How to Grow Cabbage and Cole Family Vegetables
The cole family of vegetables, comprises a number of hardy vegetables. Cole
crops thrive in the cooler weather of spring and autumn. They may go dormant
in the hottest days of summer. As hardy as they come, members of the cabbage
family will withstand frost and freezes. Their flavor improves after a frost.
They are among the last of the vegetables harvested in the fall, and can
often be picked after a light snow. Members of this family have a strong
A member of the mustard family, cabbage has a strong, distinct flavor. Medical
studies are showing that members of the cabbage family are beneficial to
your health. The studies suggest that they help to guard against cancer,
especially colon and rectal cancers. Of particular note in this category
Varieties of Cabbage:
Broccoli- A favorite member of the cabbage family.
Broccoli is planted for it's immature flower or head. Pick it before the
flower starts to unfold, or it will turn bitter. If planted in early spring,
you can get a large head in the spring, followed by many side shoots all
the way into late fall season.
Brussels Sprouts- This vegetable grows
into a tall plant with a large stalk. By breaking off the lower leaves at
the stalk, you encourage a round sprout to develop. While not too difficult
to grow, this vegetable is susceptible to major aphid infestations, just
as this flavorful vegetable is maturing. Spraying is all but a must. Brussels
Sprouts were developed in Brussels in the 14th Century.
Cabbage- Cabbages are red or white,
with white being the most common. Easy to grow in cool weather, they tend
to rot in hot weather. Cabbage is highly susceptible to cabbage loopers.
They are best grown as a fall crop. Cabbages harvested in the fall are often
picked as the snow begins to fly.
Chinese Cabbage- Oriental varieties are growing in popularity.
Cauliflower- Cauliflower is grown for the white
"flower", or head. It is best grown as a fall crop. Tie the leaves around
the developing head to blanch it into a creamy white color.
Did you know? There are also varieties of cabbage and even cauliflower
that are grown as a flower? These are varieties that have colorful leaves
Days to Maturity:
Varies by early (65 - 70 days) to late season varieties (90 - 100 days).
Insects and Pests:
The cabbage family is extremely susceptible to insects. Among the most common
are aphids, and cabbage loopers. Cabbage loopers are the larva stage
of a moth. Those white moths that visit your garden and yard are the culprits.
Some people call them white butterflies. Effective treatment in the home
garden is to place a screen over the plant so the moth can not lay her eggs.
Commercial growers apply insecticides to control them. Aphids are controlled
by frequent spraying. Organic controls in the form of soap or garlic sprays
are also effective.
Cabbage falls victim to rotting during hot and humid weather. Other family
members are fairly resistant to most diseases.
More on Plant Problems
All members of the cabbage family like cool and even cold weather. They can
be among the first plants in your garden each spring. Start them indoors,
and plant them before the last frost, freeze or snow. They will survive below
thirty degrees. In the fall, they will be your last crops to survive the
increasingly frequent frosts.
While the cabbage family thrives on cool weather, many varieties will rot,
or go dormant during hot weather.
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