Broccoli is a delicious vegetable, and it’s time to get planting! For zone 5, broccoli seeds should be planted outside on May 1. I’ve already started mine inside the house in a mini greenhouse. But in general, we want to plant the seeds two to three weeks before the last frost.
What we need:
- Broccoli seeds or plants
- Vegetable soil
- A pot that is at least 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep with good drainage
- Rocks or coffee filters
- Fertilizer (I am using a combination of Epsom salts and sugar–1 cup each)
How to Plant:
- Place your container in a sunny spot–broccoli needs at least three hours of sunlight a day.
- Add the rocks or coffee filters in the bottom of the container.
- Add in the soil. I am using an organic vegetable soil. If you want to go this route, it isn’t hard to find–I purchased mine at Target.
- Mix the fertilizer into the soil.
- Plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep or plant the small plants slightly deeper than their current growth.
- Space the seeds 12-24 inches to give the broccoli room to grow. Leave around 36 inches between rows, or use another container.
- Cover with soil.
That’s it! Wasn’t that easy?! In about three weeks, you’ll want to fertilize the plants. Be sure to water the plants regularly, avoiding getting water on the broccoli heads.
When to Harvest
I wish I could give you a clear date–like eight weeks after planting–but that never works. Harvest the broccoli when the buds are firm and tight–before it flowers. If you see a yellow flower, harvest immediately! Off shoots from the main plant will continue to produce broccoli for several weeks–or all summer, depending on how hot it gets.
There are a few pests we have to watch out for–aphids (awful) and cabbage loopers (ick!). If you see curling leaves or small holes in the leaves, take action immediately. I generally spray with a combination of water and dish soap.
Overall, broccoli is easy to grow and will provide your family with a super food throughout the summer! Broccoli may also be planted again for a fall harvest–just keep an eye on the first frost date!