2 gram packet sows 45 ft. Average about 7,500 seeds per oz with significant variation between the different vegetables. See the planting chart on page 81 for details. Hardy. Require warm temperatures to germinate, but need 60s during seedling stage for optimal growth; higher temperatures make seedlings leggy. Heavy feeders; for best growth, need regular moisture and 2–3' spacing. Have done well for us succeeding onions and garlic in beds. Cauliflower and broccoli are damaged by hard frosts, especially in spring. Days to maturity are from direct seeding. Subtract 20 days from date of transplanting.
Brassica oleracea (botrytis group) One of the most beautiful of plants when grown well. Chef Odessa Piper calls romanesco’s cone-shaped somewhat irregular whorl of chartreuse florets “broccoli on acid.” According to almostachef.com “its shape is a perfect illustration of the mathematical principle of fractals…all florets are identical to one another” except in size, and each one multiplied is an exact replica of the whole. The florets grow in a spiral called the Fibonacci series “following the golden number believed by Renaissance artists to be the origin of aesthetic harmony.” Needs adequate spacing, a long season and extremely high soil fertility. We had fantastic results planting in raised beds with 8" of well-rotted manure. Well-grown plants are huge, and need about 10 sq ft each. Should be started indoors in March or April and transplanted out in late May or June. Be patient; needs a long season but doesn’t mind cool weather.
Major pests: Cabbage Looper, Diamondback Moth, Imported Cabbageworm
Cultural controls: control cruciferous weeds near crop fields, till-under crop debris of early-season brassicas after harvest.
Materials: Spinosad (8922-4), Bt (8902).
Pest: Flea Beetle
Cultural controls: floating row covers (9101), mulch with straw, time plantings for fall harvested crops only, crop rotation, perimeter trap cropping.
Materials: Spinosad (8922-4), Pyganic (8925), Capsaicin (Bugitol 8890).
Pest: Cabbage Root Maggot
Cultural controls: time planting to avoid first hatching, use row covers, control weeds.
Material: Nematodes (8941-3).
Major diseases: Black Rot, Alternaria Leaf Spot, Blackleg, Club Root, Downy Milldew, White Mold
Cultural controls: avoid transplanting plants with yellow leaves or v-shaped lesions, crop rotation, destroy crop debris after harvest, avoid overhead irrigation, control weeds, allow for good air movement.
Materials: Actinovate (8851), copper compounds (8861-3) may help for some of these diseases.
Disease: Head Rot
Cultural controls: use well-domed varieties, harvest heads when tight, cut stalks at an angle.