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How to Grow Brassicas

It’s a big family with many wacky relatives, but they have remarkably similar needs

Fine Gardening – Issue 177

The genus Brassica is impressively large and diverse, selectively bred by many cultures to produce delicious roots, leaves, stems, and flower buds. One particularly widespread species,Brassica oleracea, was cultivated in coastal Europe and the Mediterranean region, and over many generations, it became the broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, and collards we know today. Another widely distributed species, Brassica rapa,grew in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, where agricultural selection brought turnips, bok choy, tatsoi, mizuna, napa cabbage, and purple mustard greens to the world table.

Different types don’t mind rooming together. Because brassica seedlings have similar space requirements, it is perfectly okay to grow multiple varieties in the same tray.

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