Guide to Growing Cabbages

Guide to Growing Cabbages

These belong to the brassica family which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard, savoy, seakale and turnip. There are many points of cultivation which this family has in common.

First and foremost amongst them is a demand for a rich but well-finned soil. In loose soil they are never satisfactory. Every endeavour should therefore be made to have sites for them prepared some considerable time in advance of planting, or simply to rake down ground vacated by early short-season crops, in order that the soil may have a moderate degree of solidity. Given firm soil and a reasonable supply of plant food, none of the cabbage tribe is difficult to grow, but as they take a good deal out of the ground it is advisable to make sure that they are crop-rotated, so as to lessen the danger of disease such as club-root building up. The soil should be limed as all brassicas grow best in such soils and it also acts as a deterrent to the disease just referred to.

Guide-to-Growing-Cabbages There are quick-growing varieties of cabbage such as Primo, Velocity and Greyhound for summer use, slower growing kinds such as Rearguard and Winnigstadt for autumn use, very late and hardy kinds such as January King which can be used in winter, yet others such as Ellams Early and Harbinger to be sown in summer and cut the following spring, and red cabbages grown specially for pickling.

Sow the summer cabbages in a frame or greenhouse in February, or outdoors in March, and plant out in April or May. Sow the autumn cabbages outdoors in March, April or early May and plant out from May to early July. Sow the spring cabbages outdoors between mid-July and mid-August and plant out in September or October.

All require good, well-worked but firm soil. Most varieties should be spaced 18in. apart in rows 2ft. apart, but the big drumhead and pickling varieties need a little more room and the small spring varieties can have a little less. The summer, autumn and winter varieties should be fed occasionally in summer with small dressings of a general or all-purpose fertiliser. Spring cabbage should not be fed in this way until danger of prolonged frost is over, say in April and May.

Varieties: These include the following — Summer maturing: Greyhound, Primo and Velocity.

Autumn maturing: Rearguard and Winnigstadt.

Winter maturing: January King.

Spring maturing: Ellams Early and Harbinger.


Chinese Cabbage – Brassica chinensis

This is more like a cos lettuce than a cabbage, with shiny green leaves forming an oval or oblong head. Used in China for many centuries, it is only since the beginning of the present one that it has attracted attention in other countries having first gained notoriety in the United States.

The plants must be used immediately they mature otherwise they throw up flower heads  and become useless. Frosts will spoil the plants. In hot weather, if the soil becomes dry, the leaves are inclined to wilt badly and soon lose their freshness.

Sow at intervals throughout the summer, making the drills 60cm apart and 25 mm deep, thinning the seedlings so there are 23cm between them. Chinese cabbages do not transplant well and are at their best during a damp season.

As the heads develop, a tie or two of raffia should be placed around the outer leaves to ensure the formation of a good blanched head. The heads are cut complete as with cabbage. The leaves can be used as a substitute for lettuce or steamed or boiled. There is no unpleasant cabbage smell when they are cooked.

Varieties: Chili, tender, crisp, spicy flavour. Pte sai. Pure white, cos lettuce-like heads when blanched. Michikli. Growing 38 to 45cm tall, and up to 7 to 10cm in diameter. Wong Bok, large, tender,juicy heads.

03. December 2010 by admin
Categories: Gardening Ideas, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: | Comments Off on Guide to Growing Cabbages


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