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Gary350
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Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

When do you plant your broccoli?

I have never had good luck growing broccoli in TN, I want to plant broccoli this year. I have tried planting it in the spring soon as plants are available at Farmers Co-op. We often have 80 degree weather in Feb then snow a week later then more warm weather in March then more snow before it finally gets warm and stays warm late April. My broccoli always goes to seed. I planted broccoli a few times in Sept but we have the same weather in fall 80 degrees until late December and lots of cold with it. This year we had no cold weather in the fall it was 80 degrees on December 30th. Now winter is finally here 15 degrees at night and 40 during the day.

What is the trick to growing broccoli and how cold can it get before it kills broccoli?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: When do you plant your broccoli?

Broccoli can hardly be killed by cold. I have planted broccoli seed, in Cincinnati zone 6, in late Oct. It starts to sprout, gets just a few inches high and then goes dormant for winter. It will just sit there through snow and ice and whatever and start growing again in late winter when the days start getting longer. I never even covered it, though if it is bitter cold, that would probably help.

What does broccoli in is heat. Once you start having consistently above 80 deg temps, especially with long summer days, it will bolt and be done.
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: When do you plant your broccoli?

In Hawaii I have to plant broccoli at the end of summer in July or August so they mature in cool weather. I don't have snow to deal with. They take about 3 months to mature so you could probably start them indoors 6 weeks before your last frost or buy transplants and set them out as soon as you can. They do best in temps 50-70 degrees. They could probably do well a little colder but it doesn't usually get down lower than the high 40's here and only when a cold front passes by. I can get side shoots from the broccoli from November to May. I have tried Brussels sprouts but they take even longer to grow and they don't survive summer heat even in the shade. The sprouts open up quickly. I have some broccoli now that I finally got growing in December and I am hoping they will be able to produce soon . They are about 6 inches tall now. I did try to start them earlier but the snails kept eating them.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: When do you plant your broccoli?

Mature broccoli plants are less winter hardy than seedlings with about four true leaves. Young broccoli can easily take mid-20's and probably even down to low 20's. Things can get a little iffy lower than that, and single digits and negative single digits can do them in.

Heavy mulch can help. So can providing wind shelter. Good blanket of snow is actually more protective than dry freeze.

You have to be aware how wet and soggy the ground can get since the ground saturation and drainage changes after the ground freezes.

Also vitally important to know the sun exposure. If you haven't done this for your garden before, start keeping track right now. Daylight is getting longer and sun crosses the sky a little higher now than at Winter Solstice, but this is still when the sun is mostly lowest and surrounding trees and buildings can shade out much of your garden. (I have practically NO direct sun anywhere in the back and side yards during the winter)
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River
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Location: Mobile

Re: When do you plant your broccoli?

I am in zone 8a and this is my 2nd year to grow broccoli
I planted packman the 1st week of October
Today I counted around 15-17 small heads and the other half should start any day
I started from seed late August
My biggest problem is in the beginning until it gets cooler
I use bt early on to give the plants a chance to grow otherwise the insects win
Mobile al zone 8b

ButterflyLady29
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Re: When do you plant your broccoli?

The trick is knowing when to harvest. If it flowers you let it go too long. I always have a hard time getting a good harvest when I try to let it get the the optimal size, one day it doesn't look ready and the next the yellow is starting to show. It's still good if the buds are just starting to open but not as good as before they open.

imafan26
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Re: When do you plant your broccoli?

In a warmer climate, as soon as the temperature warms, the bugs skeletonize the plants and temperatures in the 80 makes the buds open up faster. Late summer and fall planting is best. It is important that the temperature be under 70 to get good sized heads.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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