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Articles about Vegetable Crops for the Garden

  Advantages of Container Vegetable Gardens
  Best Vegetable Crops for Containers
  Brandywine Tomatoes - Get the Most From This Heirloom Variety
  Choosing a Site For Your Home Vegetable Garden
  Container Vegetable Gardening Tips
  Container Vegetable Gardens
  Double Your Crops
  Getting Children Interested in Growing Vegetables
  Grow Your Own Salad
  Growing Tomatoes in Pots
  Growing Vegetable Plants Becomes More Than Just A Hobby
  How to Grow a Vegetable Garden
  Indoor Container Vegetable Gardening Ideas
  Indoor Vegetable Gardening How to Tips
  Learning About Indoor Container Vegetable Gardening
  List of vegetable crops by difficulty
  Mushroom Growing in Odd Unused Spaces
  Non Hybrid Seeds For Survival Gardening
  Organic Container Gardening - Simple and Easy Ways to Grow Vegetables and Flowers in Pots
  Organic Vegetable Cultivation Table
  Over Wintering Chilli Pepper Plants
  pH preferences of food crops
  Planning your Container Crops
  Planting Tomatoes Upside Down
  Potato Container Garden Tips
  Preparing a Vegetable Garden
  Review: Food4Wealth by Jonathan White
  Vegetable Container Garden Tips
  Vegetable Crops in alphabetical order by name
  Why I Recommend Vegetable Container Gardening
  Why Vegetable Container Gardening is Getting More Popular Today Than Ever
  How to grow organic Asparagus
  How to grow organic Aubergines
  How to grow organic Beetroot
  How to grow organic Broad beans
  How to grow organic Broccoli
  How to grow organic Brussels sprouts
  How to grow organic Cabbage
  How to grow organic Calabrese
  How to grow organic Carrot
  How to grow organic Cauliflower
  How to grow organic Celeriac
  How to grow organic Celery
  How to grow organic Celtuce
  How to grow organic Chinese broccoli
  How to grow organic Chinese cabbage
  How to grow organic Chicory
  How to grow organic Corn
  How to grow organic Cucumbers and Gherkins
  How to grow organic Endive
  How to grow organic Florence fennel
  How to grow organic French beans
  How to grow organic Garlic
  How to grow organic Globe artichokes
  How to grow organic Jerusalem artichokes
  How to grow organic Kale and borecole
  How to grow organic Kohl rabi
  How to grow organic Komatsuna
  How to grow organic Land cress
  How to grow organic Leaf beet
  How to grow organic Leeks
  How to grow organic Lettuce
  How to grow organic Mizuna
  How to grow organic Mustard greens
  How to grow organic New Zealand spinach
  How to grow organic Onions
  How to grow organic Parsnips and Hamburg Parsley
  How to grow organic Peas
  How to grow organic Peppers (hot and sweet)
  How to grow organic Potatoes
  How to grow organic Radishes
  How to grow organic Rocket
  How to grow organic Runner beans
  How to grow organic Salad onions
  How to grow organic Salsify, Scorzonera and Scolymus
  How to grow organic Seakale
  How to grow organic Shallots
  How to grow organic Spinach
  How to grow organic Squash
  How to grow organic Swede
  How to grow organic Texsel greens
  How to grow organic Tomatoes
  How to grow organic Turnips




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Organic Gardening:


How to grow organic Calabrese


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Calabrese
Homegrown calabrese has a taste!

Calabrese (Green sprouting broccoli/Italian broccoli)

Brassica oleracea Italica group

Family: Cruciferae (Group 2)

Calabrese is also sometimes called Italian broccoli or green sprouting broccoli, but it is a different type, and requires different treatment to produce good results. It's also much quicker to get a crop from calabrese - and the difference in taste between the home grown and the virtually tasteless stuff you get in shops is amazing - there's absolutely no comparison.

Purple and white sprouting varieties of broccoli are deal with on a separate page. All heading varieties are dealt with on the page on cauliflower.

Site and soil

Choose an open, unshaded site with fertile, well-drained and moisture retentive soil, which should be slightly acid (min pH 5.4, but see note on clubroot - add lime if necessary to adjust pH). Brassicas have a high nitrogen requirement and also need very firm soil. To ensure sufficient nutrient levels, it is best to topdress or apply a liquid feed such as seaweed fertiiser during growth.

Because brassicas are prone to soil infections, for example, Clubroot, it's important to use a minimum 3 year rotation plan.

Recommended varieties

early: Green Comet F1, Express Corona F1, Mercedes F1
mid season: Citation F1, Shogun F1, Premium Crop F1, Green Duke F1, Corvet F1

Ideal pH 6.2-6.6.

Calabrese does not like root disturbance, so unlike other types of broccoli, it should be sown direct 2.5-5cm (1-2") deep in rows 30cm (12") apart. When the seedlings come up, thin to 15cm (6") apart in the row.

Calabrese can be sown successionally from late March to early July. Early spring crops may be produced by sowing an early variety in modules in late August or early September. Transplant to a cold frame or greenhouse (or outdoors in mild areas) and harvest February to April.

Water seedlings daily in dry weather. Hoe to keep weed free. Mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Catch crops may be sown between rows early on, eg. radishes, lettuces, seedling salad crops.

Crop covers such as fleece should be used at the latest once the crop is 5cm (2") tall, if aphids or caterpillars are to be avoided. Do not assume that because a pest was not a problem the previous year, it will not become one this time.

Water up to 4 gallons per sq yard per week in dry weather.

Harvest maincrop from June until the plants are killed by frost. A topdressing with blood, fish and bone or growmore 100% organic after cutting the central spear encourages the development of side shoots.

Pests

Mealy aphids and caterpillars are the most troublesome pests.
Pollen beetles may also be a nuisance.
Crop covers should prevent access.

Note on clubroot

Soil may remain infected for 20 years; steps to avoid introduction include:

  • good drainage
  • rotation
  • liming acid soils to a pH around 7
  • working in high levels of organic matter
  • ensuring clean plants are used - source must be known to be free of disease (best grown at home in sterile medium)
  • boots and tools used on infected land must be thoroughly cleaned before use on clean land

Once infected avoid growing any brassicas except fast maturing types such as Texsel greens or cut and come again oriental seedlings. If you have no other land available, and you must grow types with a lengthy growing season, you can try sowing seed in modules, and potting up until the plants reach a height of 10cm (4") before planting out. A root drench may also help.





Article ©2004 Frann Leach. All rights reserved.

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