Quick Garden Tips
- Broccoli is a member of the mustard (or cole) family along with Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and radishes.
- Start seeds indoors about 6 weeks before planting time or transplant a start into your garden. Plant 12 to 24 inches apart.
- Water to keep soil evenly moist.
- Add a balanced fertilizer every 3 to 4 weeks after the plant is about 4 inches tall. Follow fertilizer package directions.
- Hot temperatures (above 80 degrees F) cause broccoli plants to send up flowering stalks. This is known as bolting. Once broccoli bolts, it can taste bitter and may not be good for eating.
Season and Location
- Plant in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.
- Broccoli prefers cool weather, so plan for a harvest in spring or fall.
- Choose small, compact varieties such as Small Miracle or Green Comet.
- Use at least a 5-gallon container with holes in the bottom for drainage.
Key Pests and Diseases
- Aphids: hose off with water.
- Cabbage worms: remove by hand.
- Use plant covers early in the season to reduce pests.
- To help reduce disease, do not plant cole family vegetables in the same area more than once every 3 or 4 years.
When to Plant and Harvest Broccoli in Oregon
- Coast: To grow your own starts, plant seeds indoors mid-March to mid-April. Transplant starts into the garden May through September to harvest July through October.
- Western Valleys: To grow your own starts, plant seeds mid-January through mid-February. Transplant starts into the garden March through August to harvest May through November.
- Central and Eastern: To grow your own starts, plant seeds indoors mid-February through mid-March. Transplant starts into the garden April through June to harvest June through September.
- Columbia and Snake Valleys: To grow your own starts, plant seeds indoors mid-February through mid-March. Transplant starts into the garden April through June to harvest June through October.
Recommended Types to Grow
Premium Crop, Packman, Arcadia, Early Dividend, Windsor, Emerald Pride, Gypsy, Romanesco, Veronica
How to Harvest
- Harvest broccoli by cutting the stem below a head when it is a useable size. Buds should be small and tightly closed.
- Some varieties produce side shoots. Cut them regularly and harvesting may continue for a few more weeks.
Storage and Cooking
- Refrigerate broccoli after picking to keep 10 to 14 days.
- Eat broccoli raw with a dip or mixed into salad. Use broccoli cooked in soups, stir-fries or as a side dish. Broccoli leaves can be prepared raw or cooked like kale or collards.
- Freeze or pickle broccoli for longer storage.
- Try this Food Hero recipe: Sesame Broccoli