Growing Broccoli Cabbage: Planting, Care, Varieties


A temperate vegetable from the Brassicaceae family, broccoli is a leafy vegetable, a close relative of cauliflower. Biennial, sown in the nursery in late sPlanting locations for broccoli cabbage should receive direct sunlight. Absence of sunshine may result in lanky, emaciated plants and poor-quality heads.pring and then transplanted into the ground during the summer (July-August) when the young plants have grown sufficiently. Broccoli then overwinter in the vegetable garden and produce their delicious flowers until early next spring, when green vegetables are not yet abundant. Find out in detail how they grow broccoli?


Broccoli: A Head For Food

the solid heads of broccoli split into innumerable flower buds. They appear in the center of the plant (the heart) on a long stem. Purple, green or white depending on the variety, the broccoli florets we eat are therefore actually flower buds. After harvest, numerous, smaller axils often appear in the axils of residual leaves.


Where To Grow Broccoli?

To get tender heads and strong legs, broccoli appreciates rich, deep, well-drained soil, but stays fresh.


Broccoli is also sensitive to cold. Therefore, it appreciates a mild exposure in winter that allows it not to suffer from frost and sometimes produces its beautiful fleshy buds early. Its cultivation therefore suits the whole of Southern France.


Cultivation time: 3 to 4 months for Calabrian Green and Roman dialect broccoli, usually 6 to 8 months for spray broccoli and up to 10 months for a nice apple shape with apple broccoli.


How To Sow Broccoli?

Nursery Sow: Sow broccoli in terrines or cups from May to early July. Germination takes 1 to 2 weeks for squirting broccoli, a few days for large head broccoli.


Transplant them into rich, loose soil about 1 month to a month and a half later, when the plants have 4 or 5 beautiful leaves. Plant them in rows 60cm apart so they have enough room to grow. Keep the soil cool to ensure good recovery and encourage regular growth.


Sowing in the ground: sowing continues until mid-August. Then make a shallow groove. Wet the bottom using the sprayer, then sow a few seeds in pockets 60 or 80 cm apart. Lightly cover the seeds and place a waterproof veil at this stage to protect the broccoli from leaf-boring whiteflies and flea beetles. After emergence, keep only the prettiest plant.


Transplanting And Planting Broccoli

Choose a location where you have not grown cabbage for 3 or 4 years.


Then prepare the soil in the fall or late winter by providing plenty of compost and a phosphate-rich fertilizer such as potash. (500g for 10m²)


Remove the broccoli sown in pots when they have 4 or 5 leaves.


  • Slightly shorten their roots with scissors or pruning shears and cut the leaves by a third. Bury them to the level of the first leaves to encourage better rooting.
  • Finish with plenty of foot watering, which is done on the neck.

Gardener’s tip: To improve the recovery of your broccoli plants, you can praline the roots in a mixture made from 100 g of lithobush to 1 liter of water.


How To Water Broccoli?

Broccoli appreciate abundant and regular watering during their growth, especially during periods of high heat. Bring the water preferably in the morning, in the cool, carefully avoiding to wet the foliage.


Mulch : A 5- to 7-cm-thick spread of dry grass clippings or flax straw, renewed regularly, also helps keep the soil fresh for longer, which avoids digging and watering.


Buttage : Elevate broccoli that stays put in the vegetable garden all winter so they don’t sag under their weight.


When to Harvest Broccoli Heads?

Harvest large apple broccoli from late September through early spring in mild climates when the heads are well-formed, firm and firm. The flower buds are then very thin. Don’t wait any longer! The florets actually open very quickly, altering the taste and texture of the broccoli after cooking.


the spraying broccoli are harvested as needed from winter to early spring, but before, at the end of summer for the Calabrian Green variety.


Be careful ! In warm weather, broccoli sprouts also tend to bloom faster!


To enjoy maximum freshness, pick well trained broccoli early in the morning with pruners or a sharp knife. Leave the remaining cabbage in place. A few new lateral sprays will grow back in the leaf axils.


Broccoli heads can be kept for a few days in the refrigerator, but their nutritional properties deteriorate quickly.


Broccoli cabbage is vulnerable to attack by flea beetles and imported cabbage borer. A fine-mesh netting protects the crop from the former, while a thicker netting prevents adult moths from coming to lay eggs on the leaves.


How To Freeze Broccoli?

If your crop is very large, you can preserve broccoli by freezing it.


