The Broccoli One Sheet | Broccoli FAQs

What is Broccoli? 

As they say, mother knows best, and broccoli is the classic vegetable that we have all been encouraged to eat bunches of since childhood. This is all for good reason! Broccoli is packed with vitamins, and minerals, and contains more protein than most other vegetables. What more could you ask for in these tantalizing tiny trees? 

Best outdoor temperature for growing broccoli?

When thinking about growing bunches of broccoli, it is important to remember that the plant prefers temperatures between 45 degrees and 75 degrees. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees, as well as a light frost, but don’t allow your broccoli to freeze! Too cold or too warm of weather will cause your broccoli to go to seed without forming heads.

What is the best way to harvest broccoli? 

It’s time to harvest when the buds are a dark green color and tight. They will look like trees and the buds should be tightly closed. If you see the buds beginning to open, harvest immediately! Harvest in the morning with a sharp knife to the main head, leaving about 5-6 inches of stem. 

How much light does broccoli need to grow?

Broccoli does best in cooler weather. These plants like partial shade, but can also tolerate full sun. Typically, you should give your veggies between 4-8 hours of sunlight per day. 

Should I water broccoli every day?

Broccoli needs about 1-1.5 inches of water per week. When watering, water at the base — NOT the central heads. Wetting the heads will encourage rot and invite unwanted pests such as aphids, maggots, or flea beetles.

What are some interesting facts about broccoli?

Italian immigrants first introduced broccoli to the United States in the 1800s.

Broccoli ranks in the top 20 foods regarding the aggregate nutrient density index, it is a great source of vitamins C, A, and K + fiber, folate and potassium.

The word broccoli comes from an Italian word broccolo which means “the flowering top of a cabbage.

California produces 90% of the broccoli consumed in the U.S.

In the U.S. the average annual per capita consumption is 5.8 pounds.

600+ studies have shown that the phytochemical “sulforaphane” found in broccoli and other related plants, may be the most potent anti-cancer compound on earth. Another reminder that Food is Medicine.

Broccoli is actually unopened flowers.

In 1776, a gardener and scholar named Thomas Jefferson penned The Declaration of Independence (you may have heard of him and his work). Jefferson’s Monticello estate was a giant plantation garden where he grew and experimented with countless rare and unusual plants. Hearing about a strange Italian veggie called “broccoli,” he had seeds imported from Italy so he could grow them.

Jefferson wrote about growing broccoli and its close relative, cauliflower, on May 27, 1767, which might well make him the first American to have ever grown broccoli on American soil. Understandably, he’s better known for his other works than for growing broccoli.

Let’s talk taste.

Raw broccoli is crunchy and earthy, with a bitter, crisp flavor. Cooking transforms broccoli to make it tender, sweeter, and even crispy. 

What is the best way to plant broccoli?

You can grow broccoli from seeds or transplants. Transplants are the easiest way to ensure your plants are protected and growing well.  Container gardening is a good option for broccoli because of its disdain for heat. Move to the shade on hot and long days to keep the broccoli tasting good.

What are some of our favorite ways to enjoy broccoli?

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Parmesan

Sauteed Broccoli