How to Grow Broccoli From Seed


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

Learn how to grow broccoli from seed with these step-by-step instructions and enjoy fresh, organic, homegrown broccoli all summer and fall! #howtogrowbroccoli #growbroccolifromseed #growbroccoliBroccoli is probably my very favourite vegetable of all. Naturally, when it comes to growing vegetables, our broccoli plants tend to take up a fair amount of “real estate” in our garden (especially given that they grow quite large).

But it’s totally worth it to have fresh broccoli at the height of summer, another crop that lasts well into the fall, a few freezer bags full to last the year and, as an added bonus, we eat the broccoli leaves too! And of course, whatever’s left over goes into the compost.

No part of our broccoli plants go to waste, and every year we grow more and more. In fact, broccoli was one of the first vegetables we ever grew at home in our very first garden, and we’ve grown it every year since.

We’ve also been lucky enough to have always had success growing broccoli and we’ve actually found it to be one of the easier plants to grow from seed. But I’ve heard enough other people say that they’ve struggled with growing broccoli to know that it can be a bit finicky. So I figured it would be a great candidate for our seed starting series!

Learn how to grow broccoli from seed with these step-by-step instructions and enjoy fresh, organic, homegrown broccoli all summer and fall! #howtogrowbroccoli #growbroccolifromseed #growbroccoli

The first head of broccoli I ever grew and harvested myself!

Be sure to check out part one of this year’s seed starting series too!

——> How to Grow Tomatoes From Seed

Alright, let’s dive in…

 

How to Start Broccoli Seeds Indoors

The Basics:

  • For a summer crop, start broccoli seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before your average last frost date.
  • For a fall crop, start broccoli seeds indoors in late May or early June for a September or October harvest.
  • Sow seeds ⅛ of an inch to ¼ of an inch deep. 
  • Seeds should germinate in about 5 to 10 days.
  • Plant one seed per pot or to guarantee better germination, plant 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin the seedlings out to just one per pot as they start to grow.
  • Keep soil watered evenly but not sopping wet. 
  • Use indoor grow lights if possible to give broccoli seedlings lots of light and keep them from getting tall and “leggy” (aka. spindly).

Learn how to grow broccoli from seed with these step-by-step instructions and enjoy fresh, organic, homegrown broccoli all summer and fall! #howtogrowbroccoli #growbroccolifromseed #growbroccoli

The Details:

Broccoli is a great summer or fall crop. Since it’s cold hardy, it will last in the garden well into October in most climates. That being said, you’ll need to start seeds at different times in order to get a harvest at different times.

For a summer crop, start broccoli seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before your last frost date. For a fall crop, start indoors in late May or early June for a September or October harvest.

Sow seeds ⅛ inch to ¼ inch deep. The general rule is to sow seeds about 2x deeper than the seeds are large. Since broccoli seeds are pretty tiny, they should be sown pretty shallow. But make sure they’re covered with soil. You can sow one seed per pot or sow multiple seeds for better germination rates. Two or three seeds per pot should ensure good germination. But you’ll have to thin seedlings out to one per pot when they begin to grow. We use these peat pots to start our seeds. These are great because they biodegrade in the soil so you don’t have to disturb plant roots by taking the seedlings out of the pots to transplant them.

Keep the soil moist at all times but don’t overwater. You’ll also want to keep your broccoli seedlings under grow lights as they require lots of light to grow strong and healthy. Try to keep the lights hanging just a few inches above the seedlings. If the lights are too far away (or if you keep your seedlings by a window and they need to stretch to reach the light), your broccoli seedlings could end up shooting up quite tall and getting long and spindly. Try to avoid this by growing them under grow lights. You can purchase grow lights from the store or make your own indoor grow light stand.
 

When it comes to starting broccoli from seed, you can technically direct sow seeds right into your garden if you live in a warmer climate. But germination and survival rates tend to be much better when seeds are started indoors and growing conditions are monitored and controlled for the first few weeks. I have a hunch this may be why some people struggle with growing broccoli. 

We tried starting our fall crop outdoors last year and didn’t have any seeds germinate! The soil kept drying out too quickly and the temperature fluctuated a bit much from day to night. I don’t know for sure, but I think this may have been why we struggled with that particular crop. We’ve always had success starting seeds indoors though, and that’s the generally recommended “best practice” when it comes to growing broccoli from seed.

