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Enjoy spring cabbage fresh from your garden30 October 2017
Spring cabbage is one of the tenderest and tasty cabbages that will be one of the first crops harvested from your garden. They will have to be planted in the autumn and left over the winter to produce delicious heads the following year. Spring cabbages will be smaller than summer varieties but will still need between 45 – 60cm to grow lush and healthy. Spring cabbage is a greedy plant and will need plenty of manure or well rotted garden compost before you plant them in the garden.
How to plant spring cabbage for the best veggies ever
Spring cabbage can be transplanted into the ground during September and October. It is best grown in a greenhouse for four weeks to give it the best possible start and protect it from the weather and pests. Here's how to give your seedlings the best possible start:
- Rub the compost to with your fingers to smooth out any lumps before filling the seed tray
- Give the tray a bang on the table to allow the soil to settle
- Make small depressions in the compost about a fingernail deep
- Sow 2 seeds per module and if both germinate remove the weaker one
- Cover the seeds lightly with a layer of compost and gently water
The seeds should have grown big enough to plant outside in 4 weeks
Here are some tasty varieties of spring cabbage
- Green sleeves
- Winter Jewel
Getting spring cabbages ready for planting out
Spring cabbages prefer a moist compost as opposed to a good soaking. Once they become established they will need to be hardened off. This is a gradual process that begins with leaving the seedlings outside on mild days and increasing the length of time until they are left out during the night too. Once they are ready they can be planted in a small hole the size of the root ball, in a well watered hole, filled with a nitrogen rich, slow release feed. Gently cover the plants but do not firm the soil as it will prevent water getting to the roots.
Taking care of your spring cabbage plants
While your spring cabbages are growing they will need to be kept weed free to allow them to access all the nutrients in the soil. Any yellow leaves should be removed immediately as they harbour diseases and the underside of leaves should be checked for eggs that can be brushed off before they can cause any damage. As the winter progresses the cabbage stems should be earthed up to prevent the wind from rocking them.
Harvest your tender spring cabbage fresh from your garden in the spring
The spring cabbage harvesting period is short, so it is important to get them out before they run to seed. Spring cabbages are more conical than all year round cabbages so they may be ready before you realise. Local garden centres have a wide range of spring cabbage seeds and the slow release, high nitrogen fertilisers that spring cabbages need to grow healthy and happy. Garden centre staff can also help you with more growing advice to get the best results for your efforts. These sweet cabbages are well worth the winter wait.