Growing broccoli in a small garden can be tricky but it’s definitely possible.
In this article I’ll share some handy tips to help you grow broccoli in a small space or in containers.
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HOW TO GROW BROCCOLI IN A SMALL GARDEN
Choose a small broccoli variety
First, it’s important to choose the right variety of broccoli because some varieties are better suited for small spaces than others.
Look for a compact variety that doesn’t require a lot of space to grow.
Sprouting broccoli is a good option for small spaces.
It has a smaller head than traditional broccoli, and it doesn’t need as much room to grow.
Broccolini, also called tender stem broccoli, is another good choice for small gardens.
It’s a cross between regular broccoli and Chinese broccoli, and has long stalks with small florets on top.
Chinese broccoli, also known as Gai Lan, is another good option for small gardens.
It’s fast growing and has thick, edible stalks that are great for stir fries.
Stagger your planting
If you have limited space, you can still grow a lot of broccoli by staggering your planting.
Broccoli is a cool weather crop that thrives in temperatures between 60 to 65 degrees F. (15 to 18 degrees C.), so it can be grown in both spring and fall, making it a great option for year-round gardening.
Plant a few seeds every two weeks or so, rather than planting all your seeds at once.
This way, you’ll have a continuous supply of broccoli throughout the growing season.
Growing broccoli in containers
If you have limited garden space, you can also grow broccoli in pots or containers.
Just make sure the pots are at least 12 inches (30 cm) deep so the roots have enough room to grow.
You can use a traditional pot, or something like a half-barrel planter.
Fill the container with high-quality potting soil, and plant the seeds or seedlings according to the instructions on the pack.
Be sure to water container broccoli regularly because plants in containers dry out faster than those planted in the garden.
Broccoli plant spacing
When planning your garden, make sure to leave enough space for broccoli plants to spread out.
The plants should be at least 18 inches (45 cm) apart, and preferably 24 inches (60 cm) apart.
This will give them enough room to grow without crowding out other plants in your garden.
Prune the leaves
As your broccoli plant grows bigger and taller, remove a few of the lower leaves on the stem.
This will prevent the leaves shading other plants and allow for more air circulation around the plants.
Removing a few leaves also helps the plant focus its resources on growing upward and developing the head, rather than spreading out and taking up too much space in your garden.
Just be sure to remove no more than 2 to 3 leaves off each plant because they won’t be able to produce heads if there aren’t enough leaves.
Intensive broccoli growing
If you’re really short on space, you can try intensive broccoli growing.
This is a method of growing plants closer together than recommended, but making sure that they still get enough light, water, and nutrients.
To do this, plant your broccoli seedlings 12 inches (30 cm) apart. This is much closer than the usual 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm).
You’ll need to water and fertilize more frequently to make sure the plants don’t get stressed, but this method can save you a lot of space in your garden.
If you use this technique you can harvest every second plant early when the heads are still small and then leave the remaining plants to grow to full size.
This way you can really maximize your growing space.
Broccoli planting tips
Broccoli needs full sun to grow well, so make sure to plant it in a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
Before you plant your broccoli, it’s important to prepare your soil by digging in some compost or aged manure.
Broccoli prefers rich, loamy soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8. 
If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, it can affect the growth of your plants.
You can use a soil test kit to measure the pH of your garden soil.
Once you’ve prepared your soil, you’re ready to plant! Broccoli can be planted from seed or transplants.
Water your broccoli regularly, especially during hot, dry weather.
Broccoli needs about two inches (5 cm) of water per week.
Finally, don’t forget to fertilize your broccoli plants.
Broccoli plants are heavy feeders so feed them regularly with a liquid fertilizer or slow release fertilizer.
Broccoli is ready to harvest when the heads are firm and tight. Cut the broccoli heads off at the base with a sharp knife.
You can start harvesting broccoli when the heads are about 6 to 8 inches(15 to 20 cm) in diameter.
Broccoli is best eaten fresh, but it can also be frozen for later use. Simply blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 3 minutes, then cool it in ice water.
Dry it well and store it in a freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to a year.
Broccoli overcrowding problems
If your broccoli plants are overcrowded, they won’t have enough space to grow properly.
This can lead to a number of problems, including:
- Smaller heads
- Less side shoots
- The plants will be more susceptible to pests and diseases
- The quality of the heads will be lower
If your broccoli plants are overcrowding each other, you’ll need to thin them out.
This means removing some of the seedlings so that the remaining plants have enough space to grow properly.
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So there are my tips for growing broccoli in a small garden.
With a little effort, you can enjoy homegrown broccoli even if you have limited garden space.
Have you tried growing broccoli in a pot or small garden space? Let me know in the comments below.