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Growing & Caring for Broccoli

Broccoli is a cool-weather crop and can be grown in spring and fall in all zones, and even during winter in mild-weather areas. Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and is high in vitamins. Waltham produces a large head with long stalks and has steady side shoot production.

How to Grow Broccoli:

*Broccoli can germinate in soil temperatures as low as 40 degrees, but we still like to start ours indoors.

Indoors

  • Seeds should be started indoors 7-9 weeks before your last spring frost.
  • Plant the broccoli seed about a half inch below the surface of the soil.

Outdoors

  • Space 18-24″ apart in a warm, sunny area of your garden.
  • If you happen to overseed, thin seedlings out to 12″ .

Transplanting

  • Begin hardening off at least 10 days before you plan to transplant.
  • Broccoli plants are ready for transplant when they have at least two sets of true leaves.
  • Space 12-24″ apart in rows spaced 2 1/2 – 3 feet apart.

Harvest

  • Harvest when the heads get firm but before the flowers bloom and cut about 5″ of stem along with the head. Cut at a diagonal.
  • You can store broccoli in a loose plastic bag for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Be sure you don’t put the broccoli away wet or it will get limp and moldy.
  • You can blanch and freeze broccoli for up to one year. Great when you have a surplus!

Growing Tips

  • Keep your watering consistent. This is so important for the growth of plants!
  • When watering, be sure not to get developing heads wet.
  • Broccoli roots stay near the surface of the soil so use mulch for weeds rather than pulling them and disturbing the root system.

Pests to Watch For:

  • Aphids
  • Downy Mildew
  • Flea Beetles
  • Cabbage Loopers
  • Cabbage Worms
  • Whiteflies
  • Clubroot
  • Nitrogen Deficiency -Try using Azomite to add some nitrogen during transplanting.

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