Originally published December 2011
I love growing cabbages. I learned to like cabbage because I like to grow it. I use it mainly in my stir fry in the summer and in my garden vegetable soup in the winter. I have had good results in storing winter cabbage thru early summer. Wrap it in newspaper and store in the refrigerator.
I start my cabbage seedlings while it is still blistering hot in August. I then have quite a time trying to keep them cool and yet in plenty of sun.
Here are pics of my just planted seedlings, after growing for about a month, and current pics with the heads starting to form.
When planting my seedlings, I scoop the hole, put about a tablespoon of both garden lime and bone meal in the hole before I place the seedling. The bone meal seems to help the roots and the plants perk up and start to grow quickly and I hope the lime wards off the root diseases that cabbages suffer from. These substances are what is in those containers you see in the left side of this pic.
Cabbages after maybe a month of planting the seedlings. This is an evening picture.
Current picture – taken in the morning after a good freeze the night before. These are red cabbages. The leaves always look a bit floppy after a freeze – see leaves at top of the pic.
I’m hoping that these Early Dutch cabbages will form their 2-3 pound heads before year end. I need to plant my spring cabbages by February, meaning that these plants need to be matured and out of the way. I only have a tiny garden space, so I have to constantly recycle the growing area. No room to leave dormant. If only I had an acre for my garden….blueberries…blackberries….fruit trees….nut trees…..grains….perennials such as kiwi….actually enough space for all of the bean varieties I have and want to plant….herb garden….and so on…….dream on…….
In this pic below, see the bug holes in the middle leaves? The plants grew fine for a while, then I noticed lots of small holes in the middle of the leaves – this means worms. The leaves were infected with tiny, green 1/4″ worms. I rubbed and squashed the ones I could find, then I sprayed the leaves with BT – an organic worm killer. This solved the problem. Notice that the newer growth does not have worm holes. The red cabbages were not affected and not all of the green cabbage were affected either.
It is getting close to time to start my cabbage seedlings for this coming spring. I prefer to only plant ‘early’ cabbage in the spring. I do this because I want the heads to mature before the hot weather sets in. Cabbages prefer cool, moist growing conditions – not hot, dry conditions. Also, spring plantings are very much more subject to worms and aphids. It is truly amazing, but I had several stunted looking cabbages this past spring – the stunted cabbages were covered with aphids, but the normal, health looking cabbage plants were NOT attacked by aphids. I truly do believe that pests
zero in on weak plants and are lest apt to attack healthy plants.
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