How to grow broccoli

How to grow broccoli is really simple in a bit of compost and full sun; they need plenty of water.

How to grow broccoli seedlings

Some veggies are tricky to grow, others very straightforward; the queen is one of the easy ones. Plant the seed in a box in early spring and keep them in a warm spot; drill out the seedlings, water and wait for two months. That's it; oh, and bit of watering and weeding.

Yesterday it took me about two hours to prepare the ground, fetch two barrows of compost, plant and water 25 seedlings. Today is cool and misty and they look fantastic.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 23rd December, 2018.

By Bernard Preston

The seeds are quite fine and small but they sprout without difficulty. Plant them thinly in a seed box, and cover with fine earth, gently patted down.

Choose your hybrid carefully. Traditionally broccoli grows in the cooler weather, so we plant them at the end of summer, reaping them in winter and early spring. However today there are hybrids that tolerate some heat. Talk to your nurseryman.

The seed should sprout within a week. These are about three weeks old.

If you want super sweet tasty broccoli then your long term planning should include making a compost pile; it takes about three months for garden and kitchen refuse to break down to a nutritious humus for planting seedlings.

Dig a trench at least 12" deep and fill it with about 6" of your compost, if you have enough and really want to enrich your garden for years; otherwise just a spadeful in each hole will do. Cover with the top soil from your trench, heaping it up slightly allowing for subsidence.

Planting broccoli trench

How to grow broccoli

Plant the young seedlings about 18" apart, possibly covering them with little hats for the first week. Closer together if you have problems with cutworms and other bugs. Keep a few plants back to replace any that don't thrive. The good wife inspects every morning, searching for the pest who usually lurks nearby, waiting for the new seedling to be planted.

Water daily if there is no rain until they start to thrive.

Grow broccoli seedling

Growing broccoli

They are a bit untidy looking at this stage and, because of the abundant compost and water, the weeds flourish too. Later, the coverage will increase, crowding out the weeds; at this stage there's quite a lot of work for the hoe.

How to grow broccoli small plants

Planting broccoli

The most difficult part of planting broccoli is simply the decision to make a start; oh, and getting the compost in. That's pretty back breaking stuff.

Always start your gardening day with our lower back exercises; digging trenches and bringing out wheelbarrows of compost is all hard work.

On the plus side, gardening is the very best for the soul, and it's excellent prevention of osteoporosis. It's hard physical work that causes your bones to demand calcium from the gut; otherwise it just passes straight through unused and your skeleton slowly become weaker.

An osteoporotic fracture is not just painful; it's extremely debilitating. And quite scary when, for the first time, you have to use a walker and a stick; a substantial number of people die within a year.

The cure is prevention; planting broccoli.

Grow broccoli is certainly not difficult. At this stage the leaves are large and they will starting shading out the opposition. Nevertheless keep weeding, and watering if the soil dries out. We find two watering cans a day is ample, but then we get plenty of summer rain. In the winter, rainfall harvested water makes ample provision from our large reservoir.

How to grow broccoli medium sized plants

Broccoli facts - osteoarthritis

We don't just eat broccoli 'cause it tastes so good. It's also one of the most important anti-cancer vegetables. You might like to consider these broccoli facts ...

In addition, broccoli has scientifically proven broccoli osteoarthritis prevention properties; anti-arthritis that is.

All in all, it's a win-win veg. Broccoli tastes great and, if you follow this How to grow Broccoli, you find it very easy to grow; plus it's anti-cancer and anti-arthritis properties certainly make it a winner.

There are lots of ways to enjoy broccoli, like this BROCCOLI WALNUT SALAD for example.

Incidentally, don't pull the plant out once you've cut the main head. The small florets that will keep coming for months are where the richest anti-cancer compounds are to be found. The flowers are lovely on a salad too.

Anti cancer broccoli

Broccoli is rich in plant anti cancer compounds; that's why I call her the queen of the vegetable garden. Read more at what are phytosterols?

Despite a severe hailstorm the broccoli is doing great. Small heads are starting to form.

