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Vegetables. Growing Broccoli, Cauliflower, And Cabbage

Vegetables. Growing Broccoli, Cauliflower, And Cabbage

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Published by: Na kamura Nakamura on Apr 04, 2012
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Division o Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources • Oklahoma State University
F-6017
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Fact Sheetsare also available on our website at:
http://www.osuextra.com
W. R. Kays
Extension Horticulture SpecialistHome Food Gardens and Small FruitsThree vegetables o the cabbage amily, broccoli, cauli-ower, and cabbage, may be successully grown in Oklahomagardens. They provide nutritious vegetables early in the gar-dening season. Broccoli is the more nutritious and containssubstantial quantities o protein, carbohydrates, calcium,phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboavin, and niacin with very highlevels o carotene (vitamin A) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).Broccoli contains only one-third as many calories per poundas whole milk.
Soil and Climatic Requirements
These crops may be grown on a variety o soils, but dobest in a medium-textured soil with additional organic matter,good drainage, and excellent water-holding capacity. Theseplants respond with vigorous succulent growth when suppliedwith needed ertilizers, moisture, and systematic care.Since these are cool season vegetables, growth is best inthe cool spring and all seasons when supplied with adequatewater and in a humid atmosphere.Mulching should provide a cooler, more uniormly moistsoil, which results in better plant growth. Do not use a flmplastic mulch.
Starting Plants
It is recommended that one grow their own transplants.Seeds are planted approximately two months prior to feldtransplanting. Seedlings are transplanted to individual contain-ers about one week later. These plants are grown until theydevelop 5 to 6 leaves, have a stem diameter one-hal the sizeo a pencil or larger. They may be set in the garden rom lateFebruary to mid-March depending upon weather and locationin Oklahoma.Plants o each o these three crops may be set in thegarden prior to the last rost o the spring season. It is desirableto set the plant and water it with one cup o a starter solution.Prepare a starter solution by dissolving 2 tablespoons o a10-20-10 (or similar) ertilizer in a gallon o water. Allow todissolve at least 4 to 6 hours beore use.It is also a good idea to provide protection rom insectattacks at that time. The most likely insect problem would becutworms. Inormation on the control o cutworms is given inFact Sheet F-7313.Following planting and establishment, it is desirable tomulch the soil around these plants. They are usually set 18inches apart in the row with rows two to our eet apart, depend-ing upon methods o cultivation. Size and weight o cabbageheads will usually be less with closer spacing o plants in therow. Mulching is provided as a means o controlling grass andweeds, retaining soil moisture, and to allow the soil to remaincooler and encourage the development o a more extensiveroot system.O the three crops, cauliower is the more difcult togrow ollowed by broccoli and cabbage in that order. Thereis more similarity between broccoli and cabbage with regardsto culture. Cauliower is more sensitive to a dry soil and touctuating temperatures.As the plants develop in the season, it may be necessaryto apply additional nitrogen ertilizer to stimulate leay growth.Plants should be checked requently to be assured that insectproblems are not getting out o hand.Four insects that may cause the most problems duringthe growing season are: the cabbage looper, the importedcabbage worm, the Harlequin bug, and aphids. Fact SheetF-7313 provides recommended controls.Since the quality o these crops is associated with matura-tion during the cool part o the spring season, it is extremelyimportant to keep the plants growing luxuriantly during thisseason. One may determine the stage o development thatis acceptable or harvest by dierent crops. For cabbage,check the frmness o the head and cut it when it reaches thesize and frmness that is acceptable or you. This may varydepending upon the quantity o cabbage that you might havecoming on at a given season. In the event much o the cropappears to be reaching maturity at the same time, it may bedesirable to begin harvest a bit earlier than usual in order toavoid having an excess amount o material during the peako the harvest season.With regards to broccoli, the plant develops a sizable stemand head and should be harvested as the head increases insize to the point where the very earliest o the buds on thehead open to show the yellow ower petals. At the time oharvesting, cut the head with only a short stem, leaving theside branches or harvest at a later time. The lateral brancheson a broccoli plant will develop rapidly ater the terminal orcentral head has been cut. We recommend only varieties thatare branching in habit.The harvesting o cauliower is somewhat similar to theharvesting o cabbage in that the head or curd is allowed todevelop to the size desired or harvesting. The only specifcpoint o dierence is that as the curd begins to develop andreaches a diameter o 11/2 or 2 inches, it is advisable to pullthe main broad leaves up over the curd and tie them togetherto protect the curd rom direct sunlight. I the curd is allowedto develop and be exposed to direct sunlight, it usually
Growing Broccoli, CauliIower,and Cabbage
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service 

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