Cabbage in the Fall Gardencomments (1) September 25th, 2010
Cabbages don't receive nearly the fan-fare that tomatoes do, yet they're hugely popular in American home gardens. Cabbages aren't demanding, but they do have a couple of cultural preferences. The first one being that they're a cool weather crop. Like its relatives kale, broccoli, and cauliflower they thrive in the lower temperatures and actually need it to produce nicely formed heads.
While light frosts will make a better head of cabbage, a hard frost could do them in. This is why even in my mild winter zone, I prefer to grow cabbages in a hoop house or cold frame for piece of mind. Another thing to note about them is that cabbages are quite shallow-rooted and like constant moisture. If they're subjected to long, dry periods or irregular watering they can develop spilt heads. Amending the soil with compost and mulching the bed after they're planted will go a long way for water retention.
I'm actually not a huge fan of the cabbage flavor. I can eat some here and there - but I usually prefer a milder leafy green (husband-extraordinaire has the opposite opinion). That said, I love to have cabbages in my garden. They look like they were colored in with artist's chalk and come in all ranges of green, green-blue, and purple hues. Cabbage heads can be flat, round, oval, and pointed. PLUS, their symmetrical growth pattern is very satisfying - like Zoloft to the eyes for us control freaks. They're simply gorgeous additions to the fall and winter garden.
Do you want your garden to look like that uber-staged Garden of Eden from the movie, "It's Complicated"? Grow cabbages.
posted in: fall garden, cabbage