Broccoli is described as having a large flowering head which is mostly dark green, with the whole vegetable seeming to resemble a miniature tree.
It also resembles cauliflower with both being of the cultivar group.
Broccoli blossoms during cool seasons of the Mediterranean climate. The USA coastal regions are favorable to growing broccoli year-round.
How Cold Can Broccoli Tolerate?
Broccoli thrives well in winter and moist summer conditions. The crop cannot blossom if the growth conditions are not cool and moist. The optimum cool temperatures recommended for broccoli are 60 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit (16-26 degrees Celsius). Any reading below 26 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 degrees Celsius), the plant won’t survive.
Broccoli is known to thrive during the winter period and also in moist conditions in areas that have hot summers.
The crop cannot thrive if not in cool, moist conditions. The thriving of the crop in cool, moist conditions goes hand-in-hand with rich, fertile soil that is well-drained, and where the sun shines fully.
The crop’s different development stages require different optimum temperature ranges.
It is believed to develop at its best in cool conditions with temperatures ranging between 60 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 21 degrees Celsius).
However, a sudden freeze or sudden heatwave will damage the plant.
Seeds of broccoli can germinate at temperatures as low as approximately 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius).
The optimum temperatures for more successful germination range from 69 degrees Fahrenheit (20.5 degrees Celsius) to about 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26.1 degrees Celsius).
Frost is bad for the seedlings. However, particularly mature crop varieties can withstand low temperatures up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 degrees Celsius) for short periods.
During the daytime, the ideal temperature for the growth of broccoli ranges between 65℉ to 75℉ (18 and 24 degrees Celsius).
This crop can be planted during the fall and spring seasons. So you have the opportunity to grow broccoli in two seasons.
Warmer temperatures are favorable for the germination of seed. By planting long-season species in late summer, you are bound to have plenty of harvests.
As the weather cools, prepare to transplant seedlings into the garden. You can plan for an early spring harvest or a late winter harvest.
For spring-planted species that mature faster, they can be first grown in a greenhouse for a controlled growth environment or indoors in housing where lamps can be implanted.
You can also choose to sow the seeds directly in the garden where the soil is favorable and temperatures are above freezing point.
Basics of Broccoli Growing
Successful development of broccoli mainly depends on fertile soil, favorable climate, and also water.
It does well when planted in fertile, well-drained soil, and timing is key—planting at the right time of the year during a conducive climate that promotes the plant’s growth and so that the crop can access plenty of water.
Broccoli is of different kinds. Knowledge of the different sorts of plant will help in choosing the best adaptable to the current growth conditions.
The different forms of broccoli include those whose pubescence ranges from 90 to 120 days—take longer to grow and those whose pubescence range is between 40 to 90 days.
The different kinds of broccoli are of different cultivars. The sprouting type cultivars are those whose flower shoots are elongated and are harvested together with the leaves.
Another cultivar form is those which form dense flower heads. Both these brands can be grown in the short or long season of planting.
In choosing the kind of broccoli to plant, you can make a choice depending on the season of growth and your preference for harvesting.
The Blue Wind, Calabrese, and De Cicco are broccoli species known for short-season cultivation.
Santee and Red Fire are examples of broccoli well known for growing in the long season.
What are the Best Site Conditions to Grow Broccoli
For successful growth and maturity, the following conditions must be met:
As stated earlier, well-drained soil is a priority.
You can test soil drainage by digging a 1-foot hole which is approximately 12 inches deep and should also be wide. Fill the hole with water, making sure to put more once the water has all drained in.
The rate of water level dropping helps determine if the soil is well-drained. A rate of 1- and 4-inches (2.5- and 10.2cm) hourly water drop shows that the soil is draining adequately.
Other requirements include full access to sunlight. Some forms of broccoli are capable of tolerating partial shade.
Full-grown broccoli can measure from 19 inches (48.26 cm) to 37inches (93.98 cm) in height.
Broccoli is a cool-season crop and contains mostly vitamin C. It is believed to contain more vitamin C than a fresh orange, depending on how it is prepared.
Broccoli is from the Brassica plant family and includes turnips, collards, kale, mustard, and cauliflower, just to mention a few.
It’s believed to have originated from Italy and Asia.
Arrival in the United States
During the colonial era, it is when the plant was introduced in the States. This was the old-fashioned cultivars of broccoli which is similar to the current sprouting broccoli cultivars.
Broccoli is mostly grown for commercial purposes in the United States and is farmed in the West. Broccoli that’s dense flower-head type is mostly found in grocery stores.
The plant was first grown for commercial purposes in California during the 1920s. It went on to become popular after the Second World War.
The United States leads in the commercial cultivation of broccoli. States like Arizona, California, Oregon, and Texas are the major growers of the crop.
California is the leading State in the growing of the plant, producing 90% of all the broccoli in the United States. It is followed by Arizona, ranking second.
The climate conditions in California are favorable for the growth of broccoli. California’s central coast has the longest broccoli growing season.
In the region, broccoli can be cultivated almost throughout the year due to the cool coastal climate, which is conducive to its growth. The temperatures that broccoli can survive at differ depending on the stage of growth.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Cold Can Broccoli Tolerate
What Are The Requirements For The Successful Growth Of Broccoli?
Broccoli needs to be grown in well-drained soil. To ascertain that the soil meets this requirement, you can test by digging a 12-inch deep hole and filling it with water. The rate at which the water will drop will determine the level of moisture in the soil.
Does Broccoli Grow Best in Sun or Shade?
The best ideal condition for the cultivation of broccoli is in full sun. On the other hand, the shade will help the plants from bolting when the weather is warmer.
How To Take Care of a Broccoli Plant?
The plant best blossoms outdoors in temperatures between 650F and 700F (18-21 degrees Celsius). You also need to input fertilizer three weeks after planting of seeds. Ensure the soil is watered regularly for optimum moisture concentration
Broccoli is best grown during cold seasons of the year where midday temperatures do not exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6℃) to avoid a strong taste and prematurely flowering.
Temperatures below 26 degrees Fahrenheit will have damaging effects on broccoli plants and even lead to their ruin if the weather is warmer or there is a sudden change of weather.
Broccoli crops are known to tolerate cold temperatures up to about 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Above that, leaves will start to experience some damage.
The leaves can be protected through mechanisms such as covering them with hot caps or newspaper.
Different stages of broccoli development require different climate conditions. Thus, there is no specific temperature the plant can tolerate.
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Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.