Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Broccoli

Broccoli Florets


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Broccoli is a cool-season crop that, like spinach, can be grown in the spring or fall. Here’s how to grow broccoli in your garden.

With broccoli, you may even be able to get a continual harvest throughout the summer and fall if you practice succession gardening. A member of the cabbage family, broccoli is rich in vitamins.


  • Broccoli can germinate in soil with temperatures as low as 40ºF.
  • Broccoli requires full sun and moist, fertile soil that’s slightly acidic. Work in 2 to 4 inches of rich compost or a thin layer of manure before planting. (Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting.)
  • For spring plantings, seed or set transplants 2 to 3 weeks before last spring frost date. (See local frost dates.) If you transplant, assume 10 less days for growth or the “days to maturity” on the seed packet.
  • For fall plantings, seed 85 to 100 days before your average first fall frost. If you live in a warm climate, a fall planting is best, as broccoli thrives in cool weather. Plant seeds in mid- to late-summer in most places.
  • Plant seeds ½ inch deep, or set transplants slightly deeper than they were grown originally.
  • Within a row, space your plants 12 to 24 inches apart with 36 inches between each row.
  • Space plants 12 to 24 inches apart, depending on the side heads you want to harvest.
  • If you overseed, you will need to thin seedlings to 12 inches apart to give room for the broccoli to grow.


  • Fertilize three weeks after transplanting.
  • Provide consistent soil moisture with regular watering, especially in drought conditions. Some varieties of broccoli are heat tolerant, but all need moisture.
  • Do not get developing heads wet when watering.
  • Roots are very shallow, do not cultivate. Suffocate weeds with mulch.
  • Mulch will also help to keep soil temperatures down.
  • Learn more about taking care of your broccoli plant.


  • Flea Beetles
  • Aphids: Curling leaves may mean that the plant’s sap is being sucked by insects. Apply soapy water to all sides of leaves whenever you see aphids.
  • Downy mildew: Yellow patches on leaves are usually caused by moist weather. Keep leaves as dry as possible with good air circulation. Buy resistant varieties.
  • Cabbage loopers: Small holes on the leaves between the veins mean small green caterpillars are present. Look at the undersides of the leaves. Hand pick if the problem is small or control with Bacillus thuringiensis. Use a floating row cover just after planting through harvest to prevent caterpillars.
  • Cabbageworms and other worm pests: Treat same as loopers.
  • Cabbage root maggots
  • Whiteflies
  • Nitrogen deficiency: If the bottom leaves turn yellow and the problem continues toward the top of the plant, the plants need a high nitrogen (but low phosphorus) fertilizer or blood meal. Blood meal is a quick nitrogen fix for yellowing leaves.
  • Clubroot: Quickly wilting plants may be due to this fungus in the soil. The entire plant, including all roots and root tendrils, must be gently dug up and removed. If the roots are gnarled and misshapen, then clubroot is the problem. Act quickly to remove the plants so that the fungus doesn’t continue to live in the soil. Do not compost the plants. Raise the pH of your soil to above 7.2. You may need to sterilize your soil, too.
  • Woodchucks


  • In terms of timing: Harvest broccoli when the buds of the head are firm and tight before the heads flower. If you do see yellow petals, harvest immediately.
  • For best taste, harvest in the morning before the soil heats up.
  • Cut heads from the plant. taking at least 6 inches of stem.
  • Cut the stalk of the main head at a slant, about 5 to 8 inches below the head.
  • Most varieties have side-shoots that will continue to develop after the main head is harvested. You can harvest from one plant for many weeks, in some cases, from spring to fall, if your summer isn’t too hot.
  • Store broccoli in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you wash before storing, make sure to dry it thoroughly.
  • Broccoli can be blanched and frozen for up to one year.
  • Learn more tips on harvesting broccoli.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom


Reader Comments

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I have planted my seeds in a burpee starter container 4 days ago and they have sprouted, if I wait 6-8 weeks before transplanting them outside after hardening them it will be around June 3rd (here in Massachusetts our last frost is around the first week of May). Is that timing ok, or did I really have to start them 6-8 BEFORE the last frost? I don't want to transplant them in June if that's bad timing and they won't grow. Thank you!

Broccoli started...

Read the information above, Franciele. Broccoli likes cool weather. Check your frost date here, and consider that the date is an average, not an absolute. Conditions in different parts of Massachusetts (as anywhere) can vary widely. As for starting 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost, that’s the idea, but it offers flexibility (two weeks’ worth or so). While we do not write seed packet directions, that time range is suggested to give the grower a wide window of opportunity to get seed started. Ideally, you should have started the seeds six to eight weeks before the first week of May. Watch your plants’ progress; it may be that they will be ready to transplant before June. If this doesn’t work out to your satisfaction, buy some seedlings and plan differently next year—or try to get a fall broccoli crop.

Adding Broccoli!

I have killed indoor plants, so I never thought I would be able to maintain a vegetable garden. For the past 4 years, with the help of your site, tips and the email sowing reminders, I have a garden and am able to provide fresh, pesticide free vegetables to my family, neighbors and others! Thank you to the people who maintain this site. This year we add broccoli!


I live in Amarillo texas. We have had some warmer weather this winter and was wondering when the best time to plant would be. Our days are ranging around 40-80 f and the nights are still in the low 30s with a couple of 20s coming up. Should i wait about 1 more month to sow outdoors?

Tip for getting a second broccoli head

I've been using a technique that most of the time produces a second head after a light harvest of the florets that come after the first head is harvested. By then the plant is large and is often infested with aphids or shows some signs of stress. So long as it has not been permitted to bolt by keeping the florets harvested, this technique works about 80% of the time. It might work for plants that only produce a button head as well.

Simply cut the plant back to the point on the stem where there are two good leaves remaining at the base. Yes, that means that most of the plant will be taken off, leaving only a sad looking stump and a couple of leaves. Side dress with well rotted compost and work that into the top couple of inches of soil. Water it in and just keep the soil moist. I use a 4 inch wood chip mulch to keep it moist and the soil cool.

Within a few weeks a leaf bud followed by a new stalk will appear in the crotch of one or both remaining leaves. If there are two, select the most vigorous and clip the other one. That sprouting stalk will thicken up and will produce a new head in 4 to 6 weeks. Because it is growing as an offshoot it may need staking to keep it off the ground. I have gotten 6 inch heads that are ready to harvest in early fall by doing this and it lets me skip replanting seedlings in the heat of summer. I live in a zone 4; central Canada.

Broccoli HEAD is firm but is yellow with brown spots

Hi... I'm a new gardener. Most of my brocolli plants are doing well but one plant has a floret that has more yellow in it with brown flecks... not mold tho. The floret is firm and it looked like this since it was a bud. I wish I can attach a picture.
Is this floret diseased? Should I just toss it in our compost bin?

Yellow Broccoli Floret

Yes, cut it off and throw it in the compost heap. It sounds past its prime and on its way to making seed.




