Cole crops is a term used to describe early season vegetable crops. The term describes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale and kohlrabi.
We grow cole crops in our 1204 Vegetable size category in the spring and offer broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages and cauliflower. We also grow them in the fall in our Fall J6 Vegetables size category and offer broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, collards and kale. In addition to the J6 in the fall we also grow cole crops in our #4 Peace Farm Organics and offer broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers, collards and kales.
Broccoli is a fairly easy crop to manage. It shouldn’t be grown in soil that has recently been fertilized because too rampant growth will ensue. Ground that has been given good fertilizer the prior year will be great for growling Broccoli. If possible, the ground should be plowed far enough in advance of planting so that it becomes thoroughly settled by planting time.
Broccoli can be grown from seed or transplants. For spring crops, plant transplants in February or March. For fall crops, sow seed directly in the garden the first week of August or plant transplants the first week of September.
Plant 12-15″ part in 36″ rows. Broccoli matures in 55-75 days depending on the variety.
For more information, download this University of Arkansas County Extension Broccoli Home Gardening Series pdf.
Brussels Sprouts produce dozens of little “sprouts” that resemble miniature cabbages. The sprouts are densely packed along the stem between the petioles of the leaves. If left on the plant they would eventually develop into flowering shoots.
Brussels Sprouts flourish in moist, humus enriched soil. Moderately firm soil with good drainage is needed. Brussels Sprouts aren’t as frost hardy as Cabbage. Pluck or snip off the firm sprouts, working up from the base of the plant.
For spring crops, plant transplants in February or March. For fall crops, sow seed directly in the garden the first week of August or plant transplants the first week of September. Brussel Sprouts grow best when planted in the last summer for late fall or early winter harvest.
Plant 24″ part in 24-30″ rows. Brussel Sprouts mature between 90-95 days depending on the variety.
For more information, download this University of Arkansas County Extension Brussel Sprouts Home Gardening Series pdf.
Cabbages prefer cooler weather and will survive light frost. They can be grown in regular garden soil that is fertile and enriched with humus. Light, sandy soil is good for early crops. Experienced gardeners usually plant 2 or 3 varieties that mature in sequence to provide a succession of heads. Be careful, however, not to set out too many plants because heads go out of prime eating condition pretty fast.
In the spring, plant transplants early enough so that they mature before it gets too hot. That is generally sometime January to early March or six to seven weeks before before the last hard freeze. In the fall they have to be planted in the summer while it’s still hot. Time your planting so that the cabbage develops its head during the cooler fall temperature.
Plant 12″ apart in 36″ rows. Water the transplants right after planting. Cultivate very shallow every couple of weeks to keep weeds down. Cabbage uses a lot of the nourishment from the soil, so a 5-10-5 fertilizer should be dusted between the rows a month after planting at 25 lbs. per 1,000 sq. feet then watered in well.
Be sure to download the University of Arkansas County Extension Cabbage Home Gardening Series pdf to get more specifics regarding growing cabbages.
We grow Cheers, Early Jersey, Flat Dutch and Red Cabbage.
Cheers Cabbage is a large-sized hybrid cabbage with good disease resistance. It is vigorous and produces uniform, large framed plants. The plants have good wrap leaves. The heads are blue-green in color and round with a short core. A short core means that more of the head of cabbage is available for use. Heads weigh 4.5-5 pounds.
Cheers matures in 80 days. Add 10-15 days if direct seeding.
Early Jersey Cabbage
Early Jersey Cabbage is dark green with a conical head. Heads are around 5″ wide and weigh around 3 lbs.
Early Jersey matures in 62 days. Add 10-15 days if direct seeding.
Flat Dutch Cabbage
Flat Dutch Cabbage has a flat head weighing in at 6-8 lbs and around 11 inches in diameter. Heads are flat round and dark green in color. It is a popular home garden variety.
Flat Dutch matures in 88 days. Add 10-15 days if direct seeding.
Red Cabbages are easily identified by their grey-green foliage and purple stems when the plants are young. Heads mature to a reddish-purple color and are round. Cabbages weigh 3-5 lbs.
Red Cabbage matures in 75-85 days. Add 10-15 days if direct seeding.
Cauliflower has a large, flat, central clusters of white flower buds called curds. The inner leaves on some kinds curve inwards to cover and blanch the curd. On others, the outer leaves need to be tied together to protect the curd from the sun or else it may turn an unattractive brownish-green color.
Cauliflower need a long, cool growing season with an abundant amount of water and rich, fertile soil. They do best from planting transplants. In the fall, plant them at the same time you plant cabbage so that the head develops during the cooler fall temperatures. Cauliflowers are more sensitive to the heat and cold than other cole crops making it a little more difficult to grow.
Cauliflower should be harvested when the flower buds are small and the head is smooth. Cut just below the head. Days to maturity range is between 60-80 for most varieties.
Plant 18-24″ apart in rows spaced 24-36″. Use the wider spacing in fall plantings.
For more information, download this University of Arkansas County Extension Cauliflower Home Gardening Series pdf.