  • Untie the small bouquets and wash them.
  • Blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling water.
  • We pass them under cold water to stop so that the temperature drops quickly.
  • Dry them on a clean towel and then spread them on a large plate to be placed in the freezer.
  • After 5 or 6 hours of freezing, you can group them in freezer bags. The 500g and 1kg doses are ideal.

Diseases And Enemies Of Broccoli

Imported Cabbage Caterpillars

Imported cabbage worm (Pieris brassicae) is here a pet of all cabbages not just broccoli. The female butterfly lays her eggs on the surface or under the leaves. After a few days of incubation, greenish caterpillars with longitudinal lines are born. Particularly voracious, they quickly leave only the leaf veins.


For control, a collection of eggs and caterpillars is effective when broccoli is few. Some gardeners also place a small sprig of Scotch broom in each cabbage for its repellent effect.


Otherwise, the insect veil is a natural barrier against the adult butterflies while spraying a Thuringia bacillus treatment, harmless to humans, poisons the caterpillars which then stop feeding.



sclerotia is a disease caused by a fungus that attacks leafy vegetables in the brassica family (cabbages, kale, turnips, canola mainly) but also other vegetables (beans, onions, lettuce, peas, etc.)


Broccoli heart affected by sclerotinia turns white, then rots and turns black before harvest. To avoid the risk of propagation, uproot and destroy affected plants quickly. Do not plant other brassicas in the same location for at least 3 years. For prevention, use fertilizers rich in potash, not nitrogen. Finally, we always water at the foot, without wetting the leaves.



The larvae of this fly are responsible for the one-eyed cabbage ” (heartless). The plant only develops foliage. Place insect netting to prevent adults from laying eggs on the fleshy leaves of broccoli.


The Fleas

altises are beetles that mainly attack plants of the beetle family. Brassicaceae when the weather is dry and air temperatures are mild, near or above 20°C, causing multiple holes in the leaves.


Treat cabbage only with black soap. The only effective mechanical treatment is the placement of a fine mesh insect net. Natural repellants can also be used preventively: for example, spray a decoction of tansy (100 grams of fresh flowers for 1 liter of water) or smear the leaves of broccoli with a fern manure. Finally, nearby mustard plants seem to deter broccoli flea beetles! Tastes and colors, even in insects, are not invented!



the slugs love the tender young leaves of all cabbages, broccoli understood. They can literally pluck a number of newly transplanted plants in just one night! Don’t be idle. Protect upstream using your anti-slug arsenal.


The broccoli varieties are almost all of Italian origin. In fact, this cabbage was introduced to France only in the 16th century, gradually forgotten until the last decades.


Suggested Broccoli Varieties

Overall, two types of broccoli stand out: those with large heads, called apple broccoli, and spraying broccoli also called chu branch broccoli or asparagus cabbage.


Apple Or Broccoli With Big Head

Broccoli with large head (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) is usually grown as an annual. Like cauliflower, they form a large central apple that is green, white (Early, semi-early), yellow (Roman dialect, Minarets) or purple (“purple cape”) depending on the variety. At maturity, this compact and dense floral bouquet has many extensions. The entire head is harvested and then, later, a few more side jets.


Squirting Broccoli, Broccoli Branch

On the contrary, these spraying broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italics) very productive and equally biennial, do not develop a well-shaped head but a series of small green clusters (vert calabrais, Green Duke) or beautifully colored yellow, purple (Early purple), bluish appear in the axils of many leaves borne by a long stem.


Harvesting is more productive than with large head broccoli, since the young shoots are constantly renewed for harvest throughout the winter in a mild climate. Some cultivars, such as Perennial Nine Stars, are even almost perennial! If there is definitely a variety to grow, it is “Jet of Naples”, and spraying broccoli offering a long and abundant harvest.


Broccoli “Summer Purple”

It is a remarkable broccoli: from its color first, its lovely dark purple head stands out above beautiful blue-green leaves. Then, from its early stage, since it is possible to harvest it as early as March if it was sown in autumn. We also sow it staggered from late winter (March) to harvest from May and throughout the summer. We first pick a well-formed central purple bud and then as they form, twelve side buds (the famous jets)


“Sprouting Broccoli” English

The names of broccoli asparagus (Jean de la Quintinie compared their taste to that of asparagus) or grow broccoli across the Channel (where this variety is grown much more than here) define themselves by spraying broccoli.



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