Cabbage


Cabbage


Cabbage is available in a variety of colors that range from green to red and their heads can vary in size and shape. Cabbage can be harvested throughout the spring and winter, depending on your climate and what type you planted. Cabbage type is classified based on when they can be harvested.


Fact: Cabbage can survive in cold weather; they can endure a hard frost and even snow.


Types of cabbage:
Spring cabbage:

Transplanted in the fall and harvested in the spring.

Summer/fall cabbage:

Harvested in either the summer or the fall.

Winter cabbage:

Planted in the summer and harvested in the winter.

Red cabbage:

Can be harvested in either the summer or the fall.

How to plant:
Cabbage needs to be planted in firm soil because their heads can grow to be very heavy. If your soil is too sandy you can add compost to create a denser soil. Cabbage can be planted in full sun or partial shade and should be watered daily after planting. Once the seeds start to grow above the surface, you should water them a few times a week.

Avoid planting cabbage seeds directly in your garden. It is best to start the seeds in a tray or pot and then transplant them into your garden when they have about four leaves. You should water the cabbage plants before removing them from the tray or pot to prevent the leaves from wilting. When transplanting your cabbage grab them by the leaves to avoid damaging the roots.

Cabbage plants needs a lot of space to grow, therefore plant your cabbage in holes that are six inches deep and 18 inches apart.


Common Problems:
There are several pests and diseases that can harm your cabbage plants. Clubroot is a very devastating disease that attacks the roots for your cabbage, eventually killing the plants. The spores then contaminate your soil and they can continue to infect your soil for up to 20 years. Unfortunately there is no cure for clubroot and if your cabbage leaves start to turn colors or your cabbage stops growing, your crop has been affected. It is important to take action by discarding all of the affected crops, do not compost them.

Your cabbage roots can also be attacked by cabbage root fly maggots, which start as eggs in your soil. To prevent cabbage root fly maggots from eating your cabbage roots you can place collars around your plants. Collars can be made from carpet underlay that is cut into a square and made to fit closely around the base of your plant.

If you start to notice holes in your cabbage leaves, it is likely that cabbage caterpillars have invaded your crop but do not fret; they can be removed by hand.


Harvest Time:
You can harvest your cabbage plants in the spring or in the early summer, before they form hearts. If you let your plants continue to grow until they form hearts, just remove them using a knife. Depending on when you planted your cabbage and what type, some crops may not be ready to be harvested unit the fall or winter. Cabbage can survive cold weather, so if frost is in the forecast, your crops will endure.

When you harvest your cabbage make sure you remove all the roots, because roots left in the ground after harvesting could spread diseases to other crops.



- Text Copyright ©Alan Buckingham 2008. DK Edition. Growing Vegetables.