Starting Brassicas Early
Brassicas are plants that belong to the mustard family- Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Cabbage, and Brussels Sprouts are a few belonging in this group. They are a cool weather crop, which means they are usually the first and last thing planted in the garden. They can handle frost and are usually planted about 4 weeks before the last frost in the spring or 6 weeks or so before your first fall frost.
I like to get a head start by planting them indoors 4-6 weeks before I plan on planting them outside. They can be directly sown in the garden too, and I will more than likely plant a few more like that to extend the harvest, but in the past we've had a lot of issues with the cabbage moth caterpillar and I have found that the earlier I get the plants started the more harvest I will get before the bugs do too much damage. Getting started early also means you get a good harvest before warm weather hits and the plant bolts (forming the seed stalk).
We have a good 120 seedlings popping up in the seed trays now. Some are starting to sprout their true leaves. Since all of these plants belong to the same family, their seeds and seedlings look nearly identical (with the exception of the purple cabbage). So be sure to label them in some way in order to tell them apart.
Annika takes the job of watering very seriously. Sometimes a little too seriously and we have to pry the spray bottle from her hands in order to stop her from drowning anything! But do make sure the soil stays moist and water at least once a day. Around here we get so excited about the little green sprouts we check more than once a day just to make sure (and watch them grow!)
Have you ever started Bassicas from seed? What is your experience with them?
This post is linked to the Homestead Barn Hop , The Ultimate Gardening Link Up, and The Creative HomeAcre Hop