When To Sow: March-April (indoors);
May-June (direct seed) Harvest: June-October
Germination: 8-21 days Full Sun.
Broccoli prefers well-drained soil, ideally with a pH between 6.0-7.5. It performs best in soils high in organic matter.
Starting Indoors: Sow in flats or modules from March until early April at a seed depth of ¼ in. (6 mm.) deep. Cover lightly and firm. Once plants have at least two true leaves transplant into individual pots. Harden off gradually in April or early May for transplanting outdoors.
Direct Seed: For a later crop, direct seed outdoors from early May until the first week in June. In cooler climates (i.e. in the north) you can plant as late as July 1st. Just keep in mind that, although this is a heat resistant variety, it does prefer the cooler weather.
Space rows 91cm (3’) apart and plants 46–61cm (18-24”) apart.
Controlling weeds is a key part of ensuring a bumper crop of broccoli. Feel free to use mulch for weed suppression and water retention.
Make sure your plants never run short of water, especially when the first little heads begin to form in the center.
Here in the UK, the wood pigeons love, love, LOVE to eat our brassicas. Make sure you net your plants or you’ll find they beat you to the crop. (Netting also helps protect against the cabbage butterfly.)
Broccoli and other brassicas love their nitrogen. I’ve found it useful to prepare the ground with manure before planting and then work in some blood fish bone later during the growing season. It’s also helpful to a 5-20–20 feed right before the heads form.
While it’s best to grow broccoli and other brassicas soil that has a pH between 6.0-7.5, this variety of broccoli will grow in slightly acidic soil. However if it’s dry or hot in the summer, it can cause the plant to bolt or form brown leaves. If this happens increase the watering. If that fails, you’ll need to improve your soil beforehand with lime.
Harvest central heads when they are fully formed, but not yet past their prime. (A broccoli head is past its prime if the flowers start opening. Try to get to it just before this happens.) When harvesting main heads, cut 5-10 inches down the stalk to encourage side shoot development. Harvest side shoots often, as they encourage the plant to continue producing throughout the growing season.
Broccoli grows well with other brassicas (i.e. brussel sprouts, kale, and cabbage). It also likes tomatoes, spinach and swiss chard. It benefits from being planted with alliums (onions and garlic).