Saturday, February 9, 2013
Cabbage likely was domesticated in Europe before 1000 BC. Today there are 3 different types of cabbages-heading, conical, and loose. They also come in red, purple or green.
Cabbage contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fiber. Cabbage has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancers. Purple cabbage also has anthocyanins which have been proven in other vegetables to have anti-cancer properties.
Cabbage is a member of the brassica family. They all enjoy cool weather and are biennials. They are grown as an annual. They produce the head the first year we eat and flower the second year.
Cabbage can be grown for spring, fall, or winter harvest. They are sown a season prior to when you want to harvest them. For spring, plant in August. For fall and winter, both are planted in June/July. You just pick the longer maturing date types for winter harvests.
Late storage types will keep up to 6 months if properly stored at around 32 degrees and high humidity.
For spring harvests, plant so that the heads mature prior to the heat of the summer. Cabbage is easy to start from seed indoors. Early April or when the crocus blooms is a good time to plant for spring harvests. For fall/winter transplants, set out when the weather begins to cool.
Cabbages like a rich, organic soil. Place in a location that gets full sun to slight shade. Maintain consistent moisture through the growing season during dry spells.