Growing Broccoli Indoors

Can I grow Broccoli, from seed to harvest, indoors? Absolutely.

Broccoli scored a “B-” on our “indoor-garden feasibility” scale. Broccoli was, overall, fairly easy to grow in the indoor garden, but it did take up a bit of space relative to the crop harvested. Here is the Tub to Table guide to growing Broccoli, from seed to harvest, indoors.

  • Botanical name – Brassica oleracea
  • Sun exposure – Full sun.
  • Soil type and pH – sandy  slightly acidic to neutral
  • Light period* – 12 – 14 hours of light
  • Water – Keep soil moist but not wet.
  • Weeks to maturity – About 9-10 weeks to harvest. 
  • Health benefits –  Broccoli is incredibly healthy and is a particularly rich source of Vitamin K , and vitamin C.
  • Favorite varieties – Calabrese, Imperial (takes a bit longer, 10 -12 weeks)

The broccoli varieties all grew well. We have so far trialed Imperial, Calabrese, di Cicco and Green Magic. (Di Cicco ended up dying off early but I think it was a watering issue not a variety issue.) Provide consistent water for good growth. I would recommend spacing them out quite a bit because they definitely take a lot of room and shade each other’s leaves. I would recommend no more than four plants in one 20 gallon bin, or at least 8-10″ apart. I usually try to pack my stuff in, but the broccoli crop (and cauliflower for that matter) needs the room.

For all the room the broccoli takes up, you only get one little side dish out of it every 8 weeks. So this vegetable isn’t a power producer and isn’t going on the “survival garden seed schedule“. But it you clean cut the central floret off, you can get secondary little broccoli-ettes to grow. They are cute as the dickens and extend your harvest a bit. With about 3-4 plants, you can get enough broccoli in this second harvest to even make a side dish or a soup.

Do your best to water the broccoli from below such as with self-watering bins. Or, only water the base of the plant as any water on the head of the broccoli can cause it to mold. Broccoli can also turn light brown and stop growing. If you see this, your broccoli may be suffering from “brown bead” which can be caused by inconsistent watering, low nitrogen or high temperature (above 85 degrees).

Harvest the broccoli before you see any little yellow flowers like this. The flavor rapidly worsens once those cute little flowers appear.

Harvest right before you see this little yellow flowers! Or as soon as you see one…

Verdict – B-. Broccoli is a great crop to grow indoors, but does take a while to harvest (around 8-10 weeks) and takes a lot of room for one small harvest. Can be harvested a second time but much smaller product the second time around.

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