I don't normally go in for Cabbage much, because I consider it to have a fairly low Value for Space Rating (VSR). One Cabbage that takes months to grow, and probably costs less than £1 to buy in a shop is often consumed in one meal. However, this year I am aiming to grow a wider range of veg for Autumn / Winter harvesting, so I thought I had better try a few Cabbages. My earliest ones sown were these "Predzvest" ones, from seed sent to me by Dominika in the Czech Republic:
I have been struggling to decipher the rather odd English on the website of SEMO, the company that markets the seeds for this cabbage. It is described as a Savoy Cabbage but it doesn't look like one, either in their picture or "in the flesh". I think it is going to be a big one though, so I have allowed it plenty of room.
One of the pair is very well-behaved, but the other is determined it is not going to sit up straight. I keep supporting it with soil around the stem, but it still flops. I don't suppose it is a major issue, but I just feel that it is not good for it to be lying on the soil surface.
Waiting in the wings I have these:-
I have two more "Predzvest" (an insurance policy, so to speak, just in case the first two failed), and I have also two of "Caramba" and one of "Tundra" (originally there were two of the latter as well, but one died).
"Caramba" is a pointed "Sweetheart" type, which matures in the late Summer / early Autumn, and "Tundra" is one a bit like the well-known "January King", and is described as "extremely Winter hardy". In view of the latter description I was surprised to see on the pack that is supposed to be harvested between June and October. The picture on the pack even shows the cabbages half covered in snow!
Besides the Cabbages, I have also got next year's Purple Sprouting Broccoli under way now:
There is one pot each of four different varieties - "Red Arrow", "Red Spear", "Rudolph" and "Early Purple Sprouting". I will probably only grow a total of four (maybe six...) plants, but I always sow a lot more than I think I will need, and then thin them progressively, removing the weakest seedlings. In a few days' time I will transplant the seedlings into separate pots and grow them on for a while longer, before planting them in the raised bed currently occupied by the Broad Beans. Then it will just be a case of waiting a further 9 months before they are ready for harvesting!
By the way, just to set the record straight, not all the members of the Brassica family are slow growers. The Radish is a brassica, and those mature in four to six weeks at the right time of year. These are "French Breakfast".
The Turnip is also a brassica and they mature in about three months (dependent on variety). These are "Milan Purple Top".
The common parentage of all the above is probably most obviously seen in their kidney-shaped cotyledons ("seed leaves"). Once you know what to look for, it is hard to mistake a brassica seedling for a member of a different family. The trouble is, they all look very similar until they begin to grow up!
Yes , we love the French Breakfast Radishes too ! I only grow Greyhound cabbage to have in the spring and purple sprouting broccoli for next year . I get cross with the naughty cabbage white butterflies . So we eat the lovely spring cabbage leaves up quickly and then I grow the pretty curly kale and easy Pak Choy , which they seem to leave alone : ) Love your journal !ReplyDelete
The smaller Asian greens are really fast growers too. But gardening does take patience. And persistence as sometimes things fail. I kind of expect a certain level of failure every year but always hope it isn't something I can't reseed, replant, or live without.ReplyDelete
The problem is that many new plot holders think it's a quick fix. They think they need to weed once a year and quickly find out that it's not as simple as that. A guy on our site has had his plt a year now and hasn't planted anything yet. He digs a bit over without removing weeds and leaves it a bit - just LNG enough for the weeds to rye grow.ReplyDelete
Do you have trouble with pigeons and slugs enjoying your cabbages before you?ReplyDelete
Lucy, I've never had much of a problem with pigeons. They visit my garden, but they normally go for the bread I put out, not the brassicas. The slugs on the other hamd will eat anything in sight. I counteract this with a liberal application of slug-pellets.Delete
I gave up on cabbages as the slugs always got more of them than I did. I've just sown my purple sprouting brassica seeds though, I'm growing two different kinds, Rudolph and Claret if my memory serves me right.ReplyDelete
That`s why I refused to watch the BBC`s Big Allotment Challenge yet another quick fix on gardening and just another awful reality showReplyDelete
The trouble with so-called Reality Shows is that they are not real. It probably did more to put people off gardening than it did to encourage them to take it up!Delete
I just saw David's comment, I wasn't a fan of the Big Allotment programme either, too much like the bake off programme to me. I find it hard to decipher young plants growing at times - always something to learn!ReplyDelete
Předzvest should be small to medium-sized according to SEMO (in Czech; sorry for bad English version, they are selling "solely" for national purposes), approx. 0,7 kg each cabbage. Hope that helps:)ReplyDelete
Hi Dominika, I'm glad you're still following! Thanks for the info. The seeds you sent me have all done well. The "Ohnivec" chillis have their first fruits now.Delete
Glad to hear that - and I continue to follow your posts; they are more than interesting:)Delete
It's a hard work on growing Brassicas. To keep them safe from so many bugs and blight is not an easy job, especially on our hot tropics climate. Yours look so healthy.ReplyDelete
I usually just grow PSB,cavolo nero and red ursa kale but this year have been given various cabbage plants and sprouts by my fellow allotmenteers.I've put the unit cost up by buying a huge butterfly net and now have a grand "brassica house" which may turn out to be a bit OTT.I'll have to make sure it's well guarded with (organic) slug pellets to stop it becoming a safe haven for the slugs and snails.ReplyDelete
If I remember correctly, a cabbage is described as a savoy if it has 'savoyed' (ie crinkled) leaves. The degree of crinkle varies with species & some like January King are called savoy type although they tend to grow fairly smooth with just a few crinkles in the leaves.ReplyDelete
Cabbage is one of my favourites and I've been eating spring cabbages for the last few weeks. I shred them and steam as a substitute for rice with chilli or curry. Brassicas really come into their own in the autumn and winter when there is little else on the plot.ReplyDelete