Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Growing Cabbage from Seed to Harvest

There are so many unique varieties of Heirloom Cabbage and Greens.

70 days. (Brassica oleracea capitata) Easy to grow, they are very productive. Small pointed heads have a mild flavor and mature without splitting. 2-3lb.,dark green outside and creamy light green inside. This very early variety was sold commercially by Peter Henderson in the late 1860's. 


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.

Soil Conditions
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.

Planting Seeds
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.
Pak Choy (bok choy) Cabbage
45 days. Pak Choy is a non-heading leaf type Chinese cabbage that produces large, succulent, nearly round, smooth, glossy green leaves with snow white stalks.
Pak Choy is very cold hardy and grows over an extended period of time. The leaves grow 8 to 10 inches long.  Harvest the whole head or use the outer leaves so they just keep coming!


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. 
Companion Plants for Cabbage
Celery, dill, onions and potatoes are good companion plants. Celery improves growth and health. Clover interplanted with cabbage has been shown to reduce the native cabbage aphid and cabbageworm populations by interfering with the colonization of the pests and increasing the number of predatory ground beetles. Plant Chamomile with cabbage as it Improves growth and flavor. Cabbage does not get along with strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, rue, grapes, lettuce and pole beans.

Organic Pest Control for Cabbage
DIY Organic Pest Control Recipes

Diatomaceous Earth!  No preparations necessary!  
DE kills aphids, white flies, beetles, loopers, mites, snails, slugs, leaf hoppers, and harmful pests. Use DE inside your home, greenhouse or outdoors on fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains and grass. Apply Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth up to and including day of harvest. Check out Using Diatomaceous Earth for Non-Toxic, Natural Pest control 


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.
Baby Bok Choy33 days.   Irresistible baby pak choy cabbage. Great for salads and stir fry.  Pak Choy is fast growing and great for winter-time greenhouse growing.


"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?
 


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1 comment:

Tara S said...

I threw a cabbage core into the compost pile last year and it started to sprout leaves and roots...I planted it and it grew THREE heads of cabbage on one plant. It was my first year growing food and I was astounded!