Broccoli Growing

Is it good to remove the larger leaves from the plant to allow it to give more to the heads

growing broccoli

No, leaf removal does not help growth In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Until the broccoli head is harvested, do not remove the leaves because this is the way the broccoli feeds itself and grows.  If you like eating the leaves (which are fully edible), harvest once the main head is gone. This may affect growth of side sprouts, but it’s generally fine.

Need to join almanac

Good workload

got head of broccoli

I planted broccoli and it did grow. Got a head and then some side ones grew but not to big at all. Now I have flowers growing on top. What do I do? Pull out the whole plants or do I just cut them down? Help?!

flowering main head

If your main head shows signs of beginning to flower, harvest it immediately, taking at least 6 inches from the stem; cut at a slant. Ideally, you should harvest the head before those buds open, because it will be a little tougher and may not be as tasty, but they are still edible, especially if just a few of the flower buds have started to open.

The plant may also, as you have found, produce side shoots that will continue to develop after the main head is harvested. These will not develop into large heads, but are useful to harvest as florets. When they are of a decent size, harvest them to encourage more to develop. Eventually, after several weeks, the plant will stop producing. For more tips on harvesting, check the “Harvest/Storage” section in the above article. Hope this helps!


How do you determine when it is mature enough to harvest

When to Harvest Broccoli

Hi Floyd, it is best to harvest broccoli when  the buds of the head are firm and tight before the heads flower. 

looking for broccoli farmers

I am interested in buying broccoli for shipping weekly

Pulling the Broccoli Plant

When should you pull out your broccoli plant from your garden?

end of broccoli season

If the pant is no longer producing, there is no reason to leave it in the ground. Depending on where you are (and so how much more growing season you might have), you might be able to get a lettuce/greens crop in its place before frost hits.

This page is of great help to

This page is of great help to me as I enjoy growing my own veggies. Thanks

cabbage loopers

How do I get rid of cabbage loopers on my broccoli organically?

losing the loopers

Sue, the best organic way that we know of to get rid of these pests is to pick them off by hand. Look all over the leaves; pick of the loopers and brush off any eggs. Drown the larvae in soapy water.

Not the most fun project but get out there and show them who’s boss! Good luck!


how often do you water broccoli in winter?

Waw! its so good... and i

Waw! its so good... and i would like to thank the growers of this Broccol. realy i opprociate for their cultivation,during this season i would like to cultivate some of the vegetables like cabbage, couliflower, sweet paper, spinach, kale okra including Broccoli. so let me to share with expert of site. and i leave in Mogadishu the capital of Somali Republic. also anybody can share with me...

Broccoli not shooting

I bought some broccolli seeds and planted them but they are not shooting up. What could be the reason for this?

overwintering broccoli

Why did my broccoli survive the winter? I am ready to harvest my first crop in Montana. This has never happened before.

If you did not pull out your

If you did not pull out your plants in the fall, the snow that fell this winter likely acted as insulation for your broccoli plants. Many crops can survive under snow such as brussels sprouts, carrots, turnips, and cauliflower to name a few.

spring onion, cauliflower, lettuce, onions.

Very very helpful pages and will recommend to friends and family.

transplanting large cauliflower & broccoli

I am wanting to transplant large. full grown and thriving cauliflower & broccoli plants. I am going to try to put them in pots with prepared soil. I am also moving them from Ramona to El Cajon. Does anyone have any advice on how to do this with as little stress & shock as possible? I really hope for them to survive. I have gotten one head of cauliflower that was delicious & would love to get more plus broccoli. I would appreciate any advice. Planning to do this next weekend. Thank you in advance.


We are doing a garden in enterprise Alabama and we started seedlings in a starter box. With all the red clay around here and being a hot climate from March to December how do we prepare the ground and being so hot here do we still keep plants in full sun????


For Alabama, looks like one would plant broccoli in February/March for an early summer crop, or July/August for a late fall crop – fall planting seems to be preferred. For best times, contact your county’s Cooperative Extension (see ). If the plants are maturing in warm weather, you might provide shade cloth during part of the day, and keep the soil moist (but not soggy). For clay soils, test the soil pH and adjust as necessary so that it is between 6.0 and 7.0; a few weeks to months before planting (for example, as soon as soil can be worked in spring without compacting it, or in fall before spring planting), build the soil structure by adding organic matter, such as composted manure; use organic mulch to keep the soil from compacting and to keep it cool.

Broccoli - how to prepare leaves?

You have said that broccoli leaves are good for eating. How do you prepare them?
Thank you

Broccoli leaves can be eaten

Broccoli leaves can be eaten and prepared in the same way as kale, spinach, or other greens. Eat them raw, saute, or even blend them into a smoothie. Enjoy!

Can you tell me.....

How big does a mature broccoli get?

It all depends on the variety

It all depends on the variety and growing conditions. An average plant can get 2 to 3 feet tall and about  8 to 12 inches wide at the crown.

I've harvested Brocolli,what do I do with the plant that's left

So I've grown, I've cut, I've eaten---now what do I do with the plant that's left??? Do I pull out the plant or will it take off again??? Can chooks eat the leaves???

Hi Sarah,

Hi Sarah,

Most varieties have side-shoots that will continue to develop after the main head is harvested. You can harvest from one plant for many weeks if the weather doesn’t turn too cold for the plant to grow. After a killing frost you can pull the stalks. And yes, you can eat the leaves.

Hello! I planted a small

Hello! I planted a small garden in March ( i am in Austin Tx) with my kids and we planted broccoli seeds... they never formed crowns and the plants is beautiful.. about 2feet tall.. only leaves.. what do I do? do I need to start over. cut back the leaves or will it eventually do something?

Be sure that your broccoli is

Be sure that your broccoli is in full sunlight. Also, broccoli does best between temperatures of about 40 and 70 degrees F. Warmer temperatures may deter head formation; it might possibly pick up when the weather cools (although broccoli doesn't survive much below 25F). Otherwise, it could be that they got too much nitrogen, which deters flowering and head formation, but encourages leaf growth. As you wait to see if your broccoli perks up in cooler weather, you might also try a fall planting of broccoli. Some varieties that work nicely in Texas are 'Green Comet' and 'Bonanza.' Around Austin, it looks like for a spring planting, it might be best to plant transplants out in the garden in mid-February through early March, so that the plants don't mature during the heat of summer (which can make it bolt or have other troubles).

There is also a phenomenon called "blindness" which can occur with broccoli, in that it does not develop a terminal bud--there is just a nub in the center; this means that the plant will not form a head, just lots of leaves. It is thought that blindness may occur if the plant was exposed to cold temperatures when young (especially during shorter daylengths), the central bud was damaged by insects etc., or possibly the young plants experienced a drought.

Hello! Please kindly tell me


Please kindly tell me the Duration.

The duration from seeding to harvest of bellow vegetable:
1. Potato
2. Bell Pepper
3. broccoli
3. Carrot
4. Strawberry
5. small Cherry (Tomato)


Seng Mr.

I grew some baby broccoli for

I grew some baby broccoli for the first time in my green house in early spring in Montana. I have never done this before and do not know when it is ready to pick

Do you mean Broccolini, aka

Do you mean Broccolini, aka baby broccoli? If so, this might help:
Harvest when buds have matured but have not yet opened or developed color. Harvest the main head early to encourage side shoots. Keep a close eye on the buds, as the plant can bolt quickly.

