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.
- 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.
- Space 18-24″ apart in a warm, sunny area of your garden.
- If you happen to overseed, thin seedlings out to 12″ .
- 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 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!
- 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:
- Downy Mildew
- Flea Beetles
- Cabbage Loopers
- Cabbage Worms
- Nitrogen Deficiency -Try using Azomite to add some nitrogen during transplanting.