Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Growing Cabbage This Autumn

Some of the harvest from 2013 summer crop
Cabbage one of the most loved vegetable in my family.

Sadly,  the weather has not been kind to my cabbage and I have really struggled to get even a small crop.

Part of the problem is that it is a cool season vegetable and the sun is too hot in my region.

No matter how much  I water the cabbages, they don't seem to get enough water and their growth is just stunted. Then there are the bugs....

This year I decided to try something different. I'm growing the cabbages in shade (under trees and shrubs), mixed in with some flowers in my ornamental garden, instead of growing them in my normal edible garden which is mostly sunny. We'll see if that helps.

Preparing the soil: The soil in this area is well-mulched, as the leaves from the trees have been falling onto it and we don't remove them, but let them compost underneat the growing plants.

I notice that some of the articles  I read in preparing for the planting say that the soil should have a pH of 6.6 - 6.8. To be honest, that is a luxury for me. And maybe I'm wrong and my cabbage will continue to struggle until I invest equipment and material to monitor the pH and change it accordingly, but right now, I'd rather use the money to buy seeds ( not cabbage seeds:-)

Planting process:  I know they say to plant the seeds in a seedling tray, but I don't have enough trays to do all that planting. So I'm using tyres filled with composted soil to germinate the seeds.

Once the seeedlings have grown to be the size of my hand, I'm then going to transplant them to the ornamental garden beds.

When transplanting cabbage, plant them 30-45cm (12-18inches) between plants and rows. I'm going for 45-60 cm between plants, because I'm planting a couple of companion plants with the cabbages, just to confuse the bugs a bit. In between the cabbages I'm including bush beans, beetroot, onions, marigold, nasturtium, sage and thyme.

Caring for cabbage: For me, once they have been transplanted, the biggest issues will be ensuring they are well-watered and keeping the bugs away.

P.S. Thank you for prompting me to find the errant post, Jen:-)

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