Decorative And Edible Brassica Plants
Brassica plants are part of the mustard family. There are over 30 species, both wild and cultivated. Not only are brassica edible, often these plants are planted for their decorative value as well. Brassica plants have much to recommend them for human consumption. Most are very dense and fibrous and provide a great deal of dietary fiber, which aids digestion and reduces the risk of a variety of intestinal ailments. These plants also tend to be very rich in vitamins and minerals. The specific nutrients provided vary from species to species, but members of the genus are generally high in beneficial substances and low in calories. This makes them excellent additions to a healthy diet. These plants grow best in the cooler winter months when temperatures are around 10-20C degrees. They are capable of coping with frosts now and again. Broccoli is adaptable in most climates but achieves best results in the cooler temperatures.
In the garden, they appreciate an open sunny position that has some protection from the wind. Strong winds can damage the stalks; they become top heavy, as they grow bigger. As these plants grow, mound the soil up around the stalks to encourage root growth and support them from winds or disturbances. All these plants like a well-prepared soil bed containing plenty of manure or a fertilizer applied before planting out. As they grow, apply some nitrogenous fertilizers as a side dressing. You may prefer to use a liquid fertilizer dressing instead and feed every two or three weeks depending on the instructions of the manufacturer.
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