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How to Grow Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower

Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are excellent sources of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium. Except for cauliflower, these vegetables are quite easy to grow. Make certain that only yellows-resistant cabbages are planted. Cauliflower plants are extremely sensitive to stress especially during early growth and therefore, frequently do not produce well. This is especially true if the plants have been allowed to become too dry, too warm or too crowded or have been grown without enough light and fertilizer.


All of these crops may be started from seed sown indoors about six weeks before the plants can be set in the garden. They all grow best during cool, moist weather. Well hardened cabbage and broccoli transplants can be set out between May 1-10. Cauliflower is more tender and should not be planted until May 15-20. Space plants of these crops 18-24 inches apart in the rows with 36 inches between rows. Weed control is necessary.

Pest Control

If you expect to grow good quality broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage over a long season, insect pests must be controlled. A safe dust or spray of thuracide Bt or Dipel will not harm people, honey bees or birds, but will kill the caterpillar pests of these vegetables if the directions on the package label are followed. Repeat applications are necessary for effective control. Do not forget to pull out all plants and compost them after you have completed the harvest.

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This page was last updated on November 16, 2002