Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Sowing Cabbage seeds

This is the very last of my 2015 Cabbages:

I have tried to make it look bigger, by cropping the photo, but it is in truth tiny - only about 6 inches in diameter! It's one of the spare plants that I put into a pot which had previously held potatoes. Having been kept back long after it ought to have been planted-out, it never had much of a chance to grow big and strong. Still, it will probably be enough for a meal for two, so it's worth having.

I'm not planning to be short of Cabbage this year...

I have sowed seeds for 7 different types. Of course, due to space limitations I will not be able to grow as many as I would like, but I'll squeeze in as many as I can.

The seed merchants Marshalls have kindly supplied me with some free seeds again, for me to try and to review. As well as "Mila" from last year's batch, I have "Gunma F1" and "Cabbice F1". The latter sounds particularly attractive: "One of the most refreshing and sweet-tasting cabbages you'll ever try - even uncooked it tastes just like an iceberg lettuce...".  Gunma is a flathead Cabbage, a type very popular in Asia. It has the advantage that it can be sown very early in the year. It's not a type I have ever tried growing, so this is a novelty for me.

As well as the Marshalls seeds I have two varieties from Simply Seed - "January King", a very well-known variety, and "Ruby Perfection ", a Red Cabbage variety. As a business, Simply Seed concentrates on providing value for money without any expensive frills. Their plainly-packaged seeds are very keenly priced. January King, for instance is 95p for 400 seeds. In the past I have not had much luck with Red Cabbage - they have usually been very small - but I'm ready for another go, and hope to do better this time.

Having mentioned value for money, I should point out that it would be hard to beat the Wilko's seeds for value. The packet of "Greyhound" seeds you see at the back of my photo is priced at a mere 60p - and is included in the current 3 for 2 Mix and Match offer in their retail shops. It will be interesting to see whether the Cabbages produced from this pack are in any way inferior to the more expensive ones.

My 7th variety is "Golden Acre" from D.T. Brown. This particular pack was one given free with a magazine, and is not new, but I find that Cabbage seeds remain viable for several years, so I have every faith that these will germinate successfully for me. This variety apparently does well even in poorer soil, which could be a significant advantage for some people.

I have sown my Cabbage seeds in 4-inch pots of potting compost, two seeds per pot. If both seeds germinate, I will pinch out the weaker and keep the stronger of the two.

They are now sitting in one of the mini-greenhouses where they will be protected from the worst of the weather.

Cabbage seeds tend to germinate very quickly (3 - 5 days is normal) and can go leggy very quickly if kept indoors. Putting them in the greenhouse is therefore a good plan, since they will get maximum light as soon as they germinate.


  1. Hi Mark! when you are going to put the seedlings in the greenhouse? Mines are 3 days as germinated and getting leggy, and I am new gardener. Is your greenhouse freezing at night? Thank you !

    1. As I say in my post, my Cabbage seeds were sown in pots which are now in one of the plastic mini-greenhouses. And yes, I think this week the night-time temperature will have been below zero! That is OK, because the seeds had not yet germinated - and anyway Cabbage seedlings will survive a few degrees of frost.

  2. Cabbage is just a great vegetable!
    You shouldn't go short this year!

    Happy growing!

    All the best Jan

  3. Oh, that's funny about the size of the cabbage - it does indeed look huge in that photo! I was quite surprised when I saw all those seed packets - I've always thought of cabbage as being a space hog so haven't ventured into growing them yet - however I do have a couple of napa cabbage on the grow list for this year. From what I've seen in others gardens, they are generally pretty huge, but the two varieties I picked are "supposed" to be a bit more compact.

  4. Small cabbages are often plenty big enough /they are deceptive. Your sowing is off to an early start.

  5. It looks like you do plan on a good supply of cabbage this year! And a nice assortment of them too. It's almost time to start seed here too. I've not heard of Gunma, but I have been growing K-Y Cross flathead cabbage which is another Asian variety I like.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.