The Fun of Growing Cabbage
If there is one garden vegetable that’s fun to grow, it’s cabbage. It’s a hardy plant that stands up to colder temperatures. There are several varieties of cabbage:
. Bok Choi
Because cabbage is so easy to grow, gardeners often choose several varieties. There’s just one caveat to growing multiple varieties: Cabbage needs lots of growing room. Cabbage is used in a variety of recipes. It’s healthy and a great aid in digestion. Cabbage isn’t picky about soil either. It can be grown in rich potting soil or slightly sandy soil. It does require good drainage to avoid root rot.
Grow cabbage in long, well-spaced rows for best results. It needs freedom to expand and create its signature globe shape. Most gardeners enjoy multiple crops during the long growing season.
Prepare the Soil
It’s important to prepare the soil with a good quality composting material or fertilizer. One tip to start a cabbage garden is to begin with seeds in pots indoors in late winter. Then, when the ground has thawed sufficiently to add compost or fertilizer, turn the soil over twice to insure it has a good base of nutrients and is properly aerated.
Cabbage seedlings may be transplanted to the garden easily in a sunny location. It needs a balance of water, air, sunshine and rich soil. Transplant in the month before the last frost. This will lengthen the growing season into early winter. It suggested that cabbage be protected from freezing with a black plastic covering. During the early stages of growth, consider adding a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Cabbage may also need more fertilizer before each crop reaches the harvest phase. Plant cabbage seedlings at a depth of at least two inches and twelve to eighteen inches apart. Be sure to plant the root deep enough to allow for root expansion. Keep watering applications in balance with the amount of rainfall. Cabbage needs a weed-free space in which to grow. Weeds can drain away nutrients from cabbage plants and compromise the size and growth of the plants.
Keep a Watchful Eye on Insects
Cabbage, like certain other garden vegetables, are magnets for insects and disease. Keep a watchful eye on cabbage plants throughout their stages of growth to control insects and avoid harmful damage from diseases.
Where Else to Plant Cabbage
Since cabbage has such a unique shape and there are many varieties to choose from, single plants may give a backyard a whole new look. Consider planting red, Napa, Savoy or Bok Choi in large potted containers. Plant a single cabbage seedling deep into the soil. Cabbage grown in pots has become a decorative addition to bare corners of a backyard. When planted in a series with two or more varieties, the potted containers are a perfect way to harvest single crops for individuals, apartment dwellers and small families. Children may also benefit from learning how to grow cabbage from seeds and seedlings for their school projects.