Time to harvest We planted

Time to harvest
We planted our broccoli last december and until now no florets just really big leaves. Rainy season is about to start (we only have dry and rainy season) do we have to wait for buds/florets? Or we will just harvest the leaves and plant new crops?

Is this a heading broccoli,

Is this a heading broccoli, broccoli raab, sprouting broccoli, or Chinese broccoli? What country/location are you in?
Sometimes too much nitrogen will promote leave growth at the expense of flowering/floret formation. Broccoli, a cool-season crop, also usually requires a period of cold to encourage bud formation; some cultivars are more heat tolerant.
On average, broccoli will mature between 60 and 120 days, depending on cultivar and conditions. It sounds like yours has gone beyond that point. However, if you are growing sprouting broccoli, some of those varieties may take as much as 220 days to mature. In this case, wait a little longer.
If you are growing regular heading broccoli, you might harvest the tender leaves and start over again, but first, just to be sure, you might ask someone from a local nursery what is normal for your area. If you live in the United States, you can also check your county's Cooperative Extension service:

Planted broccoli and collard

Planted broccoli and collard greens next to each other which is which? One is darker but definitely able to cook collards if lighter one is collards?

Hi, Sweet: If your broccoli

Hi, Sweet: If your broccoli has not produced anything in 6 months, it is likely not going to, so you should harvest the leaves and get on with something else. Do a soil test to make sure that everything is in balance and that there is not an overabundance of nitrogen. Your fail could also have come from overheating. Good luck!

My broccoli leaves were

My broccoli leaves were getting really big but I saw no florets developing. I had read somewhere that over fertilization can cause the leaves to grow to the detriment of the florets so I cut some of the larger leaves off to encourage floret development. Did I just mess up?

Broccoli plants can take a

Broccoli plants can take a long time to form florets and they are a cold weather crop. The plants don't like the heat. Most varieties take 60  to 70 days to grow a head and the plants may be as tall as 3 feet. It's better to leave the leaves on the plant and not cut them off. If by a chance you don't get florets on your plant you can eat the broccoli leaves. Try planting broccoli in late summer for a fall harvest.

I purchased a seedling of

I purchased a seedling of broccoli this April with a little floret already growing. I bought it on a whim because my daughter loves broccoli and begged me to buy it! I didn't know they were so difficult to grow. I kept it indoors for these last 3 weeks for fear of frost. It hasn't grown at all, and one of the leaves turned yellow suddenly. Now the little floret is bolting. I'm not sure what to do at this point. Do I plant it outside and hope it will grow again for the fall crop? I thought if I gathered seeds from it it wouldn't be a total waste, but I'm not sure it will grow in the summer heat. Or should I just harvest it, eat the tiny floret, and forget about the whole thing? Please help!

Correction - it has not yet

Correction - it has not yet bolted. The buds are turning yellow, so I guess that means it is about to bolt?

Go ahead and plant

Go ahead and plant it. Broccoli seedlings will take 8 to 12 weeks from transplant until harvest time, depending on the variety. If you see yellowing, apply a high nitrogen but low phosphorus fertilizer.

I did my first garden last

I did my first garden last year, and the broccoli... bolted, I guess it is called. It turned yellow and had itty bitty flowers. I am going to try again this year. On the planting chart on this site, it says in my area, it is best to sow indoors in mid March, and sow outdoors in mid April and harvest in mid June. I feel like that has to be wrong... I live in South western Ontario. No one even starts their gardens here until the first week of June, because we risk frost before that. If I planted broccoli outside in mid April I would be risking 6 weeks of frost! And then June 1st-mid June is only 2 weeks. Does it grow that fast?

Hi Kaela, Broccoli is a cool

Hi Kaela,
Broccoli is a cool weather crop. You can put transplants out in the garden in late May or early June for a harvest before the weather gets too hot. The seeds should be started indoors about 7 to 8 weeks prior to transplanting outdoors. Seeds can also be planted outdoors about 2 weeks before your last frost date. See our planting by the Moon's phase chart at

I started some broccoli seeds

I started some broccoli seeds in containers. Total of nine plants. All sprouted really well. All have grown their first true leaves except for one plant. That plant failed to grow true leaves and has finally died. Leaving 8 plants. Out of those 8 plants 3 of them are failing to grow additional leaves, and where there should be new true leaves sprouting, there is a stump. That leaves me with 5 really nice plants, but nearly 50% success rate. The plants that are not defective are really nice. What gives?

We are not sure why some of

We are not sure why some of your seedlings didn't grow well. We recommend starting broccoli seeds in a soilless potting mix. At the first sign of growth move the containers into a sunny location. The seedlings need lots of light. They grow best when the temp. is 60 to 65 degrees during the day and about 10 degrees cooler at nigh.

I've grown broccoli many

I've grown broccoli many year, but always purchased the starts. Last year and this I've tried to start my own plants. They germinate and shoot up quickly to 3 inches, all spindly, then they fall over and die out. How do I overcome this and get them to beef up and keep on growing.

It's a bit tricky to start

It's a bit tricky to start broccoli from seed. After the seeds germinate, place the containers in a sunny area or under lights in a spot where the temperature is between 60° to 65°F. Keep the soil moist but not wet.

Hi, just wanted to tell you I

Hi, just wanted to tell you I grow my broccoli in the little jiffy pods green houses, in a big green house. Then repot, still in an open greenhouse. When they get big enough to outgrow the pot I plant in the ground and water every day. Hope this helps. ..happy growing!

My husband and I have

My husband and I have beautiful plants growing and cut three heads this morning. Two of the three heads had gray like mold on some of the inter florets. It started at the top of the stem and only effected two or three florets in each head. Inside the inter most floret the gray turned to a lime green...I think you got the idea. We have had very cold weather for our area(north central Florida), but also moist and overcast days. Should I be harvesting the rest (approx. 16 heads) prior to full growth? Help.

Oh, dear. This could be

Oh, dear.
This could be aphids, or it could be something more serious like sooty mold infection that inhibits photosynthesis (thus, the lime color). Here is more detail:
You might find some advice here:
Our advice would be to harvest what might be edible.
And, we would ask, do you rotate your crops? Moving plants around, not growing in the same spot year after year, is one of the easiest/best ways to avoid plant pests and disease.
Best wishes—

Ok so I planted my broccoli

Ok so I planted my broccoli seeds on August 24th outside and its still getting around the low to mid 80s where I live (on the Eastern Shore of Virginia), do you think its going to still be too hot for the broccoli to grow correctly or should I just start a completely new set of seeds indoors?

Why didn't my plant seeds

Why didn't my plant seeds didn't come up? I planted the seeds correctly and water them every day.

Hi, Enlal: There could be any

Hi, Enlal: There could be any number of reasons. Take a look at the planting and care tips above to see if you did or didn't do something that affected your seeds' success. That's the best way to start. Good luck!

