“Cole crop” is the general term used to describe broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi. As a group, these plants grow better in cool weather which leads many people to think that the word “cole” is a variation of the word “cold” and they may even refer to these plants as cold crops. The word “cole” actually originated from the Latin word caulis meaning stem or stalk of a plant.
Cole crops can be planted at the same time as seed potatoes, onion sets, and asparagus crowns. It’s also time to direct sow lettuce and spinach seed.
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Beet ‘Early Wonder’
A popular heirloom beet variety that produces high yields of deep red roots. Tasty, early maturing, and produces abundant greens. Beets are great for boiling, pickling, baking, and freezing. Forms 3-4" deep red globes that are sweet and tender. Also known as "Tall Top" for its tall, glossy leaves that make great greens with salads. Greens are also a great substitute for chard or spinach and have high vitamin A and C.
Brassica oleracea var. italica
Bright green rounded heads form on medium-sized plants for mid-summer harvest when transplanted in March and April. Heat-resistant plants are slow to bolt and plants prefer sull sun. Plants 24 to 30 inches apart in rows 12 to 14 inches apart. Mulch to control weeds and to keep the soil cool. Watch for cabbage worms and aphids. Cabbage worms can be picked off. Aphids can be blasted off with a water hose or sprayed with insecticidal soap if .
‘Jade Cross’ Brussels Sprouts
Brassica oleracea var gemmifera
Jade Cross is a fine hybrid that produces high yields of deep green, flavorful 1/4 to 1″ round bite-sized cabbages. Compact plants mature early for later planting when conditions are more favorable. An All-America winner.
Brassica oleracea var. capitata
'Ruby Perfection' is a fancy midseason cabbage with deep purple-red heads averaging 4–6 lb. A great storage cabbage that will keep till May in a root cellar. Plants have survived outdoor temperatures of 18° under a double layer of row cover. 'Savoy Ace' produces deep green heads of cabbage that average 10 to 12 inches in diameter and weigh 3 ½ to 4 lbs. This variety produces good yields of fine-quality Savoy-type cabbage. Stores well. An adaptable, excellent choice for home gardens.
‘Yuki’ Chinese Cabbage
Brassica rapa var pekinensis
Good uniformity and large head size with tolerance to Black Speck and tipburn. 'Yuki' is bred for spring to early summer harvest in areas where bolting is a problem. Young heads can be harvested for a tender and delicious salad addition.
Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
Plant spring cauliflower 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost in the ground or large container. Plant cauliflower in rows with each plant spaced 18 inches apart. Rows should be 30 inches apart. Improve garden soil by adding compost and other rich organic matter. Mulch and give plants 1 to 1.5 inches of water weekly. Cover young plants to protect them from cold weather. When the cauliflower head is about the size of a golf ball, gently fold leaves over the head and secure them in place with twine. Harvest cauliflower heads when they are still compact but large enough to eat, about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Rotating crops each year will prevent any soil-borne diseases specific to cauliflower from taking hold. You won't find ‘Depurple’, a ravishing new purple cauliflower, in stores! Buttery-sweet, lavender-blue florets add color and rich flavor whether served fresh, broiled, sautéed or added to soup. The purple color comes from anthocyanins, the same antioxidants found in red wine, so purple cauliflower is more nutritious too. A sprinkle with vinegar or lemon juice before steaming, roasting, or sautéing will preserve the color. 'Snow Crown' is an old All-American winner. Fast growing variety of cauliflower. This indeterminate hybrid may send out additional smaller heads of cauliflower before it is done.
SUMMER CROPS THAT CAN HANDLE THE COLD!
‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard
This stunning chard seed mix is as ornamental as it is delicious, with stems in gold, pink and crimson. A few plants will be white and pink striped, orange, scarlet, purple, green and white. All are delicious to eat, though they are at their best harvested young for salads. Pick from late spring until winter. Grows best in full sun but will tolerate light shade. Swiss chard is very cold tolerant and will continue to grow in the garden through frosts until temperatures drop to the mid-20's. Swiss chard is very heat tolerant and will produce greens through the summer. Foliage will regrow another crop about 7-10 days after cutting so you can continue harvesting all summer.
Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group) 'Redbor'
This curly kale has gorgeous red and purple color. Continuously cut for yields all season. Frilly, curled leaves have deep purple stems and veins running throughout. Some plants are entirely magenta, though at times, others may have leaves that are tinged with green. Growing between 18 to 24 inches in height, Redbor kale offers a mild cabbage-like flavor and crisp texture. When cooked it becomes tender and nutty with a mild earthy sweetness. An excellent source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
SETS, CROWNS & PIPS
'Purple Passion' produces purple spears with a mild, nutty flavor and are reputedly sweeter than most other asparagus varieties. Purple color is especially nice for salads. Spears turn green when cooked.
'Jersey Knight' is extremely vigorous and produces large, succulent spears. Excellent flavor. Plants are resistant to rust, crown rot, and fusarium. It performs equally well in heavy, clay-like soils.
Potatoes are one of the easiest root crops to grow! They grow in average soil and a small area can provide a nice yield of this tasty vegetable.
Due to its compact size, 'Red Norland' is ideal for small gardens. It is an outstanding red potato with shallow eyes and excellent flavor. It was developed for northern growers but is widely adaptable.
'Kennebec' is a large potato with thin, light tan skin that allows for quick and easy peeling. It has a uniform appearance and white fleshy insides. It has resistance to blight and other diseases.
'Russet Norkotah' is a long, smooth, shallow-eyed potato. It is adaptable in many areas and generally has a 7 to 9-month storage life. Its versatility and flavor make this potato ideal for baking.
'Pontiac Red' is a great mashing potato thin red skins, shallow eyes and crisp white flesh. They also make beautiful new potatoes. An excellent choice for planting in heavy soils. Potatoes store well.
Plant in early spring in a sunny location. Water weekly through warm summer weather but do not overwater.
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Glossy red, long-necked fruit, ‘Ozark Beauty’, 'Tri Star', 'Seascape' and ‘Eversweet’ have a mild, sweet flavor. Very productive everbearing varieties will bear fruit in late spring and again in fall. 'Chandler', 'Honeoye', ‘Surecrop’ and ‘Earli-Glow’ are popular June-bearing varieties, producing good crops in almost any growing region or soil type. Firm fruit is useful for fresh eating or the freezer. Plant June-bearing and everbearing for continuous fruit production.