Fruit and Vegetable Gardening A-Z: Broccoli

Broccoli is a cool-weather vegetable, prone to expansive flowering when exposed to too much heat. Dense, dark-green heads are full of flavor, which, straight from the garden, is unbeatable!

Hardiness Zones:
5-11 (Find your hardiness zone.)

When to Plant:
Starter plants are available at nurseries and home improvement stores. Plant starters (seedlings) outside when all danger of frost has passed in mid-spring.

Broccoli prefers well-drained soil that is full of organic material and manure. Plant it in an open, sunny spot.

Space Needed:
Broccoli plants can grow up to 3 feet tall and need just as much space between each plant.

Broccoli benefits from continuous feedings, so enrich the soil well with compost and liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season. Regular watering is essential. Notice that when a stalk shows yellow, it is about to flower and render itself inedible. Never let the main head flower, because it's your only shot at a large head of broccoli. If it flowers, additional side shoots will not emerge.

When to Harvest:
A main head will appear in the center of the plant. Once lopped off (by you, hopefully), smaller side shoots develop and continue to produce throughout the season.

Average Yield:
Expect 2-3 pounds of broccoli per plant over the growing season.

Continuous Yield:

Life Cycle:

Difficulty Rating (1-5):