Lots of good questions, but

Lots of good questions, but no answers.
how about a frequently asked column with the answers. As in what to do after
brocolli bolts.?

Why don't you just look a

Why don't you just look a question or two down--and there is your answer. Jeez. It's a free page and up to the community to comment. I see a lot of contributions actually. Why don't you make one?

I planted broccoli plants,

I planted broccoli plants, not seeds, in a community garden plot during the first week of June. I chose broccoli because the season had been so cold and wet that there weren't many seedlings to choose from at the closest garden center. From what I've read here, that weather was not so bad for broccoli. I had prepared the plot by adding in a large bag of composted material before planting. About three weeks after planting I applied a 20-20-20 fertilizer. Since the 2nd week of June the weather has been a lot hotter and we've had very little rain. The plot is small so we water with watering cans filled at rain barrels. I go down to the garden almost every day and water it. I'm not used to growing vegetable plants but I didn't expect to do so poorly. The broccoli seemed to be fine, no discolouration, no wilting or curled leaves, all bright and green and happy-looking. But it's been just about 6 weeks since planting and the plants never grew more than an inch or so in height beyond what they were at planting and the heads began to develop. Now having not grown it before I had no clue what to expect. The height concerned me within a couple of weeks... and then once the heads developed, they simply didn't grown beyond the size of one small crown you'd find on a regular sized plant. The whole head was the size of one crown. Then within less than a week some burst into flower! I was astounded... and I have no idea what happened. I can tell from here that the warmer weather probably affected the quick flowering but why didn't the plants grow more? why didn't they do better before the warm weather occurred? I would have thought they'd have grown before the heads developed. Is it possible that the seedlings were waiting too long at the garden store? Would that account for the lack of growth before the weather warmed?

Small broccoli heads are a

Small broccoli heads are a common problem, we're afraid. 
Broccoli is a cool weather crop. Warm weather makes the plant flower (or bolt). However, you do need 55 to 60 days of cool weather for the plant to mature. Specifically, the temperatures need to be between 65 and 80 degrees—no cooler, no warmer. Yes, broccoli is very very picky with a narrow window for planting! (See our planting chart for dates that fit your area.)
When you plant broccoli, it's great that you added lots of organic matter. We might advise mixing in some fertilizer that's heavier on the nitrogen; this feeds a fast-growing head. It sounds as if you were supplying a constant stream of water for moist soil--also important.
Broccoli in the garden will never match what's in the grocery store, though it tastes much better.
At this point, you can cut the flowers off and the main head and see if your plant will grow some bite-size side heads.
We're impressed by your diligence. Gardening is a never-ending learning curve. If we may, we'd suggest an easier plant next year? See this article:

Hello! I work on a vegetable

Hello! I work on a vegetable farm in williamsville il. We have planted and produced broccoli at a huge rate this year. I'm telling you this because we've had success due to a lot of research of different strains. The ph In the soil has to be right. At my farm we use a rich mushroom compost that has been composting for years. And give a lot of space in rows when planted. Certain bugs in the soil could also be a problem. Take notes of the things you notice and research bugs you see. Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to ask

I planted Broccoli plants

I planted Broccoli plants this spring. They never did head ,just kept growing leaves.Now its fall and they are still alive and huge with no broccoli. Will they eventually head this fall since they didnt die, or should I cut them to the ground and see if they will regrow?

is it ok to plant

is it ok to plant broccoli/brussel sprouts/garlic in a mini plastic green house ? im new to the whole gardening thing

There's no reason you can't

There's no reason you can't use a greenhouse, but keep in mind that broccoli thrives in cool weather.

help! my broccoli is now at

help! my broccoli is now at about 110 days. i have one plant that has formed a floret. it looks healthy, tight and compact but it is yellow, very yellow. it was yellow when i first spotted it 3 days ago when the size of a marble. it has doubled in size in the last 3 days. it still looks very healthy about the size of a tennis ball and still very compact. but it is still yellow. am i just being impatient? or do i have a problem?

Hi, Todd: You may have a

Hi, Todd: You may have a problem or two, but we don't think that impatience is one of them. It's hard to tell what is going on here without knowing where you are, what variety you planted, and so forth, but it's probably time to think about another planting for fall. Your plants may have gotten too hot, but the fact that your first little floret was yellow from the get-go tells us that this may be a nitrogen deficiency and not just that your plant is going to seed. Make sure that your soil is neutral to slightly acidic, with plenty of nitrogen and not too much phosphorus. Use the Frost Dates calculator under Gardening above to get the probable date of your first frost, then count backward 100 days from then to plant. With the right soil, we think you'll do better in the coolness.

My broccoli seeds, direct

My broccoli seeds, direct sow, have not come up after 14 days. I fertilized and prepared the soil and watered weekly and had one decent rain since planting. Found root fragments from a former tree when preparing soil. All of my other direct sow seeds are up and I plan to thin them soon. Any suggestions or am I just impatient?

I planted my broccoli the end

I planted my broccoli the end of March, the leaves are huge and over 2ft tall now but still no heads. The soil is good manure compost, I fertilize with MG every 2-3 weeks and water as needed. All of my other crops are growing great just my broccoli has no heads. Is there anything I can do?

Depending on the variety you

Depending on the variety you have, and whether you planted by seeds or transplants, it might just be that they aren't ready to form the heads yet. Some take more than 10 or 12 weeks.
Another possibility is that the plants are getting too much nitrogen, which encourages leaf growth over flowers (the heads). Depending on the formula of Miracle Gro that you are using, it tends to have higher nitrogen than phosphorus or potassium. Broccoli is a heavy feeder, but it's best to use a balanced organic or slow-release fertilizer if you are applying it every few weeks. Otherwise, too much nitrogen may result in hollow stems and may discourage heading. If you choose a fertilizer high in nitrogen, you might try only applying it about 3 or 4 weeks after transplanting, a smaller amount when the heads are just developing, and then after you harvest the main head (to encourage small side shoots to grow, which you can also harvest). (Before planting, the soil should be amended with composted manure or similar to provide rich nutrients.)
Hot temperatures may also prevent heads to develop, or encourage the plant to bolt (form a flower stalk immediately instead of first developing compact heads).

Hot temperatures have caused

Hot temperatures have caused my broccoli plant to bolt and grow yellow flowers instead of broccoli heads. a
At this point, what do I need to do to salvage the plant or is it a one-shot kind of thing.
Also, if your plant isn't one with side shoots- once the head is harvested , will it grow again? Or do you need to start from scratch?

One thing about Broccoli is

One thing about Broccoli is that the leaves are great to eat as well. So even if you aren't getting heads, don't fret because the leaves are excellent. Look online for lots of ideas on how to prepare. We used them msinly for blended drinks and sautéed/stir fried.

Hi, a wood chuck destroyed

Hi, a wood chuck destroyed all my spring veggies here on cape cod this week. There are still healthy stalks but no leaves. The broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower had not had a chance to develop a crown or head yet soI'm wondering if i should remove plants or is there still a chance they'll come back? There was the beginnings of a crown/head before animal but now just stalks. Thanks!

