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     What are Western Brassicas ?                                                   <<Back to Vegetable Ward

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What are Western Brassicas ? they include Kale's, Cauliflower's, Cabbages, Brussels Sprouts, sprouting Broccoli, Calabrese,, Turnip tops, Broccoli Raab, Kohl Rabi, Swedes and Turnips. Western Brassicas are naturally biennial but are cultivated as annuals for their leaves and roots, and as biennials for their flower heads and shoots. Each type as many variations often a range of cultivars to be grown through out the seasons. They are a cool season crop and will stand various degrees of frost, depending on the Cultivar grown
 
To grow Western Brassicas well you need a well drained fertile moisture retentive soil, they need high levels of nitrogen, but not be planted on freshly manured land a base dressing may be applied before planting out, a pH level of 6.5 - 7 should be maintained to prevent the build up of Club root disease. Regular application of lime to the soil will help to prevent it, and maintain the pH Level.
 
Western Brassicas must be cultivated throughout their growth, hoe at regular intervals. Never let 7 days pass without hoeing up the brassicas plot.
Water and apply a Nitrogenous fertiliser throughout their growth, and go over plants at regular intervals looking for pests, Flea Beetles, slugs and snails, damping off, cabbage root flies, white blister, whiptail, and cutworms, all affect young plants. Caterpillars, cabbage white fly, mealy aphids, clubroot and birds all attack plants at all stages of growth.
 
Western Brassicas prefer a firm soil, sow in situ, or in a seedbed or in modules for transplanting. ( if you tend to have a Clubroot problem grow them in 3ins pots to 5 leaves stage, then plant out, this gives them a good start and avoids the build up of clubroot in the young seedling. 

Tall growing Brassicas like Brussels sprouts should be planted deep ( 4ins ) I personally make a trench 6ins deep and plant out in this, makes the plants easier to water at the early stages of growth, and as you hoe the trench fills in and earth's up  the plant, Plant young Western Brassicas firmly with the lower leaves just above the soil level. If the plants like Brussels sprouts are widely spaced then they can inter-cropped with such as lettuce to harvest long before they are over shadowed.

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