Stop it, stop making that ugly face. Cabbage and all it’s family members taste good and are good for you. Cruciferous vegetables (cole vegetables) cabbage, cauliflower, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, mustard and turnip greens.
Cole crops will tolerate some shade but full sun is always preferable. Cole crops will grow better in heavier, cooler soils than most warm season crops.
Cole crops are heavy feeders and do best in a deep, fertile soil enriched with plenty of organic matter. Because cole crops can easily become deficient in minor elements, at least part of the fertilizer material should be composted manure or composted vegetable matter to ensure a supply of these nutrients. Cauliflower demands the most exacting soil and fertility requirements to produce large firm heads.
Planting and Culture Most growers grow cabbage(green and red), cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts from spring transplants rather than seeding them directly in the garden. Fall crops may be seeded directly into the garden in June and July for a Fall crop. Quality transplant seedlings are a vital key to a successful crop. To prevent premature flower stalk formation, keep the seedlings growing above 60º F. This is particularly true for broccoli and cauliflower. A good seedling transplant will be 5 to 6 weeks old, sturdy with good color.
Cabbage plants can withstand very low temperatures down to 10º to 15º F for a night or two, broccoli and cauliflower are not nearly so cold resistant.
Harvest Cabbage when the head is very firm. Springy heads are not mature. Harvest Cauliflower heads when they reach a diameter of 5 to 8 inches and before the segments begin to separate. To get pure white heads, exclude light. Tie the outer leaves over the developing head with rubber bands or clothespins and keep them tied until harvest. Do not be concerned if some light gets through and discolors the head the eating quality is not affected.
Harvest Broccoli while the head is still compact and before the small flower buds open up to show yellow. Head diameter will range from 4 to 8 inches. After this center head is harvested side shoots (heads) of 2 to 3 inches will develop.
Brussels sprouts Small, cabbage-like sprouts develop along the thick stem, maturing first at the base of the plant. As the sprouts enlarge, remove the large leaves between the sprouts. Pinch out the growing tip of the plants in early September to hasten maturity. Harvest the sprouts when they are firm and before they open up. A light frost or two improves their flavor.
Harvest kale any time leaves are large enough for intended use. Tender young leaves are best for salad, older leaves are better cooked. Frost improves the flavor of kale.
Don’t over cook any of the Cole vegetable. No matter what method you choose, boiling, broiling stir frying or steaming, Do Not Over Cook Cole vegetables.
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