In early January; sow Broccoli seeds indoors in trays in succession planting per week in 4” pots. Sow Broccoli in soil that is 80o F at ¼” depth. You may also try soaking for 12 hours and sprouting the Broccoli seeds and then plant directly into the soil if seedlings are not taking off. It will take about 4-7 days to germinate. Transplant the seedlings into a hot bed in soil that is 60-65o F. Do not disturb the roots of when transplanting. Space each seedling 16” apart and 12” staggered, between rows.
Broccoli is an immature flower that loves boron. If it doesn’t have enough boron, your Broccoli will have stunted growth and will have a hollow stem-as will other members of the cabbage family. Add ½ ounce of borax per 1,000 sq ft to the soil as an amendment then water thoroughly. Mix it with a cup of blood meal to ease spreading in the bed. The pH range should be 6.5-7.5. They need full sun and watering should be moderate and even at the base of the plant. Cover with a frost cloth until threat of frost is gone. During the cold months of January and February, also cover with a hoop house to trap in heat, uncover during warm days to ensure pollination. Fertilize with compost tea every three weeks until harvest.
Harvest Broccoli when the head is tight, dark green and fully formed. Broccoli is a cut-and-come-again vegetable. Harvest the main, center head followed by side shoots every few days for small varieties and every week for the larger varieties. Between succession planting and side shoots, you will have a nice supply of Broccoli throughout the season.
Grow at least 5 heads of broccoli for seed. Do not harvest any of the heads from those Broccoli plants. Broccoli is technically a biennial, but early (January), spring planted Broccoli for most varieties will produce seed by fall of that first year. If the variety you have selected did not produce seed, dig up the plants, giving a wide root ball, and store them between 32o and 40oF and replant in the early spring the following year. The plants will produce tall seed stalks with pods in the summer. Remove the entire seed stalk once it becomes dry and place in a paper bag. Gently flail and winnow the seeds from the podds and other plant material.