By judicious selection of varieties and by successional sowing it is possible to maintain a supply of cabbage throughout the year. Soil should be well prepared. Manure or compost at the rate of 1 cwt. to 10 or 12 sq. yd. will be well repaid, but may be omitted for latetsummerplanted cabbages following a crop such as potatoes or peas, for which manure has already been given. If the manure is omitted, a top dressing of soot at 4 oz. per square yard or sulphate of ammonia at 1 oz. per square yard will be sufficient.
Usually two sowings are enough, one made outdoors in April and the other between the middle of July and the middle of August. If a mid-summer supply is required, a third sowing should be made in a frame or greenhouse in late February or early March. Sometimes a fourth sowing is made outdoors in May or early June to give cabbages after Christmas. Details of sowing are the same as for heading brOccoli, and planting is carried out in the same manner except that it will be sufficient to allow 1 ft. between the plants and 18 in. between the rows for spring cabbage — that is to say, those that are planted out in autumn and harvested the following spring — and 18 in. between plants and 2 ft. between rows for autumn and winter cabbage.
Reliable kinds are as follows: For spring sowing, Golden Acre, Primo, Greyhound, Winnigstadt, January King, and Christmas Drumhead; for summer sowing, April, Flower of Spring, Harbinger, Early Offenham, and Ellam’s Early Dwarf; for February sowing, May Express, Golden Acre.
Club root, caterpillars, cabbage root fly, cabbage aphid, flea beetle and white fly are the worst foes.
Sowing to harvest time: summer and winter varieties, 20 to 35 weeks; spring varieties, 25 weeks.
Yield: 1 to 2kg (1 to 4.5 lb) a plant.
Climate preferred: Cool temperate.
Soil: Ordinary, well-drained and firm.
Cabbages are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in areas where the climate is generally un-favourable. By making use of the modern smaller varieties, and by planting a combination of spring, summer and winter cabbages in succession, it is possible to have fresh cabbage all year.
Sowing and planting
The seed should be sown thinly in rows 1.3 cm (1 in) deep. Winter varieties (including red cabbages and the crinkly leaved savoys): Sow outdoors in late spring and transplant during early summer. Sprijig varieties: Sow in mid- and late summer and transplant in early or mid-autumn. Summer varieties: Either sow indoors (or under glass) in late winter and plant out in early mid-spring or sow outdoors in mid-spring and transplant in late spring or early summer. The seedlings should be transferred to their final positions when they have six leaves. About two weeks prior to transplanting, top dress the soil with general fertilizer at the rate of 135gm per sq m (4oz per sq yd). When transplanting, firm the soil around the plants thoroughly and water as necessary if the weather is dry. Allow 30 to 45 cm (1 to 1.5 ft) between the plants, depending on the variety and type. About six weeks or so after planting out apply a top dressing of general fertilizer at the rate of 34 gm per sq m (1oz per sq yd) around the plants and hoe in lightly. Keep the soil surface free from weeds by regular hoeing and water regularly in dry spells as cabbages grown in drought conditions have a poor flavour.
Pests and diseases
Aphids, caterpillars, club root and root fly.
Cut fresh from the garden as required.