 

Related: 8 Things to Think About Before Starting Seeds

 

Transplanting Broccoli Seedlings Outdoors

The Basics:

  • Transplant broccoli seedlings outdoors once they have 6 to 8 sets of true leaves.
  • Harden them off for 3 or 4 days before transplanting them permanently into the garden.
  • Do not plant in the same area where you grew broccoli or any other brassicas last season. If possible, plant broccoli where you grew peas or beans last season as the soil will have more nitrogen from the peas and beans which will help broccoli grow strong and healthy.
  • For best results, fertilize the soil before planting with composted manure or organic fertilizer.
  • Plant seedlings 18-24” apart (45-60cm apart) in rows 30-36” apart (75-90cm apart).

The Details:

Wait to transplant broccoli outdoors until each plant has roughly 6 to 8 sets of true leaves. Harden them off over the course of about 3 or 4 days by putting seedlings outdoors for a couple hours and then bringing them back inside, then put them out for a little longer the next day and bring them back in, then put them out and leave them out in their pots overnight before transplanting them into the garden. 

This is how we always harden our plants off and I notice they get visibly larger and stronger (with thicker stems) over the course of those few days when we’re hardening them off.

Be sure not to plant broccoli in the sae spot as you planted any brassicas last season. Brassicas (ie. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, etc.) are heavy feeders, which means they tend to deplete the soil of nutrients. So don’t plant them in the same spot as you planted them the previous season because the soil won’t be as rich and healthy as it should be to grow strong healthy broccoli plants.

If possible, try to rotate them to a spot where you grew either peas or beans the previous season, or where you previously planted a cover crop of legumes like clover. Legumes actually add nitrogen back into the soil which helps improve the nutrient content. 

Still, you should add some organic fertilizer to give your broccoli the best chance. Before planting, spread some composted manure or simply some compost, or add some fertilizer to the soil where you’ll be planting. Add about ¼ cup of organic fertilizer to each planting area and mix well into the top soil.

Plant seedlings about 18-24” apart in rows about 30-36” apart. Full grown broccoli plants grow quite large and their leaves need room to spread out, so be sure to give them enough space. Make sure their roots are below the soil and then mound a little extra soil around the base of each plant to keep them well supported. 

 

Caring for Broccoli Plants

The Basics:

  • Grow broccoli in a location with full sun. While they are cold-hardy, they love the sun and don’t do well in the shade.
  • Keep soil evenly watered but don’t let the soil become sopping wet. Make sure to plant in a well-drained area. The top 6 inches or so of the soil should be kept moist at all times (as much as possible anyway).
  • Fertilize again about a month after planting. Simply spread a little rotted compost or manure or some store-bought organic fertilizer on the soil around your plants and water it in.
  • Harvest broccoli heads once they have fully developed but the buds are still closed tight. Cut the head off with about 5 or 6 inches of the stem too.
  • Leave the plants in the ground after you’ve removed the heads. The plants will produce offshoots of little broccoli heads giving you an extra harvest. You can also harvest and eat the leaves!
  • Once you’ve harvested all your broccoli and it’s finished for the season, pull plants out by the root, mulch up and compost. Add some compost to the area to add nutrients back into the soil before planting anything else.

Learn how to grow broccoli from seed with these step-by-step instructions and enjoy fresh, organic, homegrown broccoli all summer and fall! #howtogrowbroccoli #growbroccolifromseed #growbroccoli

The Details:

Broccoli is a bit of a dichotomy. It’s a cold-hardy plant that thrives in cooler temperatures but it’s also a sun-loving plant that hates shade. Plant seedlings in a location that gets full sun.

Make sure to water daily to keep at least the top 6 inches of the soil constantly moist. Try to water in the early morning or evening to keep the water from evaporating too quickly (as it tends to do midday in the summer).

To encourage strong, healthy growth, fertilize again about a month after planting by spreading some rotted compost or manure over the soil and watering it in. Do not mix it into the soil ad you could break or disrupt the roots.

Harvest broccoli heads when they are full grown but the buds are still tightly closed. If they’ve begun to open up, the broccoli is still edible but not quite as good. Once the broccoli begins to flower though, it’s too late. Keep an eye on broccoli plants in the middle of summer because they tend to bolt and go to seed quickly if you get a heat wave. Try to stay on top of them and harvest before this happens.

Learn how to grow broccoli from seed with these step-by-step instructions and enjoy fresh, organic, homegrown broccoli all summer and fall! #howtogrowbroccoli #growbroccolifromseed #growbroccoli

Once you’ve harvested the main head, leave the plants in the ground and continue watering for a couple more weeks. Removing the head encourages the plants to grow offshoots (little miniature heads of broccoli that grow off the sides of the main stem) which means an extra harvest for you!

