WHERE TO PLANTBroccoli is a great choice for a home garden. Freshly cut broccoli heads are rich in vitamins and minerals. They’re delicious raw in salads or lightly steamed and they freeze well.  Broccoli prefers full sun, but in areas with high temperatures, partial shade can prevent your plants from bolting (going to seed).

SOIL CONDITIONSTo produce well, this vegetable requires rich, well-drained soil, with plenty of compost.  It is important to firm your soil with a rake once it has been dug through. Press the back of a metal rake down onto the soil and lean on it so that it gently firms the upper layer of soil. This gives seedlings an important firm foothold and prevents them from rocking and developing loose roots that will produce a small head.

MAINTENANCEIt’s important to ensure that your broccoli seedlings are weed-free and well mulched as they grow and develop. You can feed them every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser. As with other brassicas, ensure that you keep firming the soil at the base of your plants.  If any plants are becoming unstable or top-heavy, simply tie them to wooden stakes.

Broccoli needs 3cm to 5cm of water a week. A lack of water will result in tough stems, so soak plants extra well during dry spells.

HARVESTINGWhen the first flower heads show, you can harvest them after they have reached fist size or larger. COMPANION PLANTSRosemary, thyme, sage, onions and garlic.