Sow: March onwards, depending on variety
Harvest: 2- 3 months after planting
Conditions: Rich, well drained soil in a sunny position
If you have poor soil, prepare the ground by digging in some well rotted manure a month in advance, then firm the soil down. Start the seeds off in propogator indoors and when the seedlings are about 3 inches high, plant them out. Cabbages are large plants so leave about 24 inches between each seedling and each row, depending on varity of course, and plant each seedling at least 1 inch deep.
Cabbages require regular watering and make sure each plant gets a good soak. You can also feed once they’re well established, but you should stop watering a week or so before they’re ready to harvest.
When the cabbage hearts are firm, they are ready to harvest. Lift them from the ground with a fork, remove the outer leaves and cut the stalk to the base of the cabbage. Store in a cool, dry, airy place and they should keep for 3-4 weeks.
There are many different varieties of cabbage, differing in size, colour, season and hardiness but it is possible to have cabbages ready to harvest almost all year round. Spring cabbages are sown in July for harvesting the following February, with Summer cabbages sown in early March to be harvested in September and Winter cabbages can be sown in April for harvesting right through Christmas to early Spring.
To grow a single cabbage in a pot, you’ll need a container at least 12 inches across and 12 inches deep. If you plan on growing a lot, keep in mind that you need to plant them 12 inches apart so you’ll need a big container. Cabbages need regular watering so keep an eye on the soil and don’t let it dry out. Also, make sure to feed them every
Cabbages can keep for several weeks if stored individually in a cool, dark, airy place so trying hanging them up in nets in the shed. Alternatively, you could wrap them in newspaper and store in a crate but cabbages often smell quite strongly so consider where you want to keep them. Make sure you don’t wash them first. The other option is of course, to leave them in the ground and harvest only as you need them.
Fridge – Cabbages can keep for a fortnight in the fridge.
Freezing – I’ve found two methods for freezing cabbage. The first is to wash the leaves, shred them, then blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Strain, drop in cold water then place into a container for freezing. The second method is to chop the cabbage hearts into four, wash thoroughly and freeze as is.
Pickling – Wash and shred the cabbage first then pack it into a jar, adding a layer of salt. Leave for 24 hours. Remove from the jar and wash both jar and cabbage thoroughly. Then put the cabbage back in the jar and add some sliced onion. Add pickling spices and soft brown sugar, then pour malt vinegar to the top.
GOOD: Beetroot, Celery, Dill, Garlic, Onions, Rosemary
BAD: Beans, Peppers, Strawberries, Tomatoes