Imperial Broccoli is a hybrid broccoli variety that is suitable for growing in warmer conditions. This variety performs best when grown in early fall or late spring, when days are longer and temperatures are warmer. It is exceptionally heat-tolerant and can handle the increasingly warm temperatures in late spring and early summer, as well as extended warm temperatures into early fall.
Imperial Broccoli produces vigorous plants with 6-8″ heads. The heads have tightly-formed crowns with small beads for optimal texture and flavor. The heads hold well after harvesting and will store well in the refrigerator without getting seedy. This makes it a great variety for processing and freezing for later.
Broccoli may be direct-seeded, but it performs best when transplanted. Transplanting allows for more consistent plant spacing, and prevents broccoli seedlings from competing with weeds in the early stages of the plant. We recommend starting transplants 3-4 weeks before the desired outdoor planting date. Broccoli transplants grow great in our heavy-duty seed starting trays, where they develop a solid root ball with roots that are trained to grow downward. Plants are ready to go in the ground when they can be easily pulled from the cells in the seed starting tray.
Broccoli crowns should be harvested when they are dark green, before any flowers or seeds develop on the crowns. As temperatures warm in the spring, broccoli crowns will mature faster and should be monitored. Although broccoli leaves are frost-tolerant, broccoli heads are not. If frost is imminent while crowns are developing, be sure to use some form of row cover to protect the crowns from frost.
Imperial Broccoli Planting Information
Planting Method: transplant
When to Plant: early spring and fall
Planting Depth: 1/4″
Seed Spacing: 12″
Row Spacing: 2-3′
Days to Maturity: 70
Disease Resistance: None