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Cabbage questions????

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Cabbage questions????

Post  Sweetmama on 5/17/2010, 4:15 pm

I have four squares of cabbage. They are huge The outside leaves are spilling over into their neighbor boxes! This is my first attempt at cabbage and I don't know what they are supposed to look like. Shouldn't they be forming heads in the middle? Am I suppose to do something to control the leaves? Help. Anybody know?

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Re: Cabbage questions????

Post  Chopper on 5/17/2010, 9:11 pm

Yes they should be forming heads in the middle. My guess is that you can trim the leaves some, but that is normal cabbage growth.

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Growing Cabbage

Post  BertieFox on 5/18/2010, 2:18 pm

A square foot isn't much space for a well grown cabbage. It's inevitable that the outside leaves will encroach on surrounding squares. Don't cut off any leaves unless they are yellow and dying, as these are the leaves which give the plant its vigour to produce the heart.
If you are growing a spring cabbage or summer cabbage type, don't worry about leaving it until it has a tight heart but harvest it when it is young as the green leaves have the best flavour. An alternative is to remove and eat alternate squares leaving the other cabbages to grow larger and truly heart up.
Choose as varieties the 'conical' type which produce tall thin hearts rather than round and wide ones.

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Re: Cabbage questions????

Post  Finch on 5/18/2010, 4:06 pm

I'm new to cabbage, too, and have the same thing going on. I planted 2 types of cabbage earlier this spring. The green ones are doing fine with nice little heads about ready to eat, but the red cabbages still don't have heads at all that I can tell. I read somewhere that cabbages need cool weather to form nice heads, so I'm guessing these particular reds are simply less heat-tolerant? We have had a lot of warm weather this spring. This is my guess.

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Re: Cabbage questions????

Post  Chopper on 5/18/2010, 4:12 pm

Thanks BertieFox for the more informed info on cabbage growing. My one talent is to say things as if they are gospel, facts being mere details. LOL.

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Re: Cabbage questions????

Post  chocolatepop on 5/18/2010, 10:58 pm

From what I remember, red takes a long longer to mature. But i wondering if it isnt the heat also?

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Red cabbage and cool weather

Post  BertieFox on 5/19/2010, 3:26 am

You're right that red cabbage do far better in cooler weather, and they are mostly a crop you sow in the summer to heart up as the days are shortening in the autumn. The aim is to have tightly hearted cabbage you can pick before the frosts and store in a cool shed to eat through the early winter months. Pull them up with the roots attached and hang them in a dark shed or cellar and they will keep for weeks. Some people even stick the roots in a bottle of water to keep them fresher.
You can grow them earlier but in a very warm hot climate you have to keep them extremely well watered. And too much water can cause the heads to split. I'd go for an early crop started in autumn under cover and planted out in early spring, and then the main crop sown in June and transplanted in July/August, to heart up in September/October. Not an easy crop from seed so if you can buy plants (a dozen is plenty) get them instead.

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Re: Cabbage questions????

Post  Finch on 5/19/2010, 3:42 pm

Wow! I don't know about you, Sweetmama, but that detailed explanation really helps. How to plan ahead for correct planting is a great unknown to me. Seems like every little plant has its mysteries. Thank you BertieFox for the info!

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