Cole Crops and Crucifers

 
 
 

Commonly known as the mustard family, the Brassicaceae/Cruciferae consists of more than 300 genera and 3,000 species. Cole crops are varieties of the species Brassica oleracea. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, and kale. Other crucifers include mustard, turnip, rutabaga and radish. Commercial production of crucifers in North Carolina is primarily in cabbage, collard greens, and mustard and turnip greens. Cabbage is grown in most of the state's counties, but commercial production is concentrated primarily in northeastern North Carolina (Pasquotank County). Cabbage is grown as both a spring and fall crop, and in the mountains as an early summer and fall crop. Approximately 10,000 acres of cabbage are grown annually in North Carolina. The collard is a cool season crop that should be grown during early spring or fall. The mature plant will withstand frosts and light to medium freezes. It is one of the most popular garden vegetables in the south. Approximately 3,000 acres of collards are grown annually in North Carolina.

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