Same happened to us this year

Same happened to us this year we left them and have small crowns started.

Last year my broccoli head

Last year my broccoli head grew out into tall spikes and was not really good... how can you correct or stop this from happening.

It sounds like your broccoli

It sounds like your broccoli bolted (developed a flower stalk and went to seed). This happens when temperatures are too warm, or temperatures fluctuate from quite cool for a while to warm. Broccoli likes consistently cool weather (about 65 to 75 degrees F ideal), and in many areas is best planted in early spring or late fall. Bolting can also happen if the plant is under stress, such as diseases or insects, or weeds. To help prevent premature bolting, you can select slow-bolting varieties, plant at a good time for your area (if you live in the U.S., see your local Cooperative Extension for best times:, keep plants watered and stress-free, and keep the soil cool by providing a thick layer of mulch.

4-6-14 how do I know how much

4-6-14 how do I know how much bloodmeal to buy and use on a row 3ft wide by 105 ft long? Any one know how to calculate before buying too much?

We tend to use blood meal

We tend to use blood meal (high nitrogen) as a side dressing; blood meal won't substitute good soil that's mixed with lots of organic material. We side dress with one cup for every 10 square feet of growing area. Side dress 4 weeks after transplanting/thinning; Apply another half cup when the broccoli head is the size of a quarter; side dress a third time after the main head is harvested for continued side-shoot development. Place the fertilizer 6 inches to the side of the plant and irrigate it into the soil.

Its April here in Karachi

Its April here in Karachi with temperatures ranging from 75F to 85F. I want to sow broccoli seeds. Do you think it has a chance of survival and will it form head when it matures during June/july when the temperature reaches 100F - 104F?

Unlikely I tried in the

Unlikely I tried in the phillipines and it bolted.

I planted my broccoli outside

I planted my broccoli outside a couple weeks ago. It is not thriving. Some of the leaves have died, new ones are growing, but very slowly. The starts I still have inside are doing much better. More green and getting bigger. Am I just being impatient? Or do you think my plants need something? I am new to gardening, so I have many questions.

We'll try to help. It's very

We'll try to help. It's very early spring do we're wondering if you are tranplanting too early but it all depends on where you live. Broccoli is temperature sensitive.  The ideal temperature for broccoli is between 65 and 80 degrees.  If it drops below 40 degrees, you'll have issues. You can check your local planting dates for both starting seeds indoors and setting plants in the ground here:

I am looking for floating row

I am looking for floating row cover. I do not order anything through internet access. I have tried the farm supplies, landscape business, Lowe's and a local hardware store and no one seems to carry it and most have no idea what I'm talking about.
Can you give me any suggestions?

Mildred, Floating row covers

Mildred, Floating row covers are also called "gardening fabric." You can find examples on garden seed sites such as and  When you get to their web sites, just type in "floating row covers." Hope this helps.

Hello Mildred, You can go to

Hello Mildred,
You can go to the web sites suggested and request their catalogs. Hope this helps. Kevin

Bought it at Tractor Supply

Bought it at Tractor Supply Company yesterday. Great price. $10 8x20.

I'm not sure I understand how

I'm not sure I understand how I'm supposed to plant the broccoli seeds - do I need to leave 12-24 inches space between my rows and then plant seeds 1 inch deep, 3 inches apart from one another?

Thanks for asking. We've

Thanks for asking. We've clarified the text on this page. Plant each seed at a depth of 1/2 inch to 1 inch. Within a row, the spacing is 12 to 24 inches apart with 36 inches between each row. If you overseed, you'll just want to thin the seedlings so that they're no closer than 12 inches apart.

I planted brocolli in October

I planted brocolli in October here in Southern California (zone 10/11). My brocolli is about knee high with stalks only about a fingers thickness. I only have one small head with loose florets. Some of my other brocolli has been eaten starting from the edge of the leaves working inward. Ive looked and looked and have found No bugs! Could mice be eating it? Other veggies have the same eating marks and my FIL caught 20mice in only a few days...
Weve also had very warm weather this winter in the 80s most of January. Could this be the cause of tall lanky broccoli with poorly formed heads?

The lanky growth on the

The lanky growth on the broccoli is called buttoning the plant was stressed somehow when it was a seedling. In cooler climates it is due to freezing. When I gardened in Florida (coastal zone 10) it was normally caused by dryness or too much heat.

My plants are also knee high

My plants are also knee high with full broad green leaves and .5 - 1 inch thick stems. Have these "bolted"? If so, can anything be done to promote heads to form?

I live in south Louisiana and

I live in south Louisiana and last night and today we had an ice storm. The heads of the broccoli are cover with a layer of ice and have gone from there normal green to a darker color. Are they still okay to eat? Thank you in advance for any help.

Broccoli is one of those

Broccoli is one of those plants that can tolerate a light freeze if it's a short duration. If the dark green turns to black, than they have been killed, but if not, they are fine to eat. Though you can't always predict the weather, cover your plants if a frost or freeze is expected so that you can protect them.

I have a fungus that started

I have a fungus that started on my broccoli plant I have been harvesting for weeks small bunches from four plants iam in phx az all of the sudden this fungus started it is green and very sticky I have pulled some of the bad stalk off Do not know how to treat

I have a fungus that started

I have a fungus that started on my broccoli plant I have been harvesting for weeks small bunches from four plants iam in phx az all of the sudden this fungus started it is green and very sticky I have pulled some of the bad stalk off Do not know how to treat

Cole crops such as broccoli,

Cole crops such as broccoli, especially plants that are not disease resistant, are commonly affected by several problems. It’s not possible to know exactly what has afflicted your plants but here is some information.
• Seeds and young transplants can be affected by the soil-borne fungus Pythium. Control recommendations include planting in raised beds, ensuring good drainage, and planting in commercial potting soil, not “earth," which is to say garden soil.
• Fusarium yellow, which has a yellow-greenish tint, can live in the soil for years without a host plant. When the opportunity presents itself, the disease enters through the plants' roots as well as any injuries caused by insects or transplanting.
By planting disease-resistant varieties and rotating your crops, you can help your plants to avoid these and other diseases and so improve your harvest.
We hope this helps!

can i grow broccoli in north

can i grow broccoli in north indian cimate

My first try at broccoli I

My first try at broccoli I thought was very good. My wife says it isn't any good. She sees a purplish color on the broccoli head and says it is bad. I cut the stems and have eaten the broccoli and it is excellent. What is the purplish tinge on the broccoli heads ? I keep seeing info on yellowish flowers, but I did not see anything like this. Did I harvest too soon?

This is very normal--and a

This is very normal--and a good sign. Fresh-looking broccoli heads should be compact and dark green with some purple tinge. Obviously, it depends on the variety, but there is nothing wrong with this.

hello I bought the hybride

I bought the hybride broccoli seeds.what is the differ between this type and other species?
another question,the seeds should be planted in outdoor or indoor conditions?what is the optimum temperature for germinate? thanks.

Could you please explain what

Could you please explain what a floating row is?

