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5/10/2012 8:40:19 PM EST
|How to Grow Cabbage in Your Garden
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How to Grow Cabbage
Cabbages are extremely hardy members of the brassica family, which thrive in cold damp winters and are capable of withstanding temperatures which would destroy many other crops.
Even if you are from Minnesota.
The somewhat unglamorous reputation gained by cabbage has changed over the last few years, newer varieties have been introduced which are milder tasting than the old much stronger flavored types. These varieties have also been bred to be more disease resistant.
Because the cabbage is suitable to most temperate climates and soils and require minimal attention, they are one of the easiest crops to grow.
Growing Cabbage---Soil and site for Cabbage.
The ideal site for cabbages is any well drained ground, but they prefer a medium to light soil which will retain a reasonable amount of water. Prepare the ground with mulch, several months before sowing.
If the ground has not been mulched, apply a general fertilizer before sowing. I am in favor of sowing from mid spring until early summer for a longer period of harvesting . Cabbages grown outdoors should be transplanted when four or five cabbage type leaves have appeared.
Living in Arizona, I start my Cabbage Plants in Late September and Early Oct. They are usually ready to harvest by Early May. I wonder when you start your Cabbages? Send me a comment n that.
Care of Cabbage
Cabbages sown in spring do not require a great deal of care, but do not allow them to dry out as this will impair their growth. Water liberally during hot and dry weather. Hoe around the plants during the growing period to control the weeds and aerate the soil which will also deter insect pests from laying their eggs.
A layer of garden compost or Grass clipping around (but not touching) the plants will conserve water, prevent weeds and deter those pesky insects !
Send me your ideas on keeping weeds down. I would love to hear what you do.
Cabbages are greedy feeders and require plenty of fertilizer during the growing period. Spraying with Miracle Grow every 2 weeks will greatly enhance their growth. As the plants mature, some of the leaves may turn yellow. Break off these discoloured leaves as soon as they appear.
Harvesting and Storing Cabbage
Cabbages are ready for harvesting when the hearts are firm. Lift the entire plant with a fork and cut the roots off at a later stage, or, cut the stem just above the base of the lower leaves, and discard the outer leaves which are too coarse for eating. Mature cabbages with a good firm heart, and in good condition, can be stored in a cool, airy frost proof shed for several weeks.
Place the cabbages on a rack made of wood or chicken wire, do not stack them on the ground. Once the cabbages have been cut and stored, the crop has now finished and the ground can be cleared.
How I love prepare them to Eat?
Cabbages are rich in Vitamins and Minerals for your diet. You can Boil them using a little Milk, Butter or Margarine, a little Salt and Pepper and MMMMMMMMM is that good. You can also steam them and eat them.
It can be canned. Check the Internet for instructions or a lot of people make good old Sour Kraut which is also easy to make and can. Again see the Internet for instructions.
You can also make a shredded Cabbage which will last for several days in the Frig. You can add Green Cabbage, Purple cabbage, Shredded carrots with a little Miracle whip and Cream, and a little sugar or sweetner along with a little salt and pepper.
A tip for using your cabbage from your Frig and making it last longer if you are not using it all up at once. Instead of cutting it from the side down through the cabbage, removes the outside leaves only and cut them up and store the rest in the Frig for the next time you want to eat more of it. It will last much longer than cutting through the heart.
How do you like to prepare your cabbages? Please let me know. I will add that to my Book coming out soon.
Pests and Diseases of Cabbage
Cabbage root fly
Stunted growth especially if infected as seedlings. Discoloured leaves which wilt. Roots are black and rotten.
The first signs of infection are wilting. blueish leaves and a dying plant.
Holes in the leaves
Roland in Phoenix
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|Cabbage is one of the tastiest vegetables that you can grow in your garden, Requires little care and little space in your garden and it goes a long ways when you come to eat it. See my Blog on how to grow it. |