Cole Crop Assortment
Cole crops are a common sight in the home garden, especially in cooler weather, but some gardeners may not know what cole crops are. Cole crops, at a basic level, are plants that belong to the mustard (Brassica) family and are all descendants of wild cabbage. As a group, these plants grow better in cool weather. This 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. Actually, the word “cole” is a variation of a Latin word that means stem. The specific time for when to plant cole crops will be different depending on which one you are growing. For example, most cabbage varieties can be planted out much earlier than broccoli or cauliflower because cabbage plants can tolerate a much lower temperature. In general, these crops grow best when daytime temperatures are below 80 degrees F. and nighttime temperatures are below 60 degrees F. at night. For best results, cole crops should be grown in full sun, but due to their need for cooler temperatures, if you have a partially shaded garden, the vegetables in this family will do okay here as well. Also, if you live in an area that has a short, cool season, planting them in part shade can help alleviate daytime temperatures by keeping direct sun from falling on the plants.