Growing Cabbage

For either the novice or experienced gardener growing cabbage can be one of the best additions to your vegetable patch as they are one of the easiest vegetable crops to grow due to the fact that they will thrive in almost any type of soil conditions and can endure many different climates, thriving especially well in cold, damp winters but they also capable of withstanding temperatures which would normally destroy other vegetable crops.

When growing cabbage, you should try to plant as early as possible in the spring. However, if you are not sure when to plant, it would be wise to check the plant hardiness zone in your particular location.

Because cabbage is a heavy feeder, your soil preparation should include plenty of organic manure – a bucketful per square yard would be ideal. If you are going to apply fertiliser, use a general fertilizer and do so a week before planting. However, as they grow, the cabbages may require a top-dressing of liquid fertilizer (nitrate of soda and sulphate of ammonia) from time to time growing cabbage tend to consume a lot of nitrogen and potassium as they develop.

If The soil is acidic (and not chalky) – usually during winter, add lime to neutralize it. The recommended pH level is 6 to 6.5 – anything greater can encourage club root disease to take hold which will severely damage your crop.

Do not fork over or dig up the soil unless the ground is too hard – cabbages actually prefer firm soil and any cultivation carried out should be shallow as they tend to have shallow roots.

Cabbage can be grown from transplants or by sowing the seed directly into the ground. If you’re transplanting, make sure the bed has been watered very well the day before and ensure your seedlings have been acclimated to the outside conditions for a few days before transplanting.

Make a shallow groove in the soil with a stick or rake and sow seeds thinly (about half an inch deep). If you’re using rows, make sure they are at least 6 inches apart or more if you’re going a large-growing cabbage type like Brunswick, which needs more room to grow.

As the cabbages grow larger, thin them to 7.5cm apart, so they do not become weak and thin and always remember to cover your crop with netting to protect against cabbage pests such as caterpillars and wild birds.

When the cabbage is ready to pick, cut it off at ground level using a sharp knife and remove the loose outer leaves.