Floating rows are simply

Floating rows are simply lightweight fabric covers that you drape over your plants. Here is a good article with pictures on the Burpee seed site:

I used broccoli seed - it

I used broccoli seed - it grew nicely, i harvested one small head with yellow flowers in it. , all others bloomed, now I have a lot of seed on them. Is it worth to dry and collect the seed and sow next year. Thank you.

Broccoli isn't the best

Broccoli isn't the best veggie for seed-saving but you can do it. First, note that you can't have any other crops from the Brassica oleracea family within a mile or they'll cross-pollinate and it won't be pure broccoli. Also, you want to seed save from heirloom veggies versus hybrids. Do not harvest heads on broccoli plants that you wish to save for seed. Carefully dig the plants and pot them in sand. Store plants between 32-40° F. Plant back out in early spring and allow to bolt. Harvest seed pods when dry and clean by hand. See more on Seed Saving:

What about broccoli and

What about broccoli and cauliflower in the same garden. Will they cross pollinate and leave me with no pure broccoli or cauliflower?

Broccoli and Cauliflower do

Broccoli and Cauliflower do cross-pollinate but this won't happen in your first year. It only happens if you save the seeds for a second season (and if these seeds are not hybrid).

I planted broccoli this

I planted broccoli this spring and plants look great, 3' tall, huge leaves, but no broccoli. Will I get heads in the fall when it gets cooler or should I just pull them out and try for a fall crop with new seeds?

Broccoli prefers cool

Broccoli prefers cool temperatures and an even supply of water to produce heads.Hot temperatures and/or drought can cause broccoli to stop producing heads. Overcrowding and poor soil can also cause problems. Leave the plants in the soil and see if the cooler weather will help the broccoli to set heads.

I pick the center large head,

I pick the center large head, then let the plant continue to make smaller heads-pick them and dehydrate them for
soups in the winter.

I planted broccoli and

I planted broccoli and something is eating all the leaves, right to the stem. I bought slug medicine and now it seems that the plant is beginning to grow again, what can I do, besides putting medicine down to let these, I think it's slugs, keep away?
Thank you. LorettA

If you have slugs you can try

If you have slugs you can try spreading crushed egg shells around your plants. Go to to see more tips about getting rid of slugs.

Slug them back with beer!! If

Slug them back with beer!!

If you put beer in a shallow dish or lid and place it around your garden the slugs will go for it rather than your plants..I used this trick to keep them off my Tomatoes that I grew on my deck in straw bales!

I live in kolkata

I live in kolkata India.recently i got some seeds from US.can u give me some tips as to how and when i can grow in a temperate climate like India.
dr s pattnaik

Start the seedlings indoors

Start the seedlings indoors in October and plant outside in November. Broccoli likes cool weather. You'll be able to harvest until it gets hot and the broccoli goes to seed.

Planted last spring (really

Planted last spring (really bad season last year)and broccoli grew 3' tall with pencil thin stalks that fell over with the weight of the leaves (no head formed). I just walked away and said "so much for broccoli here". This year at the end of the long stems huge broccoli plants formed with wonderful broccoli. If it wasn't fenced around they would have fallen over. Can I cut the stems all the way back to the root this winter? will they come back? Thanks

Broccoli is usually grown as

Broccoli is usually grown as an annual and started new each spring. You can leave your plants in the ground after you pick the main crown and harvest small shoots that grow from the sides of the stems. In late fall remove the plants.

My broccoli didn't do we'll

My broccoli didn't do we'll this year, they bolted and I hadn't researched well enough. Now that it is hot 100 degree weather, do I pull the plants or leave them in the ground?

Yes, you need to pull the

Yes, you need to pull the plants. Brocolli, a cool-weather plant, is a popular fall crop in most regions if you wish to try again!

When buying Broccoli at a

When buying Broccoli at a Grocery store, or farmers market, or a stand alone farm highway
stand, how can I tell if the Broccoli is safe and good to buy and eat?

I love gardening nd this is

I love gardening nd this is the first year i actually got some broccoli to grow. I have a small head on one of the six plants but i never know when to cut it. Its prolly the size of the palm of my hand nd i have a small maybe little smaller. I don't want to lose it

Hi, Pam, Here are tips on how

Hi, Pam, Here are tips on how to cut broccoli from our organic gardening blogger, Celeste:

What is the safest

What is the safest temperature that a broccoli head can stand. I want to be sure and cut mine before it freezes.
Thank you,
Mary Tipton

Broccoli can tolerate frost

Broccoli can tolerate frost or even a light freeze. It really can't tolerate lower than 20 degrees F.

growing broccoli for the

growing broccoli for the first time this year,it is doing great.I would like to know if broccoli produces more,when first head is harvested. does anyone know?

I got three heads off of two

I got three heads off of two plants this year and two heads off of the other three. Was a great year here in Washington State for Broccoli.

I live in Virginia and

I live in Virginia and planted broccoli about 2 1/2 months ago, I have big beautiful leaves on some with no heads and the others something is eating all of the leaves. Any suggestions? Thank you.

If the temperature is too

If the temperature is too warm, the broccoli will not produce heads. Broccoli is a cool-weather crop grown in spring and fall.

I tried growing broccoli but

I tried growing broccoli but it flowered with very little in the way of edible flower. Is it too warm here in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay?

Broccoli is a cool season

Broccoli is a cool season plant. Local (to you!) sources suggest that the best growing time in your area is fall, but some of the sources seem to have conflicting information. Some say start in winter for spring planting. Just as important, though, is the soil. Cole crops like a pH betw 6 .0 and 7.0 (even 7.5); rich, organic compost; plentiful, consistent moisture; and some say a shot of nitrogen at planting (but not too much; that could cause hollow stems). Finally, consider where it is planted in terms of crop rotation: Broccoli and other cole crops should not be planted in the same location more than once every three or four years. Hope this helps—

Question does anyone know how

Question does anyone know how high and wide I need to put mulch around my Broccoli plants to keep the soil cool so I don't continue to get flowers on my broccoli plants?

A layer of 2 to 4 inches of

A layer of 2 to 4 inches of mulch will help cool the soil (about 4 to 6 degrees cooler). However, you need to harvest broccoli before the flowers open or show yellow. The mulch will help slow down the heat but the broccoli will keep maturing!

I tried growing broccoli for

I tried growing broccoli for the first time this year. I had some very small growths, then they grew high and got yellow flowers all over. Is it too late to do anything? I was expecting them to grow large heads from the flowers, but I guess I should've found this page before making that assumption.

It sounds like they "bolted".

It sounds like they "bolted". The broccoli heads/florets you eat are the compacted flower buds. Usually you can get the head to form and have time to harvest the main head before they open up (not as tightly clumped) then shoot up and open yellow flowers. But, sometimes if the plant is stressed due to high temp or low water they "bolt" right up to flower. You can cut this portion off (same as harvesting main head) and the plant should begin to form side shoot heads that will be smaller but edible nontheless.

Thank you for this answer. I

Thank you for this answer. I am experiencing this problem and didn't know what I did wrong. I'll cut the "bolted" part off and see if the side shoots develop.


