Q&As/Brassica/Growing Broccoli

Question

I keep having trouble with broccoli never producing heads but going straight to seed. I tried planting out in summer and this year planted into early autumn but still the same problem. What’s going on?

Answer

Growing broccoli over the summer months means young seedlings will often grow too quickly and can bolt into flowering before producing a large head. Plant your next season broccoli seedlings directly into the garden in early April. This allows for good root formation before soil temperatures drop. The broccoli will then mature in a slow but steady manner throughout winter including the development of a nice edible head! 

Soil preparation is critical to successfully growing winter veggies. Check that your soil has good drainage as heavy clay or water-logged soils can also contribute to poor development of broccoli heads. Incorporate plenty of compost into your existing soil. This not only helps with drainage but ensures a very healthy growing medium that is not too heavy in nutrients (too much nitrogen can add excessive leafy growth to broccoli and result in not enough head).  

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