Also, don’t waste the leaves! Broccoli leaves are edible too and taste just like broccoli but are more like kale or collard greens in nature. Add them to soups, stews and stir fries or make some Cream of Broccoli Leaf Soup!

Pull plants out by their roots, mulch them up and add to your compost once you’ve harvested all you can from them. Then add some finished compost or fertilizer to the area where they were planted to add nutrients back into the soil.

For a quick reference guide, don’t forget to grab your FREE Seed Starting Cheat Sheet. It includes at-a-glance info on exactly when and how to start 10 common garden vegetables from seed.

>> Download your Seed Starting Cheat Sheet now!

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

 

 

 

 


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1 Comment

  1. Darcy?

    I’m interested to know how you came across it 🙂

    Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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I don't know about where you're from, but around here the Christmas decorations have been on store shelves since August and the first carton of eggnog I saw at the grocery store was in September! ⁣

I'm all for celebrating the season, but I think it loses something when it becomes Christmas all year long (or at least when it spans 2 or even 3 seasons!)⁣

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Grab the full recipe via the ink in my bio @anna.sakawsky or visit https://thehouseandhomestead.com/old-fashioned-homemade-eggnog-recipe/ ⁣

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What’s in your bug out bag??

Yesterday I was in my Stories sharing a bit about emergency preparedness and what I’m doing to get prepared for whatever the future holds.

I also asked YOU what emergency skills or supplies you recommend having in your back pocket “just in case,” and one of the responses I got was to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go.

This got me thinking it was high time to pull out my bug out bag and go through it because it’s been a couple years since I last did so. I decided to share it with you here and show you what I keep packed and ready to go and go through what needs updating and what I’m missing.

If the concept of a bug out bag is new to you, have a watch through this video and check out this article on 15 Emergency Preparedness Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-emergency-preparedness-items-you-need-packed-ready-to-go/

Also, if getting more prepared for anything and everything from a power outage to a natural disaster to a medical emergency to a man made disaster like a war or a cyber attack is a goal of yours, be sure to check out the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is packed with great advice on emergency preparedness for any situation. (Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com)

I’d also love to hear from you!

Do you keep a bug out bag packed?

What do you keep in it?

What types of emergency situations are you preparing for in your area?

Let me know in the comments 👇

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Do you have what you need on hand to take care of yourself and your family in the event of a worst case scenario?

With everything going on in the world these days, we’re getting more and more serious about equipping ourselves with the tools, supplies and skills needed to handle emergency situations if the need arises.

Between growing nuclear tensions, the ongoing threat of pandemics, cyber attacks and a looming energy crisis, medical staff and supply shortages, and general “everyday” medical, financial and other miscellaneous emergencies, we’d all be wise to be prepared BEFORE the next emergency happens.

One of our neighbours passed away very suddenly last week (just 50 years old 😔) and it reminded me of just how quickly things can go sideways. As far as we know he suffered a heart attack, and while his wife did everything she could to save him, by the time the ambulance arrived it was too late. It was a wake up call for me, that not only do we need to be prepared with supplies on hand, but with knowledge and skills too. I’m definitely looking into booking a refresher First Aid course and highly recommend everyone reading this do the same if this is a skill you need to brush up on!

This is all part of being more self-reliant, and these skills are becoming more and more important in the world these days.

My hubby @ryan.sakawsky covered many emergency scenarios and how to prepare for them in detail in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you can subscribe and read the latest issue via the link in my bio, or by visiting https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/

I’d also love to hear from you! What are you doing to prepare and/or what skills and resources would you recommend that everyone acquire now before it’s too late?

Comment below 👇
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If you feel like your garden struggled more than usual this year, or that many of your homesteading efforts were in vain, you’re not alone.

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“I held in my heart an overwhelming level of optimism for the 2022 growing season… I couldn’t have been more wrong and could not have possibly prepared for what awaited me in the upcoming months that paved the way into summer,” he begins.

To read the full story, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or log in and read the latest issue 🍁

(Quote in the reel by Mike Fitzgerald, “Rolling With the Punches,” Modern Homesteading Magazine | Issue 29 | Fall 2022).

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The world is changing faster than ever.

We’ve barely had time to adapt to the “new normal” and still things are continuing to shift, change, and in some cases spiral more each day.

From rising inflation and persistent supply chain issues, to a looming recession and food shortages that are expected to get worse after a very tough farming year, to a war on European soil and the threat of cyber attacks and (God forbid) a nuclear attack, to the future of digital IDs and increasingly pervasive government control over every aspect of our lives, it’s no wonder more people are looking for ways to escape the matrix and “opt out” of the system.

