Broccoli is a plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is part of the Brassica oleracea family, which also includes other vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage. Broccoli plants have green, flowering heads that are similar in appearance to cauliflower. The stems are typically thick and can grow to be quite large, depending on the variety of broccoli. The leaves of the plant are typically dark green and are arranged in a spiral pattern along the stem.
When it comes to growing conditions, broccoli prefers cool weather and well-draining soil. It is a relatively fast-growing plant, with the flowering heads typically forming in the first year. To cultivate broccoli successfully, a grower will need to make sure the plant gets enough water and sunlight, and provide it with the necessary nutrients through fertilization. In terms of winter hardiness, broccoli is not very frost-tolerant, so it is typically grown as a cool-season crop in areas with mild winters.
In terms of edibility, broccoli is a very nutritious vegetable that is packed with vitamins and minerals. The flowering heads and the stems are both edible, and can be cooked in a variety of ways. After harvest, broccoli can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, or frozen for longer-term storage.
Sow seeds 7cm apart, thin when seedlings reach 5-7cm in height.
Start seeds 6-8 weeks before your last frost date, or 2-3 weeks before last frost date. Plant outside when seedlings are 4-6 weeks old, or have 4-5 leaves.