How to grow broccoli

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

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.

How to grow broccoli seedlings

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 27th January, 2021.

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.

The seeds are quite fine and small but they sprout without difficulty. Plant them thinly in a gtray, 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 some that tolerate heat. Talk to your nurseryman.

The seed should sprout within a week. These are nearly a month old.

Watering with a very-dilute solution of leachate from a worm farm will give them a great start.

Dig a trench at least a foot deep and fill about half of it with 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.

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. The worm farm speeds this process up reducing it to a few weeks.

Planting broccoli trench

How to grow broccoli

Plant the young seedlings about 18 inches 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 which usually lurks nearby, waiting for the new seedling to be planted; particularly when you have had wet-weather followed by heat.

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 competition; at this stage there is 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 is 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 is excellent prevention of osteoporosis. It is 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 is 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.

Growing 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-cans a day is ample, but then we get plenty of summer rain.

In the dry season harvested rainwater makes ample provision from our large-reservoir.

How to grow broccoli medium sized plants

Broccoli facts - osteoarthritis

We do not eat broccoli just because it tastes so good. It is also one of the most important anti-tumour vegetables.

You might like to consider these broccoli facts.

In addition, it has scientifically-proven broccoli osteoarthritis prevention properties.

All in it is a big-win vegetable. It tastes great and, if you follow these simple rules about how to grow broccoli, you will find it very easy; plus its anti-tumour and prevention of arthritis properties certainly make it a winner.

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

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

Anti-tumour broccoli

Broccoli is rich in plant compounds that reduce the formation of tumours; that is why I call her the queen of the vegetable-garden. Read more at what are phytosterols?

It is also hugely important for those having difficulties controlling blood glucose, critical at this coronavirus point in time. Sulforaphane for diabetics is the critical phytochemical that enhances wellness and gives protection against disease; a so-called functional food.

Copy and paste "what are phytosterols" into this search engine for more information.

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 and hail storms. Despite the apparent devastation we had one of our best broccoli crops ever; plenty of humus and water is the secret.


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • Investing in long-term health
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Hail and lightning bring in a large amount of nitrogen, which is just what the growing plants need; not unlike our bones require 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 harvest and store 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 soup using the liquid, or steam it.

Oops I do not have a photo of how to steam it, despite doing it so often; here is the broccoli-soup instead. And with homemade loaf which takes me five minutes every day using our small oven to make the finest low GI bread.

You will note that butter is back. Enjoy this kind of food on a regular basis and you need have no difficulty with your cholesterol. It is the hydrogenated-fat in margarine and many processed dishes that we need to be terrified of.

And the refined carbs; they are the source of the triglycerides that can choke up your liver.

Broccoli soup garden

Flowering broccoli

Do not turn your head for too long, or you will have a field of flowering broccoli. We have just come back from a three-week holiday and, low and behold the honeybees are having a field day.

Flowering broccoli


Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward HOW TO GROW BROCCOLI to a fellow bookworm. It is 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 something for you. It took me ten-years to write and publish A Family Affair; there was much scratching of the pate. It is a trilogy.

Sample chapter one from A Family Affair, my fourth-book. Jan Jansen ...

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