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New Zealand Brassica Planting Calendar

12-Sep-2013 | Contributed by: JJ McConnachie

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Brassica vegetables broccoli and cauliflower

Brassicas vegetables are hardy and grow well in New Zealand. Some varieties can be grown almost all year round, but most are an autumn vegetable. They require a soil with a slightly low to neutral pH (of between 6.5 and 7.5 - you can add lime to reduce the acidity of the soil if a soil test shows your soil is too acidic) and grow best in well-drained soil. For prolific growth, enrich the soil with manure compost, and ensure they have partial shade.

While hardy and relatively cold tolerant, brassicas can be susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases. Crop rotation is best practice with these vegetables, as there are several soil-born diseases that they can get, including soft rot, club rot, bacterial leaf blight, and damping off. Other diseases to look out for include powdery mildew, white blister rust, and downy mildew. Pests that can affect brassicas are cabbage aphids, cabbage worms, cabbage loopers, and cabbage root maggots. They will not just appear on cabbage - they'll eat almost any member of the brassica family.

When it is time to harvest and eat your crops, remember that these nutritious vegetables are best cooked as little as possible to retain their nutrients.

Below is a gardening calendar that shows the best months in New Zealand to sow brassicas. Click the calendar to enlarge it, and look out for the cool and warm regional months specific to your area type.

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