Cabbage & Cauliflower

Growing Cabbage & Cauliflower

Cabbage

With a little planning it's possible to pick fresh cabbages just about every day of the year. Cabbages are divided - depending on when they're ready to use - into spring, summer and winter varieties. Spring greens are undeveloped spring cabbages and traditionally sown in summer but can be sown all year round. Savoys are a distinct type of winter cabbage.

Sowing:

Sow thinly 5mm deep in a seed bed in rows 45-60cm apart. Thin gradually to 30-60cm apart depending on the variety.
Spring/Summer cabbage: Sow August through June, April to August in tropical regions.

Winter cabbages: Sow February through May, Spring too in cooler regions.

Growing:

Start growing your cabbages by sowing in seedling trays indoors or in a greenhouse. Transplant to final growing position when plants have five or six true leaves, setting the lowest leaves at ground level. Water well the day before moving, firm in well after transplanting and 'puddle' in the plants with plenty of water. Plant compact varieties 30cm apart, larger varieties up to 45cm apart. Plant spring cabbages just 10cm apart in rows 30cm apart - thin to 30cm apart.

Varieties:

Golden Acre, Red Ruby Ball F1, Savoy F1, Sugarloaf.

Harvesting:

Cabbages are harvested by cutting through the stem at ground level with a sharp knife. Cut 13mm deep cross in the stump of spring and summer cabbages and you'll be rewarded with a second crop of much smaller cabbages.

 

 

Cauliflowers

To grow perfect cauliflowers you'll need a rich and deep soil. Careful planting and watering are also essential for a successful crop.

Sowing:

Sow thinly 5mm deep in a seed bed in rows 45-60cm apart. Thin gradually to 30-60cm apart depending on the variety. The main sowing period is early February to May, Spring too in cooler regions.

Growing:

Protect the plants from birds by covering with netting or fleece. Water regularly and feed occasionally as cauliflowers are a hungry crop. Protect the curds of summer varieties from the sun by bending a few leaves over them; doing the same with winter varieties will protect against frost.

Varieties:

All the Year

Harvesting:

Start cutting when the heads are firm; you've left it too late once the florets start to separate. By lifting the plants and hanging upside down in a cool shed they can keep for up to three weeks; mist the curds frequently to prevent drying out.