The secret to the best-tasting broccoli is in the seasoning—not the spices, mind you, but the time of year. Broccoli that matures during cool weather produces healthy heads that are sweeter tasting than those you pick at any other time. Broccoli grows best in fall because spring conditions may be unpredictable. Long, cool springs, for example, cause young transplants to form small, early heads; if temperatures heat up early in spring, heat-stressed broccoli opens its flower buds prematurely, and high temperatures as broccoli matures can cause bitter, loose heads to form, leaving you with smaller and less tasty florets. In fall, broccoli produces bigger and tastier heads as plants mature during cooler weather.
Here's what you need to know about planting your fall broccoli.
(Whether you're starting your first garden or switching to organic, Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening has all the answers and advice you need—get your copy today!)