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Know your Veg
Discover Cabbage

Here’s the chance for you to discover some of the basic facts about the Cabbage as well as some essential growing tips. Use these to decide whether you want to grow the vegetable, whether you are able to and what you need to do or look out for in order to grow a bountiful crop!

Cabbage Fact Sheet
Other names: Brassica Oleracea
Appearance: Different sizes, puckered shaped leaves (pointed, open and flat) and colours (green and purple).
Popular varieties: Late Flat Dutch; Early Jersey Wakefield; Danish Ballhead
Interesting fact: Declared by ancient Greeks and Romans as “the first of all vegetables” and praised for its medicinal properties
Nutritional value: Full of anti-oxidants (Vitamin E) and Vitamin C
When to grow: Any time of year – for summer crop sow in late winter-late spring.
Grown from: Seed that is sown with different times for different harvest times.
Likes: Sunny site with firm soil; watering; being covered in fleece or insect-proof netting; protection from wind and frost by piling up soil around the plant.
Dislikes: Cabbage root fly, cabbage white butterfly
Harvest time: In all 4 seasons but for seeds sown in late winter-late spring these will be ready in the summer time.
Watch out for: Split heads – not enough watering, frost or over maturity; dead leaves that start to rot.
Cooking tips: Mixed with other vegetables for coleslaw; soups; boiled or steamed for inclusion in a Sunday dinner
Essential Growing Tips for Cabbage

Cabbages can be hard work, but are worth the effort. They take a long time to grow. Winter and Savoy cabbages are the most well known. These have heads like balls and may be green or white. They are planted out midsummer and harvested from late autumn to the end of winter.

> Dutch white cabbages have tight heads. They do well in small plots as they take up less space. Both red cabbages and Dutch white cabbages have to be planted out in early summer and are harvested in early winter.
> Chinese cabbage grow tall, like cylinders and have long upright leaves. Sometimes they are described as Chinese leaves. Sow in spring or at midsummer and harvest during the autumn.
> Cabbages like rich fertile soil. They will not do well in shade.
> Seeds should be sown in shallow rows in the vegetable plot. Move the seedlings to their permanent place when they have 5 or 6 leaves. Alternatively, cabbage can be raised in pots before being planted outside.
> Plants should be dug in the ground 60cm apart, slightly deeper than they were originally planted. Water in well. When the water has drained away, firm the soil around the plants with your feet. Cabbages like firm soil around their roots.
> Feed well while growing.
> Do not grow cabbage on the same place two years running. This will decrease the chance of clubroot disease developing. Add some lime to the soil too when planting as this can help prevent clubroot too.
> Watch out for cabbage white butterfly and the cabbage root fly. It is better to prevent these rather than reacting after the event because they will eat the plants. We recommend using insect mesh netting which is a very long lasting fine mesh covering that effectively keeps out these pests and also birds too. Other useful protection methods include cabbage collars, slug traps and Nemaslug biological pest control.
> Protect cabbages in winter from attacks by pigeons by covering the plants with anti-pigeon netting.

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