Is Growing Broccoli Worth It? How To Decide

Who knew you could grow your very own food, farm-to-table style, without owning an entire farm? If you are beginning your backyard farming journey, you may be overwhelmed with the possibilities at hand. And you may be wondering whether or not growing every vegetable or fruit you typically buy frozen, such as broccoli, is worth it.

Growing broccoli is worth it if you and your family enjoy eating it. Broccoli is a resilient, easy-to-grow vegetable that doesn’t take up too much room in the garden and isn’t high-maintenance. Still, there are a few challenges, such as temperature, watering, and pests, that you should consider. 

“Worth it” means something different to every gardener. Below, we will talk about the benefits and challenges of growing broccoli and what you should know before sowing the seeds. Then, we’ll conclude with a few tips and tricks that will yield you your best broccoli crop. 

Benefits and Challenges of Growing Broccoli

Knowing the benefits and challenges of growing broccoli will be a huge factor in determining whether or not growing is “worth it” to you. 

As gardeners, we have to run through a cost and benefit analysis that establishes what this means for us. Does it mean a high yield with little energy? Does it mean not taking up too much space in your garden beds? Or does “worth it” mean growing something delicious and healthy with minimal effort? 

Let’s talk about what these benefits and challenges look like, so you can weigh out the pros and cons for yourself. 

Benefits of Growing Broccoli 

I don’t have to tell you how healthy broccoli is (because broccoli is probably one of the most famous vegetables for being just that), but I did want to point out some of the health benefits. The health benefits of broccoli include:

  • Reduces inflammation. 
  • May protect against breast, prostate, gastric/stomach, colorectal, renal/kidney, and bladder cancer.
  • Can help control blood sugar.
  • Supports heart health.
  • Reduces constipation.

And a litany of many other things! If you’re looking for a way to add a do-it-all, fresh vegetable to your garden, broccoli should be a contender. In addition:

  • Broccoli is a vegetable you can make in any number of ways. You can toss it in oil, throw it in a pan, steam it, roast it, or even eat it raw. What’s more, each method tastes a little different than the one before. Chances are, one of these strategies is going to win over your taste buds. 
  • The broccoli plant is pretty resilient, especially if you live in a colder climate. It can survive through a light frost, and different varieties do better in heat. Even if you aren’t a broccoli fan, there are tons of different types of broccoli plant, and you may prefer one to the classic broccoli you fed on as a kid. Hopefully, it’s the kind that will do well in your growing zone!
  • It’s a relatively easy, straightforward plant to grow for mid-to-late beginners. It does require some indoor gestation and can take a little observation before harvest (which we will discuss below), but nothing too fancy. This video shows how quick and easy planting can be:

Broccoli is easy to grow for beginners and will teach you many handy gardening practices on your journey. It won’t take as much time or effort as a bonsai tree and isn’t as particular as blueberries. Also, even when you have a bad crop, you can save the seeds and try again the following season. 

Challenges of Growing Broccoli 

If you and your family don’t eat a lot of broccoli, there might be little point in growing it. Some people might enjoy the look of flowering broccoli, but it probably won’t be worthwhile to grow it merely for its appearance. 

As we discussed above, broccoli isn’t a high-maintenance vegetable to plant, but you’re much better opting for something different if you’re going for looks. Also:

  • Broccoli can become challenging if you live in a particular climate. Most broccoli comes from California, Arizona, Texas, and Oregon, so there’s a bit of diversity in their preferred climates. However, they are more common in the warmer spring and summer season. Broccoli season is from June-October, so it’s best to head to the farmers market for some then. 
  • Broccoli prefers temperatures between 60-70 degrees, which can be challenging to manage if you live in a warmer climate. Texas and Arizona make it work, though, so don’t let this put you off. If your state experiences a wide range of temperatures, consider whether a summer or fall harvest would fare better. 
  • Watering might also become a challenge if you spray using a hose or have an irrigation system going. You have to be cautious around broccoli heads to avoid rot, which may require you to water the plant while avoiding the broccoli heads. This can be time-consuming. 
  • Like all other plants, broccoli attracts a few pests that like to hang out in the gardening patch. Aphids, cabbage worms, flea beetles, and cutworms are common pests among broccoli plants. While these are things you can deal with, they might be a turn-off if you don’t want to put too much time or effort into the broccoli. 

Things To Know Before Growing Broccoli

In addition to the benefits and challenges of growing broccoli, there are a few things you need to know before starting your broccoli growing journey. The best way to make an informed decision regarding broccoli farming is to familiarize yourself with how it grows. 

Before growing broccoli, here are some things you should know:

  1. You can harvest broccoli in the summer or fall.
  2. You should start growing broccoli indoors. 
  3. Broccoli can take 2-4 months to mature.
  4. Broccoli flowers, if not harvested in time.
  5. It needs LOTS of sun to grow.

We know that these things can mean different things to different gardeners (understandably, LOTS of sun is objective), so we go in-depth below.

You Can Harvest During Summer or Fall

Who among us hasn’t set out to grow an entire summer’s worth of salads only to find a lone seed packet at the bottom of our bag mid-summer? Well, if you forgot to plant your broccoli, I’ve got some news for you: you can plant it to harvest during Summer or in the fall.

Most seed packets recommend starting indoors, 7-9 weeks before the final frost of spring or 5-7 weeks before the first frost of winter so you can get a good yield. Planting during spring means a summer harvest and planting in the summer means getting your broccoli in the fall. I love a plant with a bit of flexibility!

You Should Start Broccoli Indoors 

You should start broccoli indoors, so if you aren’t familiar with that process, ensure to research beforehand. It will require a few new tools and a little attention, but this is a standard process with many different vegetables. This video from Lowe’s explains what starting a plant indoors looks like:

With broccoli, you can sow after about two weeks. The germinating seeds will be visible, and once ready, you can move them outside and plant them about half an inch deep. 

Broccoli Can Take 2-4 Months To Mature 

Typically, you’re looking at maturation between 75 days to 140 days after planting. This means about 2-4 months before you get a nice piece of broccoli ready to steam or roast. 

Depending on how busy your gardening season is, this could be a pro or a con. However, at the very least, it should be your motivation to get the broccoli in the ground as soon as possible or to utilize that indoor growing to your advantage. 

Some gardeners think the three-month mark is the perfect time to harvest the broccoli, as it’s reached its full size but hasn’t begun to flower. Like most other vegetables, you can grab the broccoli a little prematurely if you’re okay with the size and the flavor.  

Broccoli Flowers if Not Harvested 

As mentioned above, some gardeners swear by the three-month mark for broccoli growth. However, if you wait too long, your broccoli will flower and become inedible (well, you can still eat it, but it won’t give you the same broccoli feel or flavor). If you miss your chance to grab the broccoli before it flowers, no worries! You can get the seeds for the following year. 

Broccoli Needs Lots of Sun To Grow

Broccoli is one of those vegetables that need a lot of sun to grow. It is a partial-shade plant, meaning you’ll want no more than six hours of sun on the plant. Broccoli likes to be exposed to full sun, so you might avoid planting it next to fences or big trees. 

Final Thoughts

Broccoli is a relatively easy plant to grow, and its crop will provide you with numerous health benefits. You can make broccoli just about any way, and everyone is bound to like one vegetable preparation. Weighing out the costs and benefits will be different for every gardener. 

Still, in my opinion, if you eat broccoli and are willing to get your hands a little dirty, this plant is worth growing! 

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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