Cabbage family Field

Larry G. Field
Thursday, April 4, 2019
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Many members of the cabbage family are grown locally. I raise Kohlrabi and early cabbage. I do not raise broccoli, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts because it is nearly impossible to rid the crop of cabbage “butterfly” larva that finds an infinite number of hiding locations in these branching family members, even with multiple applications of pesticide.

One can use “SEVIN” one time on cabbage as the heads begin to form. Such timing seems to keep early variety plants insect free until harvested.

Cabbage and Kohlrabi are cold tolerant. I set cabbage bedding plants out in April. Kohlrabi is easily grown from seed, the stem enlargement is solid, not a home for insects, no pesticide required. Plant seeds in early April. Occasionally one must replant due to cold-induced poor germination. Kohlrabi is one of the earliest vegetables to mature, and the production can be extended by staggered thinning from crowded (1.5”) at one end too well thinned (4-5”) at the other.

The main pest to cabbage family members is the cabbage butterfly. One can use screen or insect netting to barricade the veggie from the butterflies. This adds work and expense but protects the crop.

My kohlrabi crop consists of a row about six feet long. My cabbage row is two feet wide by six feet long. I plant four bedding plant cabbages zigzag with a spacing of 1.5 feet. With a two foot wide row, I have room to plant a cabbage seed opposite each bedding plant. I then have off-set zigzag plants and planted seeds. The seeds will normally germinate and start before being covered by the enlarging bedding plants. When the cabbages started from plants are mature and removed, the already started seed plants take off and produce a second cabbage crop in the same location. I plant Stone-head bedding plants and Early Copenhagen seeds.

When cabbage matures, we normally make and freeze 20-30 cabbage packets to be utilized as quick microwavable meals.

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