Broccoli fast facts:
Cool or warm weather: Cool
Sun: 6-8 hours
Days til maturity: 8-12 weeks
Original or Leaf GreenStalk: Original
GreenStalk level: Lower levels
Needs plant support: No
For information about growing in your specific climate, check out your local extension office.
Growing broccoli in containers (especially the GreenStalk) is not hard at all! As a cool-weather crop, Broccoli can be started early in the spring for an early summer harvest, or in late summer for a fall harvest. We recommend using starter plants for beginners, or for those who have a short cool season. For those in a more mild climate, you can also sow outside from seed — just follow the directions on the packet.
A note about cool-weather plants
Growing cool-weather veggies like broccoli can be a little tricky depending on where you live. There are some years here in Tennessee where the weather skips over spring — we just go from freezing temperatures to blazing hot summer! Cool-weather veggies do better when the weather is slower to warm up. Broccoli plants do best when temperatures are between 65° and 75°F (18° and 24°C).
Growing and harvesting
Broccoli thrives in 6-8 hours of sun in cool weather. It’s not a very thirsty plant — keep the soil moist but not saturated. In cool weather, you will water less often than in warm weather.
Broccoli takes a while to mature — approximately 8-12 weeks depending on the variety you choose and your growing conditions. You can wait to harvest the main head of broccoli until it’s large, or harvest it early so more energy goes into producing side shoots. We have grown broccoli 7 inches in diameter — if you want big heads of broccoli you can definitely achieve it!
Don’t let your broccoli flower. If you see little yellow buds forming, cut the main head off immediately. The flowers have an unappealing texture and cutting it off will allow the plant to start producing those side shoots – which are great too!
Broccoli plants can get quite big, so always plant toward the bottom of your GreenStalk or in a spot where they won’t shade out the plants above or below. While broccoli can get quite large, you should be able to grow without using a plant support.
Broccoli is part of the brassica family, which means there are a few pests to watch out for. Aphids, cabbage loopers, and cabbage moths are just a few. To minimize pests and disease, start with clean soil and don’t overwater. If you notice pests, you can pick the bugs off or spray with insecticidal soap. We do not recommend using an insect cover if you already have an infestation. This will just trap the pests in with your plants! However, adding a GreenStalk Insect Protection Cover is a great preventative measure early on.
We hope you’ll see for yourself how fun and easy it is to grow your own broccoli. For more information about growing in your specific climate, check out your local extension office. We’re here to help you grow — just email us at email@example.com.