Cabbage is an annual, cool-season crop that is hardy to light frosts and freezes. The smaller the head, the better it will taste, and the longer it will take for it to split in the field. You want to keep the heads small then plant closer together. When they reach the desired size, give the stem a slight twist until you hear a snap to sever the root. Like most Brassicas, the cabbage flavour will improve with cooler weather. Unfortunately, it’s also subject to the same pests and diseases as others.
When to Plant
Cabbage should be started inside and eventually transplanted outdoors due to our Canadian climate. The best times to plant are as follows;
Plant February, Transplant April, Harvest July
Plant March, Transplant May, Harvest August
Plant May, Transplant July, Harvest October
These approximate times all depend greatly on your local climate, and times should be adjusted accordingly.
How to Plant
Depending on the size of the head you want will determine your plant spacing. Ideally, your rows will be 2 1/2′ apart and 12-16″ between your plants. For your late harvest, you’ll want to give your plants a bit more space, so try and keep them planted in 3′ rows and 2′ spacing. Remember, with Brassicas, try to rotate their location around your garden every year. Avoid any place you’ve planted in the past 3-7 years by 10′.
How to Harvest
When it comes time to harvest your cabbage, be sure that the head is Hard and Full. Take a sharp knife and cut the stem leaving a few leaves for protection. Remember, when the cabbage has matured, you need to harvest them promptly, or they’ll immediately start deteriorating in the garden. To store the cabbage, keep them in a cool, dry cellar or for field storage for a few weeks/months, pull up gently on the plant, and twist until you feel or hear a snap.
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