Most varieties have side-shoots that will continue to develop after the main head is harvested. You can harvest from one plant for many weeks, in some cases, from spring to fall, if you’re summer isn’t too hot
this is the best part of this plant side shoots you could steam them and add some olive oil on it great as a side dish

1st time grower in texas

the plants are average nine inches high and beautiful but no buds is this normal? I planted them about a month in a half ago.

My broccoli can get quite

My broccoli can get quite tall before the head starts to form. Even knee-high. It can take 60 to 70 days for some varieties. If you gently push the little leaves away in the centre, can you see florets forming? It may just take some time. If the heads do not form, it's usually due to extreme temperature--usually because it's too hot. This cool-weather veggies does not like heat. Cold shock at seeding can happen, too.

yellow, dying cotyledons

My broccoli seedlings have one or two true leaves and the cotyledons are turning yellow and dying. Isn't that a bit early for the cotyledons to die? They are about 4 weeks old.

After you get the true leaves

After you get the true leaves (within a week or so), the cotyledons will start to yellow. When they start to yellow, begin fertilizing seedlings by applying a WEAK fertilizer solution each time you water. (Be careful not to "burn" with too much fertilizer.)

Long stems from seed

I started by plants from seed and 4 weeks later have 3 to 4 inch stems with very small leaves at the very top. These are indoors in peat pots. Can a plant them with a good part of these long stems in the ground?

Reasons for long stems: temps

Reasons for long stems: temps too warm (broccoli likes it 10 degrees cooler than most seedlings), not enough direct sunlight, too much nitrogen in soil. Yes, when you plant, cover the roots and stem with supplemental top soil; dissipate the nitrogen (use fertilizer high in phosphorous and low in nitrogen). Stake the long stem if needed.

Bring them back inside?

I just transplanted my broccoli plants to their big containers outside. So far, the weather during the day has been in the 50s-60s, with the night temps in the 40s. The forecast calls for high of 48/low of 30 in a couple days. Should I bring the plants back inside, or leave them out? I heard too much variability can make them bolt, but not sure what constitutes "too much." If it helps, I live in right in between zones 7a and 7b. Thanks!

a broccoli chill

Planting zone definitions are guides--good ones, but they are not infallible. Any given spot could be a micro-climate that varies from typical zonal characteristics and expectations. Broccoli is pretty hardy but, yes, it is finicky.
Cold tolerance depends on conditioning. If your plants had been in warmer conditions before transplanting and the temp drops well below freezing, it is very likely you would lose them. If you broccoli plants had experienced relatively cold weather, it is likely that they would survive.
Sometimes it is wise to err on the side of caution. You might do well to bring the containers inside, but into a space/area that mimics recent temp and light conditions. That is, don't bring them into the high heat and lamp light of the house. Perhaps a porch?? Or you could cover the plants.
Either way, return them outside or uncover them during the day.
We hope this helps.

I put mine in 4 months and

I put mine in 4 months and still nothing. I live in HI so plenty of rain but warmer weather. Should I just pull them??


It's not just about the weather. Broccoli needs soil with a pH range of 6–7. It is a heavy feeder, so thrives where the soil is rich in aged manure or rich compost—or both. When planted and while growing it can benefit from a general garden fertilizer, such as 10-30-10, with more nitrogen after harvesting. And, if you are not practicing appropriate crop rotation, it may fail to thrive because of whatever grew in the spot before. For specific assistance, contact your local extension service. We hope this helps.

Broccoli never produced

Last year my broccoli never produced anything but BIG plants. The stem itself was a big as 2 1/2 to 3 inches thick. I kept thinking okay maybe it is like the asparagus and takes a little longer. A couple did produce a few very tiny florets,but that was it. I let them go to seed as I figured the flowers were pretty.(I eventually pulled all the other ones out so I could plant other veggies)I actually let 1 plant stay over the winter and it is still living! What a waste of my garden space..Any thoughts? I tried both planting from seed and from nursery plants.

Broccoli never produced

It's hard to know exactly what went wrong with your broccoli crop, but consider this:
• Did you amend the soil to the appropriate pH: 6.0-6.5?
• Did you apply potassium and nitrogen before planting and then again to seven weeks after the transplants (or seedings) got established?
• Did you keep the plants well watered and free from stress—such as diseases, weeds, and insects?
• Did you plant too early in spring? The larger that plants are when exposed to a late-season cold period, the higher is the likelihood that they will bolt.
• Did the plants experience a prolonged cold spell, followed by a favorable temps, then high temps? This sounds normal, but the variability may be the cause of bolting.
There is no easy answer. Consider these risks and try again this year. OH, then there's this—if you see broccoli thriving in a garden in your area, tell your tale and ask the gardener what his/her secret is. The best advice is sometimes right next door. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

I too have gorgeous plants

I too have gorgeous plants but no broccoli. Be nice if I could eat the leaves!

You Can

You can eat the leaves

eating leaves

In the blooming stage of the plant when the heads are growing It is helpful to free the plant of the leaves and stems that grow near the heads, the more mature ones taste a little bitter but the new growth ones can be as sweet as snap peas.

Broccoli small

I had thumb sized heads until I discovered kelp meal. It along with bone meal helped me grow wonderful tender large broccoli that was so good !

Yes, you can eat the leaves.

Yes, you can eat the leaves. Think of it as collard greens or kale. They taste like broccoli too and are super healthy!

Cool weather crops

I live in north central Arkansas and when I saw broccoli, cabbage plants etc. at my local feed store, I bought a few. They are now about 10 inches tall. I have been trying to cover them when frost is forcast but have failed to do so a couple of times and they seem to be fine. Do I need to cover them over winter?

Broccoli can be grown in

Broccoli can be grown in areas with mild winters, not severe winters. This fits central Arkansas-- zone 7b. The timing depends on the variety of broccoli. For a standard type of broccoli, you would normally start harvesting around October but may be able to stretch to January. For the Northern European varieties of broccoli, you can overwinter. Normally, you'd start seeds early summer and transplants by later summer so the broccoli has time to grow large enough to grow by January and survive low temps. The plants will thrive down to 25 degrees F without covering. Some readers say that their broccoli did well down to 10 degrees. Single digits would kill.

cutting your plant and replanting it upside down will it grow

I was told to cut the top pull the plant and replant it upside down

After winter

My broccoli did well this summer and now in the fall. When the weather gets colder do I need to pull the plants and replant new in late winter or will my current bud again in the spring. I live in SC if this helps

You can leave your plants in

You can leave your plants in the ground and keep harvesting the side shoots in the winter months. In the spring you need to plant new broccoli plants to get new buds and florets.

When is a good time to plant broccoli in NW TN?

When is a good time to plant broccoli in NW TN? Im not sure about my dirt either, okra did great, but tomatoes are very small. The dirt is hard packed and rust colored. My garden spot gets about 8 - 12 hours of sun, depending on which end Im on (great big tall wild cherry trees offer shade).

