The Brassica family of plants includes popular vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, as well as flavoring plants like mustard. Brassica rapa L. is commonly known as turnip, turnip rape, fast plants, field mustard, or turnip mustard.
Overview of Brassica Rapa
• This is a plant widely cultivated as a leaf vegetable (see mizuna and napa cabbage), a root vegetable (see turnip), and an oil-seed.
• The oil-seeds known as canola are sometimes particular varieties of Brassica rapa (termed Polish Canola).
• Mostly the related species are Brassica napus and Brassica juncea.
The plant is scientifically classified as below:
• Kingdom: Plantae
• Class: Eudicots
• (unranked): Rosids
• Order: Brassicales
• Family: Brassicaceae
• Genus: Brassica
• Species: B. rapa
Growing/Caring conditions of Brassica Rapa
• Growing these plants in a home garden enables you to provide fresh veggies throughout the growing season.
• These plants thrive best in full sunlight.
• They have long growing seasons that start in early spring.
• Start planting as soon as the final frost of the year has passed.
– Till the soil in an area of your garden that receives at least six hours of full sunlight daily.
– Till to a depth of 10 inches.
• Brassicas can withstand one or two unexpected freezes.
• Mix in a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost or peat moss as you till to increase fertility and drainage in the soil.
• This helps the heavily feeding Brassicas and prevents rot and fungal growth from standing water.
• Sow your Brassica seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in the soil.
• Space 18 inches apart in rows at least 32 inches apart.
• Brassica seeds germinate within 10 days.
• Keep the soil around your Brassica plants thoroughly moist.
• Water the vegetables any time the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch.
• Feed the plants a balanced vegetable fertilizer that contains boron, calcium and magnesium about two weeks after germination.
• This extra boost of nutrition helps the plants fruit.
• Inspect your plants every day.
• If you find worms or other insects on your vegetables, simply pick them off with tweezers.
• These pests only harm vegetables if allowed to stay on there for too long.
• Harvest the Brassicas when the vegetables are firm to the touch.
• Brassicas tend to attract worms and moths.
• Consider using row covers during the first few weeks after planting to prevent these insects from invading.