Steve’s Tender Early Green broccoli produces an early central head with tons of side shoots for a continuous harvest all season long.
Organic Steve’s Tender Early Green Broccoli Seed
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Steve’s Tender Early Green broccoli produces an early central head about 4-7″ across, followed by more tasty side shoots. Unlike single head varieties, you will be harvesting broccoli all season long! Along with flavor, this variety is favored for its tender stems and abundant production.
Planting by Zones
- Broccoli is a cool season plant for Zones 9 and 10. It should be started from seed in the fall or late winter and transplanted out. Broccoli needs a consistent supply of moisture to be happy. Irrigating the crop regularly in Zones 9 and 10 is critical to a happy harvest. We also recommend you side dress with organic fertilizer as brassicas are heavy feeders.
- Seeds can be started in summer to be planted out as a fall crop. Make sure you note the days to maturity and guarantee that your crop will mature before a hard freeze. If starting seeds in the hot months, provide an environment for your seedlings that is about 60°F. This may be in a protected area, shade house, or even indoors.
- If you are planting an early spring crop, start seeds 3-4 weeks before planting out. The optimal temperature for broccoli growth is 60-70 degrees.
Choosing Broccoli Varieties
- Broccoli varieties for southern growers are very different than that of other regions. Because we are so hot and have a very short season, our broccoli varieties should be heat tolerant and not require vernalization period. Our varieties are specifically chosen for southern growers. Although they can grow well in northern areas too, we focus on qualities that will produce nicely in Zones 9 and 10. This includes drought tolerance, heat tolerance, and quick days to maturity.
Planting Broccoli Seeds
- Broccoli seeds are best planted in starter pots and transplanted out.
- If you are starting the seeds for a fall planting in Zones 9 and 10, you will want to start your seeds in a cool environment. This can be indoors, under the shade of a tree, in a cooled greenhouse, or in a shade house. Broccoli transplants will not thrive in high temperatures. We recommend you find the coolest area of your garden and construct a temporary shade house using our shade cloth. This will keep your transplants healthy until it is cool enough to transplant them out.
- When planting your broccoli seeds, plant them on top of thoroughly moistened high-quality seed starting soil. Cover the seeds with 1/4” of finely sifted soil.
- Once your seedlings have germinated and have a set of true leaves you will need to regularly fertilize with an organic liquid fertilizer to ensure happy plants.
- Transplant out broccoli plants when they are about 5-6” tall into a full sun location with fertile and well-draining soils. It is a good practice to incorporate compost and a granular fertilizer into the soil before you plant. Broccoli is a heavy feeder.
- Space broccoli plants at least 24” apart.
- Growing broccoli in warm climates can be difficult. Broccoli thrives in cool, moist environments. Products like shade cloth and row cover can help your broccoli to thrive.
Succession Planting Broccoli
- For a steady flow of broccoli, we strongly suggest that you succession plant at four-week intervals so that you always have fresh broccoli to harvest.
Growing Broccoli in Containers
- Broccoli can be grown in a container, but it needs adequate space. If you are planting broccoli in containers, make sure your container is at least 20” deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture. Mulch heavily on the top of the soil to help retain soil moisture.
- Broccoli heads can be harvested at any desirable size. A sharp knife can be used to cut the main head. Note that some varieties are grown for one large head while others like our Calabrese are grown for side shoots that give you broccoli all season long. Regardless of the variety, once you harvest the main head, you will get small side shoots that are tender and delicious. Make sure you harvest and enjoy them. They are tender and tasty!
Southern California Pro-tips
- In areas of Zones 9 and 10, broccoli can be a difficult crop. Make sure you grow them in the cool season and protect small seedlings from high temperatures and lack of moisture.
- Mulch heavily around your broccoli plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much.
- During our hottest months of August, September, and October, plants can suffer from the heat. Using shade cloth can help protect the plants from extreme heat.
- Broccoli plants look beautiful when they are interplanted with companion flowers that help with destructive insects. We recommend you plant alyssum, nasturtium, poppies, and borage around your broccoli for a beautiful and bountiful garden.
Additional Learning Resources
- New to starting crops from seeds? Please watch our Seed Starting Presentation to learn the basics!
- Learn about growing all our crops on our YouTube page!
Having pest issues? Check out in depth information for pests that can be an issue to broccoli at the UC Integrated Pest Management site.
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