“Eat your broccoli. You won’t get any dessert if you don’t eat it” those were the words I grew up hearing my mum say at the dining table, and that made me hate broccolis. For me, broccoli became the vegetable that stopped me from getting the sweet thing (dessert) I wanted. Now that I am grown, I do the same for my kids.
Broccolis are a staple part of my garden now, and I ensure that I space them well. Broccolis need quite a bit of space to give you the best yield. When planting broccoli, they must be spaced at least 18 inches apart.
How Far Apart to Plant Broccoli
Because of the space that broccoli needs to grow well, it is recommended to space them 18 inches apart from each other. They should be at least three feet apart if you are planting them in rows. If you have a limited amount of space at your disposal, you can try planting your broccoli closer but know that their head size will be reduced along with overall yield. This is similar to when you plant strawberries close to each other. Just like how tomatoes can be spaced in containers, broccoli plants can also be grown in pots if you have limited space in your garden.
Broccoli can grow up to three feet tall and attain a width of three feet. Broccoli plants need room in the garden to attain their best yield and develop the best crown heads.
There are options if you want to plant broccoli as a seed. Any options you choose will determine the spacing you will give to your plant. When you plant broccoli seeds directly into the garden ground, you should space them at least three inches apart. Also, each seed should be planted a half-inch deep into the soil.
You can also use a raised bed to plant your broccoli. If you are going with the raised bed option, you should space your broccoli plants 15 to 18 inches.
You’ll want to start your broccoli seeds indoors, in small pots, if you reside in a region where the spring and summer temperatures might rise quickly. Aim to plant five to six weeks before the final date of the last frost in your region.
You may buy specialized cell planters for starting seeds or use clean, empty yogurt cups or even an egg carton.
Thinning Your Broccoli
When you plant your broccoli seeds into the ground, there is a chance that not all of them will germinate. When some of the seeds germinate, there is also a chance that the seedlings will be too close together. This can hinder the thriving of the plants from growing into adult broccoli. So, what is the solution to the problem of plants not thriving as they become seedlings due to space? The answer is thinning.
Thinning will help you get the space right. The seedlings should be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart when thinning. If there is more than one row, each row should be spaced 36 inches from the next row. When thinning, you need to choose the plants to keep or remove. It would help if you kept the most healthy-looking plants. The plants that look stunted and sickly should be removed.
Again, just as you don’t pull on strawberries when thinning, do not pull broccoli. Instead, use a shear or knife to remove the sick-looking plants. If you pull the broccoli, you may end up hurting the root system of the healthy plants.
Spacing For Broccoli Seedlings
You may have started your broccoli planting indoors. But there comes a time when they need to be moved to the garden. You can know when the broccoli is ready to be moved to the garden when you see a few leaves coming in. The transplants should be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart each other in a row.
To plant your seedlings, dig a small hole in the garden soil. Ensure that the hole you dig is bigger than the root ball of the broccoli. It would help if you planted your broccoli seedlings a bit deeper than the first time you planted them.
Broccoli Spacing in Containers
To save space in your garden, you can grow your broccoli plant in containers. The same idea you use to grow broccoli plants in gardens still applies when growing them in containers. The rules are simple; Broccoli plants need ample space to grow well.
Choose a container with enough space because the size you choose will determine how well your broccoli grows. When selecting your containers, use the same guidelines for space as for in-ground broccoli: seek pots with a minimum diameter of 18 inches. Select a container with a volume of at least 5 gallons to ensure that the pot will hold adequate soil to permit root growth and good nourishment.
When growing many broccoli plants in containers, ensure adequate space between the pots for the plants to expand. If the container is big enough, you can try growing a few different plants. Two or three broccoli plants may flourish in a 15-gallon pot that is roughly 36 inches broad.
Broccoli can be grown close, but for the greatest results, you should leave each plant plenty of areas to expand. A plant is more likely to produce tasty broccoli for you to harvest and eat if it has more room to spread out. Do you want tastier broccoli at the end of the harvest season? Give them ample space to grow!
I also recommended companion planting for vegetables such as broccoli. There are over 20 companion plants for broccoli that help them grow well.
Can Broccoli Be Planted in a Tight Space?
You can plant your broccoli in a tight space. However, be assured that your yield will be impacted. The ideal spacing for broccoli is 18 inches, but it is still possible to grow them closer together. If you want to grow your broccoli plants tighter, you can leave one foot of space on all sides. However, the tight growth of broccoli will harm your results. The broccoli plants will not have enough room to grow fully, resulting in stunted growth and broccoli plants with small heads.
Your plants may be more susceptible to disease or pest issues if you grow them close together. Less airflow between plants results from more crowded conditions, which can foster the growth of bacteria or fungi.