A-to-Z Vegetable Guide:
How to Grow Vegetables»
Brassica oleracea italica
Italian immigrants brought broccoli to America in the early 1800s, and gardens haven't been the same since. And that's a good thing. Mangia!
Hardiness: Grown as an annual.
Planting advice: Plant seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and 18 inches apart; plant seedlings a little deeper than they were set indoors. Space rows 36 inches apart.
Harvest tips: Ready to harvest in about 55 to 60 days, when the central head is 4 to 6 inches in diameter. Don't wait too long, or the florets will flower.
Broccoli keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks in airtight plastic bags. To freeze, cut the head into bite-sized chunks; leave a little stem on each piece. Cut stems into 1-inch lengths. Blanch for three minutes in boiling water, then dunk in ice-cold water for three minutes. Drain; store in airtight freezer bags for up to six months.
Recommendations: Cruiser (drought-tolerant), Green Comet, Green Goliath.
Source: Birds & Blooms "Grow Veggies for Less"