Broccoli (Purple Sprouting) Growing Guide

Brassica oleracea var. italica

Broccoli (Purple Sprouting)

Crop Rotation Group

Brassicas (Cabbage family) 


Rich, deep soil, firm with plenty of well rotted compost dug in.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant



Mix composted manure or another high-nitrogen compost into the soil before planting. Add a slow release organic fertiliser to the planting hole before transplanting. Spraying leaves with dilute seaweed spray prevents birds eating them.


Single Plants: 60cm (1' 11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 60cm (1' 11") with 60cm (1' 11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow early to mid summer. Sow in seedtrays or pots as they take quite a while to reach transplanting stage and during that time a quick summer crop can be grown and harvested in the garden. Firm soil well when transplanting.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Surround stem with a 10cm mat with a slit cut into it for the stem to prevent cabbage root fly from destroying the roots. Use fine mesh or fleece over the summer to prevent butterflies laying eggs on the underside of leaves - caterpillars can destroy these plants. Protect against birds which can damage the young seedlings and overwintering crops. May need supportive canes during the winter.


Harvest by cutting off the large central head first before it starts to flower. Cut it at an angle to prevent water settling and rotting the stem. Smaller side shoots should then be produced for harvesting a few weeks later.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

< Back to All Plants

Plant Diseases which Affect Broccoli (Purple Sprouting)