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Cabbage

Cabbage is as nutritionally rich as it is versatile; enjoy it in Cabbage rolls, Basque Cabbage soup with white beans and sausage, coleslaw or sauerkraut. Cabbage is best grown as transplants, sown 6 weeks before setting out, 4 weeks prior to the last spring frost date, or in early summer for late fall harvest. Cabbage has a kingly appetite and prefers organically rich, neutral pH (6.5 to 6.8), well-draining soil. Cabbage favors cool weather, growing sweeter after being kissed by frost. Cabbage tastes best harvested when heads are wrapped tightly, in smaller sizes. A member of the Brassica family, Cabbage should be not be grown in the same site as other Brassicas for 4 years. Deer resistant.

Average seed life: 3 years.

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Gardening Tips

Long Life for Cabbages
Next time you harvest Cabbages, try leaving the stem and roots on before you put them in your root cellar, or other cool, moist storage area. They will keep better and you can produce a second crop from each stem. Pot up a stem, with the Cabbage head removed, in a large pot of soil mix, feed and water, and wait for tasty young leaves to sprout all along the stem. Great for winter soups!

Many summer pest problems can be avoided with an ounce of springtime protection. Lightweight floating row covers, placed over young transplants as soon as you set them out, will keep out the flying insects that later turn into root maggots and Cabbage worms - both of which bother brassica crops such as Broccoli, Cabbage and Kale. The covers will let in plenty of light, air and water, but you'll need to pull them aside when you weed. Do this early in the morning when flying insects are the least active, to keep them from laying their eggs. By the time the plants are big enough to be constrained by the covers, they'll be mature enough to withstand a couple of little buggies and won't need the covers anyway.