I’m pleased to have Susan of Itzy Bitzy Farm sharing today! She is a wealth of gardening info, and will give you everything you need to know about planting cold weather crops. (This is something I really need to work on!)
When the heat of Summer is at its highest, that is when I know it is time to think about planting cold weather crops for Fall and early Winter harvest. Many gardeners do not realize that from zones 5-8 one can grow two plantings of cold crops such as broccoli, cabbage, turnips, peas, beets, carrots and many types of greens. Today we will discuss cole crops.
It is very difficult for me to choose a favorite veggie to grow but if I had to choose my top three I would have to say broccoli. No, cabbage. Wait!….brussel sprouts. Well, I love all cole crops.
What does “cole” mean, you ask? Cole means stem. Cole crops are part of a large genus Brassica, of Old World temperate-zone herbs of the mustard family. The mustard family includes broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, turnips and rutabaga.
Cole crops are hardy and grow best in the spring and fall. My preference is Fall growing especially for broccoli and cabbage and my main reason for this is, that as the temperatures drop so do the insect populations. Thus, all natural pest control.
Successful growing of cole crops is related to how each crop grows and which plant part is eaten. For example, edible parts of broccoli and cauliflower are the flower heads which are quite sensitive to cold and nutritional deficiencies. Cabbage and Brussels sprouts produce leafy heads and can withstand greater fluctuations in weather and nutrition.
Choosing a Planting Site:
Cole crops will tolerate some shade but full sun is always preferable.… [Continue Reading]