Culture: Cauliflower heads will “button” under stress. Do not allow seedlings to get pot-bound; avoid interruptions in growth. Most varieties can’t stand the heat and are not suitable for summer production. When heads first appear, bend leaves over curd to prevent discoloring. Wire hoops and row cover should be used at early stages to keep out flea beetles and swede midge.
Minimum germination temp 40°, optimal range 55–80°.
Days to maturity are from seedling emergence. Subtract 20 days for transplants.
Note: because of a rule issued by Oregon, we cannot ship brassica packets larger than ½ oz. (14 grams) into the Willamette Valley, except those that have tested negative for Black Leg and Black Rot. Check descriptions for information.
Culture: Start brassicas indoors March-May for setting out May-July, or direct-seed in May, or in June for fall crop. Minimum germination soil temperature 40°, optimal range 55–85°. They need 60s during seedling stage for optimal growth; higher temperatures make seedlings leggy. Easier grown for the fall because many varieties perform poorly in hot summers. For better stands in dry conditions, sow in trenches and keep irrigated. Wire hoops and row cover should be used at early stages to keep out flea beetles and swede midge.
- BL: Blackleg
- BR: Black Rot
- BS: Bacterial Speck
- DM: Downy Mildew
- FW: Fusarium Wilt
- FY: Fusarium Yellows
- TB: Tipburn
- WR: White Rust
Pest and Disease Remedies for all Brassicas
Major pests: Cabbage Looper, Diamondback Moth, Imported Cabbageworm
Cultural controls: control cabbage-family weeds near crop fields, till under crop debris of early-season brassicas after harvest.
Material controls: Spinosad, Bt.
Pest: Flea Beetle
Cultural controls: floating row covers, mulch with straw, time plantings for fall harvested crops only, crop rotation, perimeter trap cropping.
Material controls: AzaMax, Spinosad, PyGanic.
Pest: Cabbage Root Maggot
Cultural controls: time planting to avoid first hatching, use row covers, control weeds.
Major diseases: Black Rot, Alternaria Leaf Spot, Blackleg, Club Root, Downy Mildew, 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.
Material controls: Copper.
Swede Midge—not as cute as it sounds!
Alert! Heading brassicas in the Northeast are seeing consistent damage from swede midge, a tiny gall midge. Its effects result in a non-heading plant. Wire hoops and row cover at early stages of heading brassica crops are becoming crucial for success. Some research also suggests garlic sprays as a possible organic repellent. Consult your Cooperative Extension resources for further information.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.