Broccoli is a common plant used as a vegetable at home. Naturally, you can start planting broccoli from seeds at home. But, most people prefer to purchase from their local grocery store because they think it is challenging to grow.
To be sincere, nothing is easy if you don’t put your mind to it. If you want fresh vegetables directly from your garden, you must start growing them yourself. The same applies to broccoli.
It is one of the easiest plants to grow from seeds. There are other methods you can start with, but I prefer to start from seeds because it’s more convenient, and I get to pick healthy seedlings to transplant.
Broccoli is a vegetable that originated in Italy long ago. It is among the family of cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. The family is known as the Brassiceae family.
People like it because of its nutritious value. It contains fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Planting Broccoli from seeds
Once you choose broccoli as your go vegetable, you need to start planting it. We are going to help you start planting broccoli from seeds at home. This guide will help you find the best conditions and seasons to start growing broccoli.
Read to the end to begin your journey.
When to start planting broccoli from seeds
Broccoli is a hardy plant that can withstand some frost. The best time to plant it is early to mid-spring, so you have the crop in early summer to late summer. That should be 4 to 6 weeks before the frost date.
The plant itself doesn’t like the high-intensity sun and temperatures, so ensure you plant it so that it can mature before or after the area experiences high temperatures.
In the early spring, plant your seedling indoors at about 70 to 75 degrees F. You can start broccoli seeds outdoors two weeks before the last frost if your area is warm. Outdoor seeds can handle the late frost because they are hardy.
How to plant broccoli from seeds
Start planting broccoli seeds outdoors.
Planting broccoli seeds outdoors is also known as direct sowing. It means you plant the seeds direct into the garden.
Find a place that receives at least eight hours of direct sunlight. Then prepare the garden with high-quality soil that is well-draining, loose, and rich in nutrients. Ensure the soil contains all the required nutrients. You can test your soil using a soil tester.
Once the soil is ready, plant two seeds in a single hole; Place them in ½-inch deep holes spaced 18 inches apart. Spray the area around the soil with water to keep it moist.
After 10 to 12 days, the seedlings will be about 3 inches tall. Start thinning them to remove weak seedlings. Ensure that the seedlings are 12 to 20 inches apart. Keep the soil moist.
Start planting broccoli seeds indoors.
Before you start planting indoors, you need to have some supplies to make work easier. They include;
Step 1: Prepare the seedling tray.
Preparing the tray includes adding potting soil to the soil. Spray the soil with water to moisten it, then fill the tray up to ¾ full.
Step 2: Plant the seeds
Place about 2 to 3 seeds per hole to get the best plant out of that hole. Plant them in a shallow hole, then cover them with ¼ inch of soil. You can thin out later.
Step 3: Water the seeds and cover.
After covering the plant with soil, spray the soil with water lightly. Or, you can choose to water them from the bottom by placing the tray on the water, so that the soil can soak in. You can leave it in water for 20 minutes, then remove it.
Cover the tray with the lid and place it on the heat mat. The lid retains moisture around the plant as the heat mat provides appropriate soil temperatures.
Step 4: Thinning
After about 10 days, the seedlings have sprouted. Remove weak seedlings from each hole and leave only the healthy ones. Ensure you leave one or two seeds per hole. Then leave to germinate.
Step 4: Transplanting
After 4 to 6 weeks, the seedlings are ready to transplant. If you are taking them out, ensure you harden them so they can adapt. You can move them into a pot or outdoors into a garden.
When transplanting, ensure you place them 12 to 20 inches apart, and the holes are deeper than their container depth. Water the soil around the plant to keep it moist. The soil must cover the plant up to the first true leaves.
When watering the plant, ensure you leave an interval between the watering period for the soil to dry. Give it at least 1 to 1 ½ inches of water per week. Also, don’t water the broccoli leaves; spray the water on the soil around the plant.
Mulch the plant to prevent weeds from growing. At the same time, it ensures the plant has cool temperatures.
If you are indoors, ensure the plant has temperatures of about 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Time to harvest
After the plant is ready, it is time to harvest. Ensure you harvest before the petals start to turn yellow. The best time to harvest is in the morning when the head is firm.
Cut the head 6 inches away from the stem using a sharp knife. Also, cut a few leaves to eat. Some plants continue to produce, and you can harvest for many weeks after it is ready.
Types of Broccoli seeds to grow
There are different types of Broccoli varieties that you can plant in your garden. Here are the recommended ones.
- Green Goliath
- Green Duke
- Green Magic
Can I fertilize my broccoli seedlings?
It is not necessary to fertilize seeds when you have planted them. Even the potting soil doesn’t have fertilizer because it can burn the seedlings. However, you can start fertilizing them when they grow their first true leaves.
Can I have companion plants?
Yes. You can plant broccoli with companion plants such as dill, chamomile, and cilantro. These plants benefit broccoli because they support insects that feed on pests attacking broccoli.
How can I germinate broccoli seeds faster?
You can germinate seeds faster by soaking them in water before planting them. A heat mat to increase heat in the soil. Adding heat to seeds can speed up the rate of germination. Use a soil thermometer to ensure the temperature is about 60 to 80 degrees F.