Planting, Growing & Harvesting Broccoli Plants
You can plant this popular vegetable in the spring or fall
Plan for Cool Weather
Broccoli plants like to mature in cool weather, so sow seeds in spring 2 weeks before your last frost date or start transplants indoors 5-7 weeks before your last frost date, and move them to the garden after the last frost date. Fall crops can be planted in late summer or early fall.
Plant Your Broccoli in Rich Soil
Choose an area with full sun and well-draining soil, loosening the soil 12-15 inches deep. Then, add a 3-inch layer of compost or garden soil, like Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil, following label directions. Plant three seeds together 1/2 inch deep every 18 inches in rows 36 inches apart. Thin seedlings when they reach 1 inch in height, leaving just the strongest one in each group. Use the same spacing for transplants. If you're planting in the fall, sow seeds in the ground 85-100 days before your first expected fall frost.
Feed and Weed
Help your broccoli grow big and strong by keeping the soil consistently moist, adding a 3-inch layer of mulch to help conserve moisture. Water in the summer if you're receiving less than 1 inch of rain per week. Start a regular feeding routine a month after planting. You can feed as you water with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Tomato, Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food 18-18-21. Remove weeds around the plants carefully so you won't disturb the roots of your crop.
Harvest Your Broccoli
Your broccoli will be ready for harvest 55-85 days after seeding. When the broccoli heads are firm and tight, cut them off with a sharp knife. If heads with buds are beginning to separate into yellow flowers, that means the broccoli is past its peak, although it's still edible. Learn more tips on harvesting in our article "How to Harvest Broccoli."
Keep Your Broccoli Fresh
Broccoli tastes the best right after it's picked, although you can store it in your refrigerator's crisper drawer for up to a week after harvest. Whether you steam it, bake it, sauté it, or serve it raw, your broccoli harvest will add a hearty nutritional boost to your meals.