase its fertility and drainage. Keep in mind that the ideal pH range for broccoli is 6.0 to 6.5. It is also important to water the soil regularly, but not excessively. When you water, avoid getting the plants’ leaves wet as this can encourage fungal disease.


Broccoli is a cool season vegetable, and it requires constant moisture in the soil to keep its leaves and stems green. If broccoli seedlings are exposed to drought, they may bolt (produce flower petals and seeds) before forming their main head.

To avoid this, plant in well-draining soil that has been amended with compost or manure before planting. A layer of mulch or hay will help retain moisture, especially in sandy, light soils.

As broccoli plants develop, weed regularly and apply a balanced vegetable fertilizer biweekly to encourage vigorous growth. Insects such as cabbage loopers and broccoli beetles can be a problem; protect young plants with a floating row cover until they have at least six leaves. If you do encounter these pests, control them by removing the caterpillars by hand or spraying them with a nontoxic biological pesticide such as Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki. A cloth shade cover can also help.