How to Grow Cabbage Family Vegetables
The cabbage family comprises a number of hardy vegetables. They 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 flavor.
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.
May we suggest:
Cabbage - more on how to grow cabbage
Cabbage and Vegetable Seeds Top quality Ferry Morse seed, America's
oldest seed company with their famous "guarantee to grow".
Netting - Keep rabbits, deer, and other foraging animals out!
Are Deer, Bunnies or birds feasting on your plants?
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