Crop Name: Broccoli

Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea

Family Name: Brassicaceae

Cultivar Groups: Italica: kale, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts

Warm season or cool season:  cool season- summer and fall (best in fall)


Space between plants/between rows: (Largely dependent on cultivar) 6-9” between plants, 10-12” between rows or 15-18” between plants, 36” between rows

Fertility Requirements:

  • Soil: pH of 6.5-6.8 (lime), temperature of 55-75°F (no lower than 32°F or higher than 85°F)
  • Seed germination requires higher soil temperatures (85°F)
  • Maintain high calcium

Watering Needs:

  • Regular irrigation: high moisture content needed, especially during germination
  • Soil must be well drained

Number of days from seed to transplant and/or seed to harvest: Seed to harvest: 70-90 days to maturity (multiple harvests)

Planting Instructions: Direct seeding with precision type planter


Potential Pests:

  • Flea beetles
  • Cutworms
  • Root maggots
  • Cabbage aphid
  • Cabbage looper

Insect Pests Controls:


  • use floating row cover


  • destroy weeds prior to planting
  • incorporate crop residue immediately after harvest

Plant Pathogens:


  • Head rot: avoid overhead irrigation
  • Black rot: utilize crop rotations
  • Black leg: use disease free seeds, crop rotation
  • Downy mildew: resistant varieties available



When Ready to Harvest: when heads are dense and compact, roughly 3-6 inches in diameter. Heads should be harvested prior to flower initiation- no individual flower buds or yellow flowers should be distinguishable

How to Harvest: head should be clean cut from the plant, taking with is 8-10 inches of stem.

Optimal Time of Day to Harvest: early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cool to avoid excess field heat.

Best Method to Cool Crop: Hydrocooling or icing are both common methods to cool the crop immediately after harvest

Optimal Storage Temperature and Relative Humidity: 32° F with a relative humidity of 95-98%.

Possible Storage Life: 10-14 days

Common Post-Harvest Losses/Problems:

  •  Physiological Disorders
    • Hollow Stem- discoloration where the stem was cut at harvest
    • Floret Yellowing
  • Pathogens: both bacterial and fungal decay
  • Physical Damages: leads to increased decay

Average Yields: 5,000-10,000 lbs/acre (8,000 average), 3-6” crown diameter

Farm to YouNH Crop Data:

Year Crop Variety Date Planted Date Harvested Days to Harvest Total Yield (lbs) Yield (lbs/sq. ft)
2017 Broccoli assorted 6/15/2017 8/14/2017 59 11.25 0.173

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