Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Growing Cabbage from Seed

Cabbage is best grown in a temperate climate, and should be planted in an open and sunny spot that can either be in full sun or partial shade.

Most types of cabbage require a well-draining, light - medium soil with a neutral pH of about 6.5 - 7.0.

When growing cabbage, the soil should be prepared well in advance, especially if you are enriching the soil with organic matter. If you are sowing the cabbage seeds in spring, prepare the soil in autumn by digging in plenty of well-rotted compost or manure.

Sow the seeds at ½ inch deep.  If you are direct sowing, leave 6 inches between rows. When seedlings reach a height 4 - 6 inches and have 5 or 6 true leaves, they will be ready to transplant.

It is best to water in the evening, the day before you are due to transplant, and then plant the seedlings 12-18 inches apart for spring cabbage. Allow approximately 1 foot between rows. Make sure that you firm down the soil around the plants.

Hoe around the plants to remove all weeds and apply a mulch to suppress weeds from appearing. Mulch will also retain moisture, which is extremely important during the hot weather. The cabbage plants must not be allowed to dry out, as it will affect their growth.

Harvesting Cabbage is easy.  Simply lift the whole vegetable from the ground with a garden fork or spade, or cut the stem, just above the lowest leaves of the plant.
"Chinese cabbage, often called Chinese leaves in supermarkets are the odd one out in the cabbage family. They look more like a cos lettuce than a cabbage for starters.
The cultivation method is completely different than conventional cabbage as well, they do not like root disturbance and usually would be sown in situ rather than being transplanted.

Cultivation of Chinese Cabbage
Like the other brassicas they like a rich soil with a high pH - neutral at least..
Sow about 3 or 4 seeds at 30cm spacing each way, usually in May although some fast growing varieties can go in as late as early August and thin to the strongest seedling. Harvest is from late September to min-November."

Cabbage is full of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C and K as well as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and manganese.  Looking for a recipe for all your delicious cabbage?  Check out Cabbage and Broccoli Slaw with Brussels Sprouts and Radishes, with Creamy Dijon Dressing

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