Planting Broccoli: How Much Space Is Necessary?

Broccoli, often spelled broccoli, loves heat and sun. Another ingredient for successful harvest is the right planting distance. This is because the flowering vegetable needs a lot of space. Read here how much distance broccoli needs when planting.

  • Spacing at planting important for healthy growth
  • for young plants and direct sowing 50 centimeters planting distance
  • Plant fall and winter broccoli 60 x 70 centimeters apart
  • Zigzag shape saves space

Planting broccoli

You can either sow broccoli (bot. Brassica oleracea var. italica) or plant it in the bed as pre-grown seedlings. Whether you preplant them yourself or buy them is up to you.

Planting young plants

Young broccoli plants look delicate and filigree. But don’t be fooled by its delicate appearance, because it forms spreading leaves and therefore needs space to develop well. Here, the later you plant broccoli, the greater the spacing between seedlings should be:

  • Summer broccoli (planting time mid/late May): 50 x 50 centimeters.
  • Autumn broccoli (planting time June/July) and winter broccoli (planting time mid/late September): 60 x 70 centimeters.
Hand pflanzt Brokkoli ins Beet

Tip: Save garden bed space by setting seedlings in a zig-zag pattern.

Pre-growing broccoli

To grow broccoli in advance, in addition to the seeds, you will need

  • humus-rich sowing soil
  • Growing pots or multi-pot plates
  • Once you have filled the growing pots with the soil, add one to three seeds to each pot. The planting depth is 10 to 15 millimeters. Then spray the soil with water and place the flowering vegetables in a sunny place at a temperature between 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (necessary germination temperature).
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Vorgezogene Brokkoli-Jungpflanzen in Multitopfplatte

Note: Since sowing in seed pots is mainly about germination of seeds, the planting distance plays a minor role at this stage.

If you have placed more than one seed in each seed pot, you will need to prick out the plants as soon as the first leaflets appear. Each plantlet is placed in a pot with a diameter of between five and seven centimeters. Individually sown broccoli may remain in the seed pots if they are the appropriate size.

Note: The young plants can be planted outdoors from the middle/end of May, when no more frost is expected. Select the strongest specimens for this purpose.

Direct sowing

When direct seeding broccoli, plant spacing and pricking out are key. Proceed as follows:

  • Dig small troughs into the soil by hand at 50 centimeter intervals.
  • Planting depth: 1.5 centimeters
  • Place 3 seeds in each well
  • When the first leaflets appear, the strongest plant remains in its place. The two weaker ones are removed. You can transplant these into a pot or dispose of them.

Frequently asked questions

Can I grow broccoli on the balcony?

Growing broccoli on the balcony is possible. Put a plant in a pot with a diameter of 50 centimeters. Since the flowering vegetable has deep roots, the pot should also provide sufficient downward space.

Is broccoli suitable for the raised bed?

Growing broccoli in a raised bed is a double-edged affair. If it is a matter of harvesting, there is nothing against planting. However, if you want to grow several plants, it will take up a lot of space in the raised bed, because the distance between the broccoli plants is 50 centimeters, as in the garden bed.

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Do the different varieties of broccoli have different planting distances?

There is no clear difference. However, when planting the variety “Calabrese”, you can save some space with a distance of 45 centimeters.

What vegetables are suitable neighbors?

Broccoli gets along well with many vegetables and herbs. Problem-free neighbors are, for example, dill, potatoes, garlic, radishes, lettuce or thyme. With chilies, tomatoes or strawberries, everyone does not get along so well.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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