One of the most popular cool-weather vegetable crops, broccoli is tasty served raw or cooked, and it's really good for you. Broccoli is rich in fiber, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and the cancer-fighting substance sulforaphane. Just don't tell the kids.
Broccoli plants need to mature in cool weather, so direct-sow seeds in spring 2 weeks before your last frost date or start transplants indoors 4 weeks before moving them to the garden. Fall crops can be planted in late summer or early fall.
Work plenty of organic matter into your soil before planting broccoli seeds or transplants. You can do this by mixing in Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil with your native soil. Plant three seeds together ˝ inch deep every 18 inches in rows 36 inches apart. Thin seedlings when they reach 1 inch, leaving just the strongest one in each group. Use the same spacing if you?re planting transplants.
Help your broccoli grow big and strong by keeping the soil moist and feeding with a balanced water-soluble plant food, such as Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, every 2 weeks until harvest. Remove weeds around the plants carefully so you won't disturb the roots of your crop.
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.
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, broccoli will add a tasty nutritional boost to your meals.
Learn about helpful tips on harvesting broccoli here