Winter cabbage is cut for eating in the winter. It is a solid, hard ball of leaves, which stands for months in the garden, providing greens throughout the winter. Winter white or Dutch varieties of cabbage, are cut or pulled up in November for storing in a cool shed, & are used for coleslaw.
- seeds are sown in May or June
- the young plants are planted out before mid-July
- harvest is from October to April, depending on variety
- varieties include January King & Celtic cabbage
- plants can stay out all winter, in all weather!
- Prepare a seed bed to give the best growing conditions for the seeds.
- Place markers in position at either end of the row, using a tape measure to give the correct row width.
- Gently firm the soil down.
- Use a walk-board, which is not resting on the soil, but supported at either end of the bed. Line the board up with the row markers.
- Draw a seeding groove with a spade. Use the walking board to produce a straight line, & work carefully to get the correct depth.
- only place a few seeds in the hand
- pinch a few seeds between finger and thumb and work them out
- try to get them dropping singly, not in a bunch
- take plenty of time, as it is worth the result
- make a mark in the row, before taking another pinch of seeds from the hand, as you loose sight of the last seed
- avoid sowing doubles
- Cover the seed with fine soil. Then put a few small cobbly bits on top & gently firm in. These lumps help to keep the soil open and prevent capping.
- Water the seeds in.
Plant winter cabbage plants (either from seed you sow or bought in plants):
- In rows 45cm apart, & 40 cm apart within the row. Give winter cabbage more space than the summer cabbage so they can produce bigger heads. But plant closer together if smaller heads are needed.
- Firm plants down.
- Water well.
- Cover with a micromesh to keep the cabbage white butterfly and aphids off. Some people place empty eggshells on sticks, to frighten the cabbage white butterflies away. A
net is a big investment, but it does ensure 100% return on effort, by keeping the pests out.
- Net to keep the pigeons off, which can reap havoc in a few hours.
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