How to plant broccoli

Brassica oleracea Italica Group or Brassica oleracea italica variety

Broccoli or broccoli is a plant of the same species as cabbage and cabbage, but has been selected for consumption of its flower buds. These are harvested when the flowers are still closed, and are usually eaten cooked, although they can also be eaten raw.

There are basically two types of broccoli or broccoli for growing, broccoli-headed and broccoli-branch. Branchy broccoli produce various inflorescences and head-broccoli, as the name suggests, produce a large head in the center of the plant and are marketed in some regions under the names of ninja broccoli, Japanese broccoli or American broccoli. Despite the names used in the trade, broccoli are plants of European origin, from the Mediterranean region.


Head-broccoli are vegetables that hardly grow well in places where the average temperature exceeds 23 ° C. Although they can withstand lower temperatures for short periods, they grow best in the range of 6 ° C to 23 ° C. Branch broccoli is more tolerant to heat and can grow well at higher average temperatures, up to 28 ° C.


These plants need high light, with direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day.


The soil must be well drained, fertile, rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6 and 7.

Broccoli or broccoli needs the micronutrient boron to develop well, and its deficiency results in hollow stems and small, malformed inflorescences. If the soil is deficient in boron, it is necessary to use a fertilizer containing this micronutrient or to apply borax or boric acid to the soil, or alternatively spray the leaves of the plants with a solution of boric acid. The solution can be prepared using 2 grams of boric acid for every 5 liters of water. Such procedures should be done only when really necessary, as excess boron is also harmful.


The vegetable garden must be irrigated in order to keep the soil always moist, but without being soaked.


The seeds can be sown directly at the final location, at a depth of approximately 1 cm in the soil. They can also be sown in seedlings, small pots, plastic cups or newspaper, and the seedlings are transplanted when they have 4 to 6 real leaves. However, broccoli or broccoli seedlings can be sensitive to transplantation, so be very careful not to damage the seedlings and their roots. Transplant preferably in the late afternoon, with the soil well moist, or on cloudy days. Germination usually occurs in less than a week or two.

The spacing can be 60 cm to 1 m between the planting lines and 30 cm to 60 cm between the plants. Larger spacing tends to generate plants with larger inflorescences, but productivity per area is usually higher with smaller spacing.


Remove invasive plants that can compete for resources and nutrients.


Head-broccoli is usually harvested 75 to 100 days after sowing, varying according to the cultivar planted. After the first harvest, side shoots may appear that allow another harvest, with smaller inflorescences.

Branch broccoli can be harvested from 60 to 90 days after sowing. Inflorescences can be harvested several times at intervals of 5 to 10 days until the end of the flowering period.

The time to harvest is when the inflorescences are well developed and have an intense color, but before the flowers start to open.

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