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Part 1: Cool Season Veggies

Life is Beautiful Blog

Part 1: Cool Season Veggies

jennifer carroll

Now is the best time to plant your cool season veggies! We have so many delectable varieties available, stop in and get your winter vegetables planted today! 

Be sure to start with Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli first, these plants need as much time as possible in the ground to form their crop. 

For all your veggies, we recommend mixing Master Nursery’s Paydirt into your soil.  A blend of 45% chicken manure, 55% mushroom compost and redwood sawdust, it is great for loosening clay soils and improving moisture retention. Don’t forget to feed them too! Fertilize with Master Nursery's Tomato & Vegetable Food 5-10-10 or E.B. Stone Organics Tomato & Vegetable Food 4-5-3 to ensure your best harvest. 

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KALETTES

A brand new vegetable! (And quickly becoming the new superfood!) This cross between Kale and Brussels Sprouts has the best flavors of both parents, sweet and nutty! The little miniature Kales are borne along the thick stem, like sprouts. The small, kale-like leaves are ruffy green and purple. 

Plant in full sun and successively to ensure a steady availability. Water deeply and fertilize before heads begin to form. Harvest mature mini-heads when they reach one to one and a half inches wide. 

CELERY

Choose a sunny location and keep in mind that celery requires ample moisture and a heavy feeding of nitrogen. The crop is ready to cut in 90 - 100 days after transplanting. Harvest by cutting below the ground through the taproot. A cut-and-come-again crop, just harvest a few outer stalks at a time and enjoy! 

FUN FACT: Before the sixteenth century, celery was used exclusively as a medicinal herb. For hundreds of years now Italians have been using it in salads and these days, it is one of the most popular vegetables in the world.

KALE

All hail Kale! One of the most popular veggies in the last few years and for good reason, it ranks very high in vitamins and minerals. It's a great plant to have in the winter garden due to its ornamental qualities as well! Boasting great textures and color, it can be used in mass for beds, as accents and in pots.

Plant in full sun and water deeply and frequently. Be sure to fertilize before heads begin to form. We recommend planting successively to ensure a steady availability. Pick individual leaves or harvest entire plant, either way you'll have a nutritious garden-to-table delight. 

BROCCOLI

The word broccoli comes from the Italian word for ‘Cabbage Sprout’ and indeed, the plant is a relative to cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

Plant in fertile, well-draining soil and water deeply. It is best not to plant Brassica family crops (cole crops including cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, kale, collard and mustard greens) in the same spot year after year. Disease and insects may build up in a particular area, so be sure to rotate crops in your garden.

One planting may produce for as long as three months in fall in winter from auxiliary shoots after the main head is removed. Feed 1-2 times before heads begin to form for a healthier, more abundant crop.

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Said to have been cultivated in 16th century Belgium, plant Brussels sprouts in a sunny spot where they won't be disturbed. Because they do get taller than the average veggie, be sure to choose a site where they won't shadow other plants. When watering, be mindful of the rains, any dry period of a few days and your Brussels Sprouts will need moisture. (Especially when planting in a raised bed.) Like Broccoli, fertilize 1-2 times before sprouts begin to develop.

KOHLRABI

 Kohlrabi looks like a cross between a cabbage and a turnip and is often classified as a root vegetable, even though it grows above the ground. A member of the Brassica family, but unlike cabbages, it is the bulbous stalk that is edible rather than the flowering heads.

There are two varieties of kohlrabi. One is purple and the other is pale green. They both have the same mild and fresh tasting flavor, not dissimilar to water chestnuts. Kohlrabi is neither as peppery as a turnip nor as distinctive as cabbage, but easy to see why people think it is a little of both. Although kohlrabi is not a very popular vegetable in North America, it is commonly eaten in Europe, as well as in China, India, and other parts of Asia. The bulbs are often sliced and eaten in salads and the greens are cooked in mustard oil with garlic and chilies. It can be served as an alternative to carrots and turnips, nicely steamed and whipped.

Plant kohlrabi in full sun and water deeply. Fertilize at planting and 1-2 times through the growth cycle. Rich in potassium and vitamin C, grow as you would cabbage and enjoy!