Cabbage is a hardy, leafy vegetable full of vitamins. It can be difficult to grow; it only likes cool temperatures, and it can be a magnet for some type of pests. By planning your growing season and providing diligent care, you may have two successful crops in one year, both spring and fall. Many varieties are available to suit both your growing conditions and taste preferences.
•Transplant outdoors 2 to 3 weeks before the last expected frost date. Choose a cloudy afternoon. For us here in Zone 4, and in northern Iowa our last frost date is May 15th. If you remember last year at all, we had that killing frost on the 15th. With doing this over 30 years working with gardeners, I would say more than 1/2 of the times we do have a killing frost in the middle of May.
•Plant 12 to 24 inches apart in rows, depending on size of head desired. The closer you plant, the smaller the heads.
•Mulch thickly to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
•Practice crop rotation with cabbage year to year to avoid a buildup of soil borne diseases.
•Although cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are closely related, and require similar nutrients, it’s best not to plant them together. They are all heavy feeders, depleting the soil faster of required nutrients; plus, they will attract the same pests and diseases. For cabbage, also avoid proximity to strawberries and tomatoes. Might have to rethink your garden planting with this.
•Cabbage can be grown near beans and cucumbers.
•Fertilize 3 weeks after transplanting.
•Keep soil moist with mulch and water 2 inches per week.
Some old folklore tells us: Scatter elder leaves over your cabbage to keep the bugs away.
•Imported Cabbageworms: Dill protects all members of the cabbage family by attracting beneficial wasps that kill cabbageworms and other pests. Interesting I just planted dill into containers for sale.
•Cabbage Root Maggots
•Harvest when heads reach desired size and are firm. This will take around 70 days for most green cabbage varieties. Most early varieties will produce 1- to 3-pound heads.
•Cut each cabbage head at its base with a sharp knife. After harvesting, bring inside or put in shade immediately.
•To get two crops from early cabbage plants, cut the cabbage head out of the plant, leaving the outer leaves and root in the garden. The plant will send up new heads—pinch them off until only four or so smaller heads remain. When these grow to tennis-ball size, they’ll be perfect for salad.
•After harvesting, remove the entire stem and root system from the soil to prevent disease buildup. Only compost healthy plants; destroy those with maggot infestation.
•Cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than two weeks, wrapped lightly in plastic. Make sure it is dry before storing.
•If you are planting for a fall harvest, try red or Chinese cabbage. Good varieties include ‘Ruby Perfection’ and ‘Lei-Choy’. Got these plants
•For quick harvest time, try ‘Golden Acre’, ‘Primo’, or ‘Stonehead’. Got these
•‘Early Jersey Wakefield’ resists splitting. Got these
•Disease-resistant varieties include ‘Blue Vantage’ and ‘Cheers’.
Taken from http://www.almanac.com/plant/cabbage
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa