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Growing broccoli in home gardens

A quick guide to broccoli 

  • Grow where you have not grown related crops--cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, kale, mustard, turnip or rutabaga--for the past four years.
  • For spring plantings, start seeds indoors in early to mid-April.
  • For the fall crop, start seeds indoors or out, in early to late July.
  • Gardeners in northeastern Minnesota can grow broccoli all summer long.
  • After you harvest the main head, smaller side shoots will grow for another harvest.
  • Broccoli will continue to grow after the first light frosts in the fall.

An important green vegetable

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) is an important green vegetable in Minnesota. Small, edible floral shoots make up a broccoli plant’s head. You can eat the tender, bright green flower stalks and undeveloped flowers raw as part of a vegetable platter, or chopped and mixed into a salad or slaw. Some prefer broccoli cooked in a soup or in a savory sauté, as well as stir-fried or steamed as a side dish.

The leaves of broccoli plants are edible. Use them as you would kale or collards. Some varieties have purple coloring when raw. This coloring usually fades, leaving a bright green hue after cooking.

Soil pH and fertility

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Selecting plants

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Planting

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How to keep your broccoli plants healthy and productive

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Jill MacKenzie

Reviewed in 2018

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