Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brassicas are THE ideal winter crops in central and south Florida

Their seeds germinate quickly, the plants are very cold hardy, often tasting better AFTER a frost, and their main pest enemy, the Cabbage Looper, rarely arrives in Tampa before late March, and is easily controlled with BT. Known by many names like Cabbage Family, Mustard Family, Cruciferous Vegetables and Cole Crops, the various Brassica species and their selected forms and hybrids are perfect confidence builders for central Florida folks creating their first winter garden. as the ideal planting times are from October through February. Give them rich soil that is not too acid, feed them fish emulsion fertilizer, water deeply every 5-7 days, keep a deep mulch between the rows, and grow them in full sun. In no particular order, here are some favorites of mine:

Waltham 29 broccoli
Minovase Daikon
Wong Bok
Shogoin turnip
Red Giant Mustard (raw it tastes and burns like wasabi!)
Bonar Rape
Appin Rape
Pasja Rape
Tendergreen Mustard

 Giant Red/Osaka Purple Mustard
 Waltham 29 Broccoli
 Minovase Daikon Radish


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