Broccoli is part of the cabbage family. As one of the cool season vegetables broccoli should be planted at the end of summer, so the plant has time to mature and be ready for harvest before it gets too hot out again. Broccoli takes longer to mature than a lot of other cool season vegetables. On average, broccoli is ready to harvest anywhere from 90-130 days from being planted.
How to Plant Broccoli
Before planting broccoli it is beneficial to soak the seeds the night before. Soaking the seeds helps the embryo in the seed to germinate. Broccoli seeds should be placed 1/2″ under the soil.
When planting broccoli remember they must have time to mature and be ready to harvest before day temperatures exceed 75 degrees. Keep this in mind when making the decision to plant seeds or seedlings.
When to Plant
Broccoli is a cool season vegetable. In gardening timing is everything. Seeds can be planted from the end of August through the beginning of January. Transplants can be planted from late September through the end of January.
Companion Plants for Broccoli
To make gardening easier plant some of broccoli’s relatives nearby. They will have the same growing requirements. Broccoli is part of the cabbage family, so kale, cauliflower, turnips, cabbage and brussel sprouts make good companions.
If you want to make your broccoli even happier plant some potatoes or onions nearby. Fill in the spaces with aromatic plants such as sage, rosemary, and dill. If you have pesky rabbits eating your cabbage plants planting onions nearby will deter them.
Just like you and I, Broccoli doesn’t like everyone. Don’t plant broccoli and tomatoes near each other. They don’t care for strawberries or beans either.
How to Care for Broccoli
Light Requirements: Broccoli needs full sun or about 6 hours of sun a day.
Soil Requirements: Prefers loamy well-drained soil, but broccoli can also grow well in amended clay or sandy soils as well. Broccoli likes slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH. The soil pH range of 6.8-7.4 is ideal.
Water Requirements: Broccoli likes consistent moisture. Water several times per week.
Fertilization Requirements: Broccoli is a heavy feeder. Like all plants broccoli appreciates soil that is amended with compost. Supplemental fertilizer should have high nitrogen. Alfalfa meal can provide nitrogen requirements.
When to Harvest Broccoli
Broccoli takes 90-130 days from the day of planting until harvest day. In Phoenix this means harvest times are December through May depending on when it is planted.