Spring cabbage is delicious and tender. It will be one of the first proper crops you can enjoy in the Spring.
Autumn is the ideal time to sow - seedlings will over winter and produce heads the following year.
Where to Grow
Spring Cabbage is classed as a heavy feeding plant so add plenty of garden compost and/or well rotted farmyard manure your soil before sowing or planting.
Cabbage takes up a lot of room in your garden needing up to 45-60 cm all round so the available space may dictate your numbers.
Sowing Spring Cabbage
Spring cabbages, smaller and sweeter that the summer varieties, can be sown directly into the soil but for the best results Rootrainers will give your seedlings the perfect start.
Autumn sown Spring Cabbage thrive in a greenhouse or similar environment for planting out under protection after about 4 weeks - for this hardening off period use a Fleece Lantern Cloche or Easy Fleece Tunnels
Spring Cabbage should be planted 45 cm between plants and 45 cm between rows.
Water plants well before you begin and make a hole in the soil with a dibber or trowel.
Fill the planting hole with water before planting the seedling - this will help the plant to establish. Push the soil in around the roots firmly bout avoid compacting the soil which can prevent water reaching the roots.
Keep well watered and weed free - a Speedhoe make this quick and easy - and protect with fleece in extreme weather.
As Winter approaches earth up the cabbage stems by dragging soil up around the stems to prevent them rocking in the wind.
Harvesting Spring cabbage
Spring cabbage has a short harvesting period and need to be cut before they run to seed. They have a neater more conical shape than round Summer cabbages. So they may be ready sooner than they first appear.
Remove every second cabbage as Spring greens in March. Leave the remaining plants to heart up for harvesting in April/May.
Harvest cabbage by cutting the stem with a sharp knife close to soil level. Cutting a deep cross in the stump will give you the bonus of a secondary crops of mini cabbages from the old stem!
Dispose of the root on the bonfire rather than compost to avoid encouraging club root.
Pests and diseases
The main threat to your crop is Cabbage Root Fly. - The best way to it is to keep the flies out by covering your crops with fine mesh - Giant Easy Tunnels are ideal as they have the height to accommodate the growing plants - making sure it is secure at the edges so nothing can creep underneath.
Check periodically for small yellow eggs of the Cabbage White Butterfly on the underside of the leaves. Remove them by brushing them off. Cover the seedlings with fleece or micromesh to keep out cabbage white butterfly
Pigeons can make quick work of your cabbages - Netting is the answer if you have a pigeon problem.