Cabbage is a great vegetable to have on hand to get you through the fall. Being that it provides Calcium, Potassium, and Vitamin C it will compliment any meal that’s on the table. Growing this healthy vegetable yourself at home is ideal because they will be available when you need them and it will save you a trip to the grocery store. It’s not so hard to grow them nicely, just make sure that you have good fertilizer, rich soil, and plenty of water on hand. Here are a few secrets to growing the best cabbage you’ve ever had.
Stick to a plan
The best time to plant cabbage is during cool weather, so plan to start your crop in spring or late summer. The crop will need about 6 hours of sun each day and very fertile soil that is about 6.5 or 6.8 pH, so please have your soil tested to get the correct pH. You will need to plan for perfect conditions that will allow your cabbage to have a good chance of thriving, so use organic matter and lime if you need to. Give them plenty of room to grow by spacing them out well and this will encourage them to grow bigger. Plan to water them on a regular basis and use mulch to keep the soil moist and cool for them. Compost would do them good as well as liquid fertilizer with fish emulsion.
Maintain your plants
Keep the weeds down and keep the pesky insects away, so that you won’t have little holes in your veggies. No one wants little bug holes in their cabbage leaves. Look out for aphids, slugs, cabbage root maggots, worms, and cabbage loopers. Take care that they are not contracting a disease such as yellows, black legs, clubroot, and black rot. To help to eliminate the disease issue try to rotate your plants and plant them in a different location each year.
Time to harvest
Do you know what a ripe cabbage feels like? Its head is very firm to the touch, so make sure that you squeeze the center head before picking it. If the head feels soft and loose on the inside it needs to grow for a little while longer. When you are ready to harvest them cut the cabbage at the base. Some varieties may need to be cut as soon as they are ready, and others may keep for a while longer in the garden.
I keep my cabbage in the fridge and they last me a while until I am ready to cook them. You can also blanch them and can them for later use if you have an overflow of cabbage. Share them with your friends and family to show off your green thumb.