Cole family vegetables will germinate at soil temperatures as low as 40 F. However, germination temperatures 45F to 85F will cause seeds to germinate faster with a higher percentage of your seeds germinating.
Hint: Keep your seed bed damp, Not Wet for better seed germination.
This means that Cole crops will be one of the first crops you can plant in your Spring/Summer garden.
Cole crops grow well on a wide variety of soils, but a well drained soil with high organic matter content is preferred. Apply NPK 5-10-10 at 3 pounds per 100 square feet before planting. These vegetables should be sidedressed once during the growing season. Sidedress with 33-0-0 at 1 pound per hundred feet of row. More frequent sidedressing may be required if the garden is sandy or leaching rains occur.
Water sufficiently to moisten the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. Light sprinklings will only encourage shallow rooting of the plants. It is important to have a constant uniform moisture supply to produce a high quality crop and to have the spring crop mature before the onset of high summer temperatures. Mulching can help conserve water and reduce weeds.
Generally speaking, insect pest are less of a problem for Fall planted crops. Bolting to seed is also less of a problem when planted for Fall and early Winter harvest.
Cabbage leaf’s, collard greens, kale, mustard greens and turnip greens can be harvested at any size for use in salads. Small, young leaves are tender and have a milder flavor.
Cole crops enjoy cool seasons and are somewhat cold tolerant. Cabbage for instance can withstand frost down to 20 degrees F. sometimes surviving temperatures as low as 15 degrees F. Cauliflower and chard are more sensitive to cold than broccoli, collards, kale, kohlrabi, or mustard.
When you plant cole crops in your home garden you are investing in a healthful life. Gardeners are in the business of producing health foods even though they may not know it. Vegetables contain essential elements for health and the enjoyment of eating fresh garden vegetables makes health fun. Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, making a daily supply essential to good health.
Cabbage broccoli, collards, and other vegetables of the cabbage family are rich in vitamin C, as are leafy vegetables. Kale and turnip greens supply carotene, which the human digestive system converts to Vitamin A.
The edible parts of broccoli and cauliflower are the flower heads which are quite sensitive to environmental and nutritional stress. Cabbage and Brussels sprouts produce leafy heads and can withstand greater fluctuations in weather conditions.
** Fall Planting Dates: Using the days to harvest on your seed package, add 21 days to get your seed to harvest times.
Based on your first hard frost date, count back from frost date days from seed to harvest to get your last chance planting date.
Find Your First and Last Frost Date
Your first hard Frost date 15 November
Seed package days to harvest 60 + 21 days = 81 days.
Count backwards, Your last chance seed planting date is: 27th day of August
It is OK and even preferred to plant before that date but anytime after that date will likely result in a failed Fall garden crop due to frost or freeze damage.
Many Fall gardeners start planting their fall gardens starting in late June and early July.
Days to harvest: 50–65
Arcadia—late (fall production); small heads; domed
Early Dividend—early; reliable yields
Green Comet—early; large center heads and side shoots
Green Valiant—midseason; small firm heads
Gypsy—midseason; heat tolerant
Mariner—midseason; medium-sized compact heads
Packman—early to midseason; uniform; large heads
Premium Crop—midseason; large center heads; few side shoots
Days to harvest: 85–110
Jade Cross—large dark green sprouts
Prince Marvel—mild tasting; small to medium sprouts
Early-season cultivars mature approximately 50 to 60 days
Late season cultivars may require 100 or more days to mature.
Arrowhead—early; cone-shaped head
Blue Pak—midseason; medium to large dark blue heads
Bravo—midseason; uniform round blue-green heads
Dynamo—early; small heads; less likely to split
Gourmet—midseason; medium to large heads
Head Start—early; medium to large heads
Heads Up—early; fusarium yellows resistant
Rio Verde—late; large blue-green heads
Savoy Express—savoy type; early
Savoy King—savoy type; midseason; high yields
Stonehead—very early; small heads
Red Acre—midseason; small round heads
Regal Red—early; medium heads
Ruby Perfection—late; small to medium dark red heads
Early-season cultivars mature approximately 50 to
55 days after transplanting. Late-season cultivars mature
in 75 to 80 days. Novelty cultivars produce purple and orange heads that change color when cooked.
Snow Crown—early; reliable for spring and fall
Snowball Y—midseason; solid smooth heads
Days to harvest: 70–80
Flash—non-heading type; slow to bolt; blue-green leaves
Georgia—non-heading type; wavy blue-green leaves Morris—heading type; open pollinated
Top Bunch—deep green, slightly wavy, broad leaves
Vates—non-heading type; compact plants; smooth, dark green, thick-textured leaves; open pollinated
Days to harvest: 50–60
Blue Ridge—dark blue-green, curled leaves
Redbor—finely curled, red-purple leaves
Vates—finely curled, blue-green leaves
Winterbor—blue-green, finely curled leaves
Days to harvest: 50–60
Early Purple Vienna—early, reddish purple with
Early White Vienna—early, greenish white with
Grand Duke—pale green with mild white flesh
Days to harvest: 60-80
Bravo, Market Prize, Rio Verde, Savoy Express
Tropic Giant (hybrid)
Green Jewels (hybrid)
Pak Choi Type – Joi Choi (hybrid)
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