I consider myself an optimistic realist: I hope for the best and I live fully and freely in the moment, but I prepare for the future accordingly based on what I can see unfolding in our world. And honestly, I find this “sweet spot” to be incredibly empowering.

This is why I do what I do and why I share it with you on a regular basis; I WANT TO EMPOWER YOU TOO!

That’s why I created The Society of Self-Reliance: A private membership that connects you with the resources, support and community you need to reclaim your independence and become more self-reliant in every aspect of your life.

From growing and preserving your own food to crafting and using herbal medicine to life skills like how to manage it all and stay calm in stressful situations, how to prepare for emergency situations and much more, if you’re ready to learn invaluable skills that will help you take control of your family’s food security, health and wellbeing, time, finances, and ultimately over your own future, The Society of Self-Reliance was created for you!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be reopening the Society doors for a limited time starting next week, and wanted to give you the heads up NOW so that you can get on the waitlist and make sure you don’t miss out when enrollment opens.

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Add a tablespoon or 2 of this syrup to your coffee or homemade latte for a better quality, better tasting PSL for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay at a coffee shop.

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Ann and her husband Justin recently moved from their two-acre homestead outside of Seattle, Washington to a 40-acre homestead in rural Tennessee. Ann and I sat down to talk about the realities of buying and selling a homestead, moving across the country to pursue your homesteading dream, what to look for when you’re searching for your next property, pitfalls to avoid (if you can!), and what you can do if you’re not ready or in a position to make your move just yet.

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This is why people don’t trust our medical system!!!

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My husband and I each got an Amber Alert on our phones the other night along with millions of other British Columbians, informing us of a child abduction in Vancouver. It made the suspect sound like a dangerous kidnapper and said “do not approach. Call 911.”

As it turns out, it was the mother of the child (a 3-year-old boy), who had refused medical treatment without getting a second opinion and follow up blood tests, so the Ministry of Child and Family Services was called, she was arrested and her son was taken from her and was administered medical treatment in the hospital without consent and without a guardian present.

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Doctors are not gods and as mothers we do not co-parent with the government!!!

This hits close to home for me because I too have been through the medical system and had my concerns dismissed, was misdiagnosed and given wrong information, and was treated with obvious contempt when I got a second opinion.

In this day and age of rampant medical coercion and the erosion of bodily autonomy over our own bodies and over those of our children, this story highlights the dangers of the very slippery slope we’re on.

As parents who only have the best interests of our children at heart, this could happen to any one of us. We can’t let this be normalized. Remember “first they came for (fill in the blank), and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Check out my stories for the full video that the mom, Wiloh made explaining the details of what happened or check out the comments for links to learn more & support this family.
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I’ve hesitated about posting this reel over and over because I know I’ll probably get backlash, hate and vitriol from some people in return. But I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t speak the truth that’s on my heart and mind…

If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

So today I’m adding my voice to the chorus of real, everyday Canadians who are taking a stand against tyranny and division in this country. As the saying goes, if we do not stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. I stand for freedom & autonomy, and against division & tyranny.

#trudeaumustgo

(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
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284 59

What would you do if the grid went down?

Imagine not just the lights going out, but all power, all digital communication and information. Would you be prepared?

A lot of us THINK we’re prepared for a grid down situation, but unless you’re already living off grid, you might not realize how dependent on technology we really are!

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

You might be surprised at the things they discovered and missed on their prep list, and it might prompt you to reevaluate whether you’re ready in case the grid goes down, or even just Google 😱

Check out the full story in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#modernhomesteadingmagazine #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #modernhomesteading #prepping #nationalpreparednessmonth
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The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

Likewise, I visited the city last weekend for a family event and as always, I had at least a couple people ask me “so when are you moving back to the city?”

Seven years later, and still we have friends and family members who think this is just a phase we’re going through, and eventually we’ll come to our senses and move back.

I used to get offended by these questions because I felt unseen; I felt like nobody took this life that I’m so passionate about seriously, and thought it was “cute” that I was “playing farmer” for a bit, but eventually I had to grow up and become part of the “real world” once again.

Now I just smile and reply “never:)”

Can you relate? How do you (politely) respond when someone questions your lifestyle choices or implies that you’ll eventually come to your senses and come back to “reality”?

Let me know below 👇
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The fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine just dropped!

In this issue you’ll find:

• Preparedness tips, tricks and advice to help you be ready for anything on the homestead (and in life!)
•The ultimate guide to growing garlic at home and it as both food and medicine
• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
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