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2022 Midwest Vegetable Guide

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Cole Crops and Brassica Leafy Greens – Horticulture Midwest Veg Guide 2022 103 Cauliflower: Rows 3 feet apart. Plants 15 to 18 inches apart in row, or 12 to 15 inches apart in row for self-blanching types. Collards: Rows 3 to 3.5 feet apart. Plants 18 to 24 inches apart in row. Seed 1 to 2 pounds per acre. Kale: Rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Plants 8 to 16 inches apart in row. Seed 2 to 4 pounds per acre. Use denser plantings if harvesting small leaves for salad or braising mixes. Kohlrabi: Rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Plants 4 to 12 inches apart in row. Plant more densely to harvest small plants early and allow later harvested plants to grow larger. Mustard: Rows 1 to 1-1/2 feet apart. Plants 10 to 12 inches apart in row. Seed 3 to 5 pounds per acre. Use denser plantings if harvesting small leaves for salad or braising mixes. Turnip greens: Rows 6 to 12 inches apart. Plants 1 to 4 inches apart in row. Fertilizing pH: Maintain a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi: Before planting, apply 50 to 60 pounds N per acre, 25 to 200 pounds P 2 O 5 per acre, and 0 to 250 pounds K 2 O per acre based on soil test results and recommendations from your state. Cole crops, particularly cauliflower, are responsive to B on low organic matter soils, sandy soils, or where the pH is greater than 7.0. If B is needed, apply 1 to 2 pounds B per acre broadcast. Soil test and/or perform plant analysis on the previous crop to be sure B is needed. High soil B can be detrimental to rotational crops such as sweet corn, peas, or beans. At transplanting, a starter solution at a rate of 1 cup (8 ounces) per plant is recommended. If the transplant flat receives a heavy fertilizer feeding just prior to setting, the starter solution can be eliminated. Sidedress with 40 pounds N per acre three to four weeks after transplanting and again three weeks later. On organic soils only one sidedressing is needed. Avoid excessive N fertilization with broccoli as it can cause too rapid growth and a hollow flower stalk. Reduce the amount of fertilizer N applied by the value of N credits from green manures, legume crops grown in the previous year, compost and animal manures, and soils with more than 3 percent organic matter. The total amount of N from fertilizer (including starter) and other credits should be 140 pounds per acre. Collards, kale, and mustard: Before planting, apply 50 to 60 pounds N per acre, 0 to 150 pounds per acre P 2 O 5 , and 0 to 200 pounds K 2 O per acre based on soil test results and recommendations from your state. Sidedress with 30 pounds N per acre two to three weeks after transplanting on soils with more than 3 percent organic matter and following a legume crop. For greens on soils with less than 3 percent organic matter and following legume crops, apply 45 pounds N per acre. For greens following corn, small grains, or a vegetable crop, apply 60 pounds N per acre. The total amount of N from fertilizer (including starter) and other credits should be 120 pounds per acre. Harvesting Broccoli: Harvesting is done by hand while the head is still compact and before the flowers open. The central heads should be dark blue or green and 4 to 6 inches across when mature. If harvesting too late or when the heads are over mature, woodiness in the stems will develop. Depending on your marketing requirements, the main head is cut with 8 to 10 inches of stem. Sometimes a second harvest of side shoots can be obtained. Broccoli for processing should be cut with less attached stem (6 to 7 inches) and with few or no leaves. Fresh market broccoli should be cut longer, with little trimming. Broccoli quality is based on the degree of compactness, leafiness, head trimness, damage, and freedom from insects and extraneous debris. During the critical period of head formation, prolonged periods of heat (over 85° F) result in poor head quality. Broccoli varieties range in maturity from 55 to 75 days. Brussels sprouts: Harvest when the buds are about 1 inch in diameter, firm, tight and of good color. Sprouts can be harvested as they reach marketable size, or during one single harvest at the end of the season. In a once-over harvest sprouts can be harvested individually, or entire stalks can be cut. Harvesting the entire stalk saves on labor in the field and extends the shelf life of the buds. The flavor is best after the first frosts of the season. Brussels sprouts are generally long season crops ranging from 80 to 110 days to maturity and harvested in the fall. Cabbage for fresh market and processing: Cut cabbage when the head has reached a marketable size of 6 to 12 inches in diameter. Peel off the first few wrapper leaves for fresh market sale. Cabbages for processing into kraut are harvested similarly. Cabbage for the bagged salad market are sometimes field-cored. Cabbage varieties range in maturity from 60 to 120 days. Cauliflower: When ready to harvest, the heads should be compact and clean white. Typical harvest size for wholesale markets is a diameter of approximately 6 inches, but heads can reach 12 inches in diameter and sell well. Delaying harvest usually will not result in obtaining larger heads. If larger heads are desired consider cultivar selection and wider plant spacing. Cauliflower should be hand-harvested and cut

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