Truly a vegetable for all seasons! With a little planning it is possible to harvest delicious heads for 12 months of the year – from sweet, tender spring cabbages right through to ultra-hardy winter savoys with their attractively crinkled ('savoyed') hearts. In addition, the Dutch-type winter white cabbages and red ones both store well for future use, while red cabbage is wonderful pickled or served hot with apples and raisins. Plant cabbages in an open, sunny site on soil which is fertile, well-drained, but moisture-retentive. The application of a high-nitrogen top dressing as they are maturing will be beneficial.
How to Sow and Grow Cabbages
Sow outdoors thinly in a seed bed, 1.5cm(½in) deep directly into finely prepared soil which has already been watered. Seedlings usually appear in 14-21 days. Water well until plants are established. Transplant 30cm(1ft) apart when plants are about 10cm(4in) tall. Allow 30cm(1ft) between rows. Plant firmly and water well. Sow indoors 0.5cm(¼in) deep, in a tray of compost. Water well and place in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. Keep moist. Transplant 5cm(2in) apart to other trays when large enough to handle. Gradually accustom young plants to outside conditions (avoid frosts), before planting out. Use Cabbage Collars round the base of the seedlings if cabbage root fly is a problem and protect from birds, we suggest Easy Tunnels for an easy to use and move crop protection.
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