Weather is always a factor in the veggie garden; hot spells, drought, hail storms. Despite the apparent devastation of this storm we had one of our best broccoli crops.

Hail brings in a large amount of nitrogen, just what the growing plants need; not unlike our bones need calcium, right?

Far more than from hail and lightening though, nitrogen fixation bacteria in the roots of legumes like pole beans provide most of this essential element to our growing broccoli plants.

Provision of water for your vegetable garden is a vital part of gardening; perhaps you have a abundant, cheap municipal water supply. If not, building a reservoir to collect rainwater is an option.

It needs a pump unless you have a sloping property to give you a good head of water; irrigating from a trickling hose is an unnecessary and dull chore.

Perhaps this rainwater harvesting model that I used may interest you.

Broccoli head

How to steam broccoli

Much of the nutrients are leached out in the water used to cook your broccoli; either make a rich broccoli soup, or steam it with a minimum of water.

Oops, I don't have a photo of how to steam broccoli, despite doing it so often; here's the broccoli soup instead. And homemade bread; it takes me five minutes every other day using our bread machine to make the finest low GI bread. You'll note that butter is back. Enjoy this kind of food on a regular basis and you'll have no difficulty with your cholesterol. It's the hydrogenated fats in margarine that we need to be terrified of.

Broccoli soup garden

Flowering broccoli

Don't turn your head for too long, or you'll have a field of flowering broccoli. We've just come back from a three week holiday and, low and behold... the honeybees are having a field day.

Flowering broccoli
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Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward HOW TO GROW BROCCOLI to a fellow bookworm. It's in the quiet of the garden that many of the characters in my Bernard Preston books come to life. Have you met Janet and Santie? If you too find the anomalous fascinating in life, this may be a book for you. It took me ten years to write and publish A Family Affair; there was much scrathing of the pate! It's a trilogy.

Backcover Book I: The Bostonians.

A Family Affair is the heart-warming trilogy about family with a difference. It has two Moms, but no Dad.

Janet has a happy childhood; it’s at her Diocesan  School for Girls where she first tastes the forbidden fruit. But Santie’s mother dies and the child is sexually abused by her father. Whilst at the Police College a gate slams shut, wiping all memory of her abused childhood from Santie’s mind, but leaving her sexually very conflicted.

After studying law, Janet and Santie’s friendship blossoms whilst doing their articles, but Janet is raped by their boss at a beach party. Deciding to keep the child, Klein-Jan is the honey in the sandwich that sweetens and cements their relationship; until the toddler is kidnapped by his father.

Darkness ensues. Eventually, in desperation, their gynaecologist suggests that they have another child. But how do two women conceive a baby?

Book II: Peter’s Children

Enter Peter Thomas… is it possible for a man to be hoodwinked into siring four children and be none the wiser?

Book III: The Return

Concealed in Holland from Interpol by his father, Klein-Jan, now aged twenty, undertakes a journey to discover his roots.

Set in South Africa, A Family Affair is both a lighthearted and easy read, but also takes an inside look at serious issues; women in love, rape, abortion, AIDS and the profound love of a grandmother. It was from her home that KJ was kidnapped.

Rather more than a Mills and Boon! Sample a few free chapters of Bernard Preston at the A Family Affair home page from the navigation bar on your left.

Sample chapter one. Jan Jansen ...

Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie. Or, better still, Face Book or Twitter it. 


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Hilton, KZN

South Africa


What's this site about?

Bernard Preston books

A family affair by Bernard Preston comes after the trilogy that starts with Frog in my Throat.
Femoral nerve AP Xray from one of Bernard Preston's books.

Bernie's choice foods

Cooking green beans Bernard Preston passion

Bernie's bread

Bread machine loaf by Bernard Preston

Bernie's garden

green beans and granadillas Bernard Preston

Bernie's bees

Bees workforce in Bernard Preston's garden

Bernie's chickens

Chickens for free range eggs.

Bernie's solar

Residential solar panels at Bernard Preston's home

Bernie's rainwater harvest

Harvesting rainwater to a reservoir in the garden means a steady supply that is unpolluted by environmental toxins.