Please see our fall planting

Please see our fall planting chart here and look for your frost dates. It lists broccoli and more!

bad soil

I would add 3 to 5 inches of strait compost u can buy it by the cubic yard from any nursery or the city dump(its cheaper)till it in before spring planting do this every year until the soil will stay loos in summer

First Time Planting Broccoli

I live in south Louisiana and would like to grow broccoli-I don't have a green thumb and would like to know how to get started. I think now is the time to plant but should I start seeds indoors, buy seedlings and plant outdoors, or sow seeds outdoors?

For southern Louisiana,

For southern Louisiana, August is a good time to seed broccoli in the ground. It's probably fine in September, too. Here's a good guide from LSU:

broccoli never gave florets

I planted my broccoli by seed about 3 months ago. The plant grew nice but never gave me florets. Should I trim it or just pull out the whole plant and start again?

It may have been too hot for

It may have been too hot for your broccoli. Or you may have added too much nitrogen to the soil which encourages leaf growth. Next time try a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer for better bloom growth.If you have room in your garden leave the plants and you may get some florets with cooler temps.

When do you start to plant fall garden.

In Havana Florida where due I find planting dates

Click on the yellow

Click on the yellow "Gardening" tab to the left and you'll see planting links.

harvesting seeds?

How do I harvest seeds from my Broccoli plant? Ive let one plant flower but not sure when or how to harvest seeds.

Broccoli isn't the best

Broccoli isn't the best veggie for seed-saving but you can do it. First, note that you can't have any other crops from the Brassica oleracea family within a mile or they'll cross-pollinate and it won't be pure broccoli. Also, you want to seed save from heirloom veggies versus hybrids. Do not harvest heads on broccoli plants that you wish to save for seed. Carefully dig the plants and pot them in sand. Store plants between 32-40° F. Plant back out in early spring and allow to bolt. Harvest seed pods when dry and clean by hand. See more on Seed Saving:

When to pull up broccoli plant

I've harvested the main head and some of the side heads have gone to seed. Should I pull up the plant now and plant something else? How do I know when to pull up a plant after it's done.

Yep, it's done. Pull out the

Yep, it's done. Pull out the broccoli plant. It's gone to seed and will only start to taste bitter. Now you can sow a plant that fits the middle of summer in your area!

Floating row covers

In the Northeast climate, can you use floating row covers during July and August?

Yes. Floating row covers is

Yes. Floating row covers is an excellent way to prevent pests. Apply just after planting. You can keep over broccoli for the life of the plant since they do not require insects to pollinate them. However, it is important to secure the edges of the cover tightly (with landscaping pins).

it's been 30 days

Its been 30 days all I have are big big leaves. Is that okay

Keep on watering and your

Keep on watering and your broccoli should soon sprout!

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

flower stalks and heads

I planted broccoli plants from a nursery about 6 weeks ago. Broccoli heads are growing nicely but I have tall stalks with flowers too. Should I cut those off? They are now so tall they are leaning over.

It seems as though your plant

It seems as though your plant has gone to seed! Pick them off and hopefully smaller florets will grow in their place.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

Broccoli plants after harvest

when do you know it's time to pull out the plant after harvesting the florets?

Harvest while buds are

Harvest while buds are starting to swell (match-like size) or if it begins to loosen from the plant itself. If you wait to long, they'll flower.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.


when YOU CUT THE HEAD TO EAT, WILL ANOTHER HEAD GROW THERE , or will it be just side shoots from there ?

It won't grow the same

It won't grow the same central head, but it will grow more, smaller heads to enjoy.

Broccoli Help

I planted my seedlings about a week and a half ago. For some reason, there is already a broccoli on some of them. It is small and the plant itself is only about 12 inches high. Can I clip this little broccoli and more will grow later, or is it a goner?

It's hard to say without a

It's hard to say without a photo link, but does the broccoli head look like a small "button"? There are several possibilities for this: 1) Plants that remain too long in seed flats or have outgrown their container may produce "button" heads soon after planting. 2) Plants that have experienced a rapid change in temperature such as warm to cold nights without any "hardening off" and transition may button. 2) Dry spells, cold nights, or really erratic weather can affect the early broccoli growth.
If you have this issue with the main head, your broccoli can still produce great side shoots after the main head is cut.

Broccoli Help

It didn't look like a button. It looked like a side shoot would look like towards the end of the season. It was tall, but small and coming out of the middle. I took it off, hoping to get the plant to produce another one. We have had weird weather her in Maine. Very hot in March and April for a week or so but now we have has lower than normal temps in the 40's and 50's. I have more broccoli and caulif. growing for the fall in the house, so if these are a loss I do still have more coming.

It sounds like the plants are

It sounds like the plants are healthy. I think they will grow more broccoli flowers.

Late harvest

I did not harvest my broccoli before the yellow flowers grew. Will the plant still grow after I cut them off?

Your plant has gone to seed,

Your plant has gone to seed, however, you can cut off the head and let the plant develop new baby/side heads for eating!

gone to seed

Does this mean you can not eat the broccoli? My first head started flowering, what should I do with the head?

If you do see yellow petals

If you do see yellow petals growing the green head of broccoli, harvest immediately.
To harvest, cut the stem below the head, taking at least 6 inches.


My plants are turning white and drying up, What is the problem? We have had 85-92 degrees lately. I have been watering them also.Thanks for any help.

It might be nitrogen

It might be nitrogen deficiency--one of the more common problems as broccoli is a heavy nitrogen feeder. Add blood meal or a high nitrogen (but low phosphorus) fertilizer.

Yellow flowers

Have very young small stem planets that looked like they were heading up turned into a yellow flower..what going on..what can I do.

Broccoli flowering too soon

If you have premature flowering, this is usually due to very warm temperatures at heading time. Broccoli is a cool-weather plant.

How long?

How long does it usually take for broccoli and brussel sprouts to get ready to harvest? I'm using plants and not seeds.

Harvesting broccoli

Harvest the central head when the individual florets begin to enlarge and develop and before flowering begins. It depends on the variety, but central heads should grow to be at least 4 to 6 inches in diameter. Late side shoots may reach only 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

approx. weeks to harvest

Broccoli seedlings will take 8 to 12 weeks from transplant until harvest time, depending on the variety. But look for the cues mentioned above! You really only have 1 week or so to do the first harvest. If you leave it too late, yellow flowers will form.

broccoli maturity

It depends on the variety, season, and fertilization but usually the head is as large as it's going to get when the individual buds of the broccoli are match-head size.

Broccoli problems

My broccoli leaves are turning purple then dying. The purple is travellng up the stem into the florets. What's going on and can my plants be saved?

Planting now in July

What can I plant in Texas during July? Is it too soon to start the winter crops? Or should I plant more summer crops; such as cucumbers and squash.

Keep planting! You can still

Keep planting! You can still put in broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cucumber, all by seed. Consult your local nursery for more information about good crops for your specific area. Remember, you have miles to go before your first fall frost! Make sure you water adequately for the hot days. You can also start some winter crops in early August too, such as winter squash and pumpkins. Good luck!

Botanical Name: 

Brassica oleracea

Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Hardiness Zone: 

Keep Your New Garden Growing

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Almanac Editors Tips- water, feed, pest control, harvest


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