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!