Veggie-A-Week#2 Cool Crops- Brassica

From: Marvin

It is time to plant your cool season crops.   Growing up, we always had a garden. The best garden was the one that would grow in the winter where the broccoli and cauliflower would get so big that I could crawl around under the leaves without anybody seeing me!  I thought of it as my own secret place that nobody would come, especially not the adults!  To have this kind of growth (and hiding place, if you’re so inclined) all you need is great soil*, fertilizer, water and young healthy starts.  Plant your crops 1 foot apart in full sun.  Insects to watch for are the same as with your other veggies.  These are caterpillars, aphids, white flies, and mites, in order of importance.

Brassica is a genus of plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae). The members of the genus are collectively known as cruciferous vegetables, cabbages, or mustards.

Some great-tasting Brassica:

Broccoli-         Likes cold weather, cut and come again heads.

Cauliflower-   1 cut, but great taste.

Cabbage-       1 cut, but extended time to cut

Kale –              Cut and come again all season long.  Different textured leaves and lots of uses in the kitchen. Great for vegan meals.

Brussels Sprouts- Cut and they keep coming.

Pac choi or Bok Choy- A delicious oddball.  One of many versatile Asian greens that is very underused.  Pac choi can be used in salads, soups, stir fry dishes, or served raw with blue cheese dressing (one of my favorites). Pac choi grows as fast as lettuce and is very bolt-resistant.  I say try it!!!

Stay tuned for next week, I’ll cover root crops and tomato pruning and staking.