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Collard green (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) cultivation in Sicily
- Vetrano, F., Miceli, A., Moncada, A., Mustazza, G., Romano, C.
- Acta horticulturae 2013 no.1005 pp. 471-477
- Brassica oleracea var. sabellica, anticarcinogenic activity, ascorbic acid, buds, collard greens, cultivars, field experimentation, nutritive value, petioles, planting date, shoots, soluble fiber, vigor, Sicily
- Collard greens (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) are a group of plants cultivated for its thick, slightly bitter, edible leaves. As other Brassicaceae, have a good nutritional value as they are a good sources of vitamin C and soluble fiber, and contain various compounds with potent anticancer properties. In order to enhance collard cultivation in Sicily, different planting dates were tested. The research was carried out during 2009-2010 in the experimental field of SAgA Department - University of Palermo. Plants of a Sicilian local cultivar, with high vigor, good emission of side shoots, large and moderately curly leaves and long and strong petiole, were planted in three different periods: end of November, end on January, end of March. The harvest of the main shoot was made when they had tender and non-fibrous leaves and petioles. Secondary shoots, eventually originated from axillary buds left on the plant, were also harvested. Data were recorded on: number of leaves plant-1, stem diameter, fresh weight, dry weight, length and number of harvested shoots. The plants of the earliest transplant were harvested in March (main shoot), April and May (secondary shoots), while only the main shoot was harvested in the other plants (on May and June respectively for the second and the third transplant). This determined an higher yield for the first transplant against the other planting dates. Early transplant influenced also the quality of the main shoots that had more leaves, higher percentage of edible part and less dry matter than those from the other transplant. Secondary shoots had worst quality than the main shoot.