Brassica oleracea (Capitata Group) 'Cabbages'
Also known as
Savoy Cabbage, Red Cabbage
This plant has a mild fragrance
Brassica oleracea (Cagitata Group), commonly known as Cabbages, is a leafy vegetable producing large heads of compact leaves. Cabbages belong to the Mustard family that include broccoli, cauliflowers, kale and Brussel Sprouts. They are mild, sweet and have a slightly peppery flavour. They can be used freshly cut, cooked, added to soups and used in side dishes. Cabbages prefer growing in cooler temperatures and thrive during winter in warmer climates. With three main harvesting seasons, Spring, Summer and Winter, Cabbages are sown from late Feb-May (Summer crop), Apr-May (Winter) and Jul-Aug (Spring) into seedbeds or modules. Transplant out when they have developed five or six true leaves to their final location and space them apart as such. Compact varieties 30cm (12") apart, Larger 45cm (18") and Spring cabbages 10cm (4") thinning again in Feb/Mar. With a little planning, Cabbages can be grown all year round. Some of the varieties that have earned a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit are: Spring Cabbages - (Mar. to May) Duncan, Durham Elf, Lyatt's Offenham Compacta, Pixie, Advantage, Spring Hero and Winterjewel. Summer Cabbages - (Jun. to Sept..) Cabbice, Caraflex, Carambra, Dutchman, Elisa, Excel, Gonzales, Hispi, Primero, Regency, Shelta, Stonehead Savoy Cabbage (Sept. to Mar.) - Alaska, Endeavour, Famosa, January King, Medee, Rigoleto. Traviata, Tundra, Wintessa Autumn Cabbage - (Sept. to Nov.) Buscaro, Minicole, Picador, Providence, Red Jewel, Rodeo, Rookie, Rugby Ball, Savoy Serve, Sherwood, Winter Cabbage - (Nov. to Mar.) Embassy, Huzaro, Kilaton, Deadon, Marabel, Noelle,
Common problems with Cabbage
Cabbage Companion Plants
How to harvest Cabbage
Cabbage heads are ready to harvest within 3-4 months after sowing. Cut head at ground level when they are firm to the touch to eat fresh or pick heads that are firm and solid with no outer leaves that have lost their green colour, pulling up the entire plant and roots for storing.
How to propagate Cabbage
Sow seeds thinly in Summer, 6-12 mm deep and 15-20 cm apart. It will give seedlings time to grow vegetative before the colder climate sets in and help to form a sweet and good 'head'. Germination takes 10-14 days.
Special features of Cabbage
Grow Brassicas (Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohl-rabi, Oriental Greens, radish, Swede and Turnips) in areas that previously held Legumes and follow with Potatoes. Rotating crops annually helps avoid the build-up of soil pests and diseases.
Other uses of Cabbage
Contain Vitamin C and K as well as dietary fibre.
The edible leaves are mild, sweet, and have a peppery flavour that softens with cooking. They are great shredded for salads, added to soups or cooked as a side dish.
Edible to Sow Under Cover in May
Successional sow small batches on a sunny windowsill or in a heated propagator, ready to plant out later in the month.
Edibles to Sow or Plant Outside in September
In vegetable beds, at the allotment or in the kitchen garden, sow these now to grow over the cooler winter months.