Brassica oleracea (botrytis group)
~6,000–7,000 seeds/oz; 210–250 seeds/g.
Culture: Start like broccoli but needs more TLC. Do not allow to get pot-bound; avoid interruptions in growth. Cauliflower heads will “button” under stress. 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.
Minimum germination temp 40°, optimal range 55–80°, ideal temp 77°. Emergence takes 20 days at 50°, 10 days at 59°, 6 days at 68°, 63% normal seedlings at 77%, only 45% normal seedlings at 86°.
Days to maturity are from direct seeding. Subtract 20 days from date of transplanting.
Note: We cannot ship packets greater than ½ oz. (14 grams) of any Brassica into the Willamette Valley. The State of Oregon prohibits shipping any commercial quantity of untreated Brassica, Raphanus or Sinapis because of a quarantine to control Blackleg.
Culture: Hardy. Require warm temperatures to germinate (68-86° ideal) 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.
Young broccoli sproutlings make good microgreens.
- BR: Black Rot
- BS: Bacterial Speck
- DM: Downy Mildew
- FY: Fusarium Yellows
- TB: Tipburn
Pests & diseases: 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.
Materials: 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.
Materials: Spinosad, Pyganic, Mycotrol ESO.
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 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, copper compounds may help for some of these diseases.