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Sowing

Preparing you Seedlings

  • In early spring rake over and level an area to use as a seed bed
  • Cover the bed with sifted mature compost or poultry pellets.
  • Firm the bed and give it a light rake.
  • Make shallow drills with a trowel or the edge of a hoe roughly half an inch deep and 6 inches apart.
  • Lay the seeds thinly into the drills and cover them over with soil, carefully cover the drills back over with soil and firm the bed.
  • Keep the seed bed moist, always using a very light spray. Be sure not to overwater.
  • When the cabbage plants are about an inch tall, thin the seedlings to about 3 inches apart in their rows. This will stop overcrowding which could lead to your seedlings becoming weak.
  • When your seedlings reach roughly 5 inches they are ready to plant out.
  • Water your seedlings the day before you plan to move them.

Planting Out your Seedlings

  • Prepare your soil during the winter by digging in plenty of well rotted manure or if no access to manure use poultry pellets.
  • Level off the bed and ensure it is weed free.
  • You should plant out your cabbage during early morning or evening, as it will be cooler and less stressful on the plant.
  • Keep as much soil around the roots as you can.
  • Use two stakes with string stretched between them to form a straight line.
  • Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of each plant, this will allow it proper room to develop.
  • Leave a gap of 12 inches between each hole.
  • Remove and plant one cabbage plant at a time, never leave your plants sitting out in the sun waiting as it will dry out the roots.
  • Plant the seedlings to just below the two lowest leaves.
  • Carefully replace the soil around the plant and firm into place.
Growing
  • Cabbage collars can be used around each plant to prevent cabbage root fly as well as to deter slugs.  
  • Cabbage is also susceptible to cabbage caterpillar and the easiest way to prevent this is to use fine fruit nets across the bed. - If attacked Garden Caterpillar Spray kills them efficiently and quickly.
  • Nets also prevent bird damage.  
  • Ensure your keep the plants well watered in warm weather.
  • Keep your bed weed free.
Harvesting
  • Cabbage is ready to harvest when it has a good firm heart.
  • Remove your cabbage from the ground by cutting with a sharp knife close to ground level.
  • Top Tip – After removing your cabbage, cut a cross (roughly ½ an inch deep) in the top of the stump, this should allow a secondary crop of small cabbages to grow.
Growing Tips
  • An organic alternative to cabbage collars is to place chimney soot around each plant as this will also acts as a deterrent to cabbage root fly and slugs.
  • Stagger planting times to allow for a long harvest season and a constant supply of fresh vegetables.