Container growing is a great way to get fresh vegetables even if your soil is poor in quality or downright nonexistent. Broccoli is very well suited to container life and is a cool weather crop that you can plant in late summer or autumn and still get to eat. Keep reading to learn how to grow broccoli in containers.
Can You Grow Broccoli in Pots?
Broccoli is perfectly happy to be grown in pots. It does get a very wide spread, however, so plant only one per 5-gallon container. You can fit two to three plants in a 15-gallon container.
If you’re planting in autumn, start your seeds about one month before the first average frost. Either plant them directly in your container or start them indoors – broccoli seeds germinate at 75-80 F. (23-27 C.) and may not sprout outdoors if temperatures are still too high. If you’ve started them indoors, harden off your seedlings by setting them outside a few hours per day for two weeks before moving them outside permanently.
Even after germination, growing broccoli in pots requires paying attention to temperature. Containers, especially black ones, can heat up a lot in the sun, and you don’t want your broccoli container to go past 80 F. (27 C.). Avoid black containers, if at all possible, and try to position your plants so the broccoli is in partial shade and the container is in full shade.
How to Grow Broccoli in Containers
Broccoli container care is a little intensive as vegetables go. Feed your plants frequently with nitrogen-rich fertilizer and water them regularly.
Pests can be a problem, such as:
If you’re planting more than one container growing broccoli, space them 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 m) apart to prevent complete infestation. Cutworms can be deterred by wrapping the flower head in a cone of wax paper.