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How to Grow Cabbage (Ruby King)

Sowing Time

  • A red cabbage
  • Sow undercover in February for a mid to late summer harvest
  • Can be sown directly outdoors in March or April

Soil Preparation

  • Avoid soil that has become waterlogged or has dried out completely
  • Cabbages prefer fertile soil
  • Cabbages can grow in heavy clay soils
  • Dig over soil in the previous season, adding well rotted organic matter
  • Dig to a depth of 1 ft, removing any stones and perennial weed roots

Sowing Instructions

  • Seeds can be sown undercover in beds, seed modules or seed trays
  • Seeds should be sown thinly, cover lightly with soil
  • Transplant Seedlings once they are large enough to handle, approx 15cm tall
  • Space plants 30cm apart
  • Keep young plants well watered until established and only water during dry spells

Harvesting

  • Cabbage should mature within a few months
  • Water well the week before harvest
  • Harvest Summer cabbages from June to October
  • You can remove outer leaves as you need them
  • Or harvest the entire cabbage by cutting the head at ground level
  • Leave roots in the soil as they can sometime re-grow

Storage

  • Will keep in the fridge for short term storage
  • Longer term: Store in a cool dark area for 3 to 4 months

Pests and Diseases

  • Important to protect against birds, especially pigeons
  • Bird protection in the form of netting is best
  • Slugs are a major problem - barriers such as eggshells, coarse sand, ash, copper can control problem
  • Caterpillars also a problem, set up netting early to keep butterflies off your crops
  • The fungal disease clubroot is a serious ailment of cabbage
  • Effects on cabbage: Yellow wilting leaves and stuns growth
  • Other pests and diseases include: black rot, cabbage root fly, and frost
  • Important to rotate crops every year

 

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