Fruit, Vegetable & Herb Gardening
How to Grow Broccoli Plants
You can plant this popular vegetable in the spring or fall
- Plant broccoli in spring or fall.
- Choose a location with full sun and well-drained soil.
- Harvest broccoli sooner by using starter plants from Bonnie Plants®.
- In spring, plant 2 weeks before the last frost; for a fall harvest, plant in summer once the heat subsides.
- Improve soil by mixing a 3-inch layer of Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil into your native soil.
- Begin feeding one month after planting with Miracle-Gro® Performance Organic® Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules.
- Harvest broccoli when heads are firm and tightly packed.
1. Plan for Cool Weather
Broccoli plants like to mature in cool weather. When growing broccoli from young plants, choose vigorous Bonnie Plants® and plant them in the springtime in full sun. When sowing seeds, plant them a couple of weeks before your last spring frost date, then move them to the garden once all chance of frost has passed. Fall crops can be planted in late summer or early fall.
2. Plant Your Broccoli in Rich Soil
Choose an area with full sun and well-draining soil. Loosen the top 6 inches of soil, then mix in a 3-inch layer of Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil, which is enriched with aged compost that will provide your plants with lots of invigorating nutrition and just the right texture for strong-growing roots. Plant young Bonnie Plants® broccoli plants 18 to 24 inches apart. If you're planting in the fall, make sure to get plants into the ground 8 weeks before your first expected fall frost (seeds will require 85 to 100 days).
3. Feed and Weed
To give your broccoli plants their best chance at success, use Miracle-Gro® soil and plant food together to create the ideal nutrition-filled growing environment. A month after planting, fertilize growing broccoli plants with Miracle-Gro® Performance Organic® Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules, which supports both soil and plants, and feeds continuously for up to 6 weeks. (Be sure to follow all of the directions on the label.) You can also help your broccoli grow big and strong by keeping the soil consistently moist, adding a 3-inch layer of mulch to help conserve moisture. If you receive less than an inch of water, especially in the summertime, you'll need to give Mother Nature some help. Also, remove weeds around the plants carefully so you won't disturb the roots of your crop.
4. Harvest Your Broccoli
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."
5. 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.