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My September Cabbage

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My September Cabbage

Post  erbarnett on 6/4/2011, 12:53 pm

On September 22, I planted two small cabbage plants which I had purchased from Walmart. Being new to SFG'ing, I fully expected two full heads of cabbage by Christmas. Instead, the two small plants lived over the winter. I mulched both with pine needles, and the snow also provided some cover. In March, one died but the other is thriving. As of June 4, it is about eight inches by eight inches and is starting to form a head.

Is this common? This September I am thinking about planting a number of cabbages. If half die, I will not worry too much as the plants are not that expensive. But I will have early cabbage on some of the plants if the weather cooperates. Any thoughts?

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Re: My September Cabbage

Post  pattipan on 6/5/2011, 2:11 am

@erbarnett wrote:On September 22, I planted two small cabbage plants which I had purchased from Walmart. Being new to SFG'ing, I fully expected two full heads of cabbage by Christmas. Instead, the two small plants lived over the winter. I mulched both with pine needles, and the snow also provided some cover. In March, one died but the other is thriving. As of June 4, it is about eight inches by eight inches and is starting to form a head.

Is this common? This September I am thinking about planting a number of cabbages. If half die, I will not worry too much as the plants are not that expensive. But I will have early cabbage on some of the plants if the weather cooperates. Any thoughts?

I don't know if it's common or not, but I know folks overwinter kale, which is in the same family. We did have a mild winter here in WV. I planted spinach, lettuce and broccolini (a branching type) and they lived through the winter. We still have two of the lettuces (a red Romaine and a red leaf lettuce) and the broccolini. We ate from the spinach until it started to bolt. I suspect it depends on the hardiness of the variety and winter temperatures as to whether they'll survive and take off the next spring.

But why wait until September? Typically in our area you plant fall broccoli in July and cabbage in early August (start seeds earlier). Perhaps if you planted in August it might give the plants time to be well established before overwintering them. Last summer I started my broccolini in early July planted it in August and didn't get anything to eat for fall. We're eating it now!

A good guideline for planting dates is the Garden Calendar put out by WVU Extension. You'll find contacts to if you want to email and ask. Check it out: http://anr.ext.wvu.edu/garden_calendar

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