The Shed

The Shed
The Shed

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FARM GIRL'S CORNER - Fall cabbage

Hi! Farm Girl here! I help out a lot in the garden and around the shed and what not. Today I almost helped Uncle Mac a bit more than necessary. There I was, plucking a few stray weeds from the corn patch when I here him bellowing:

"Farm Girl!" Have you seen my pole?"

Good grief, I thought, you mean since breakfast? The old boy's been into the fenugreek again. But when I looked around I saw that he was holding his tackle box and net and looking puzzled.

"In the ammo room, Mac," I told him, "Aggy put it there."

And off he went to drown a few worms.

But today I'd like to tell about the fall crop we're about to put in, green cabbage. A bit early, you may be thinking but no, not in zone 5 where our garden is located.

To grow fall cabbages successfully you of course, need a place to plant them. Cabbages make a great follow up crop in a bed where radishes have been, or peas but beware planting after cauliflower, broccoli or kale; or any other veggies of the brassica genus. Members of this group share the same nutritional requirements and the second crop will suffer as a result.

We selected the heavy duty "Megaton" cabbage, a giant cabbage which happens to be extraordinarily tasty, and which stores well.

Megaton is a widely available variety, our seed happens to come from the Jung Seed company.

As it happens we let a raised bed lie fallow (no spring crop) until it was Megaton time. All we did in spring was turn the bed, work in a lot of compost, some wood ashes and a goodly amount of bone meal. (Cabbages are heavy feeders and particularly fond of phosphorus, hence the bone meal boost.)

We gave the bed a shallow turn over and raking every few weeks to knock down the weeds but otherwise left it alone.

Now, at planting time, we worked in a bit more compost and directly sowed the seeds into the bed. Megaton is a big, rambunctious cabbage and we like to give each one a full square yard in which to grow. As these huge brassicas can top 20 lbs in weight, this is not a waste of growing space.

It is important to mulch the seedlings as soon as they are big enough to tolerate it, preferably with sifted compost but if not, with grass clippings. They will benefit enormously from the cooling and water retention that mulch provides during the hot spells that are bound to occur in August and September.

Megaton cabbages take 90 to 100 days to mature after germination, be sure to water regularly and deeply, they are thirsty veggies.

A side dressing of "Superphosphate" or the like would not be amiss halfway through the growth cycle, particularly if you are trying for an eye popping, blue ribbon giant.

And that's about it for...What the heck??

Leatherface! NO!! You may NOT make your "world famous" stuffed cabbages! You remember all the trouble that caused the last time! Take that child back to wherever you found him right this minute!

Now he'll mope for a week.

Anyway that's the story with fall cabbages here at Farm Girl's Corner! As always, thanks for stopping by!   


Glory Lennon said...

Hmm, when I get empty nest syndrome--as if that's likely!-- I may want some of those cabbage seeds. That's a pretty nifty way to grow your own baby!

Mac Pike said...

Just don't let Leatherface hear about it:0)

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Wow,Mac, great cabbages! You and Farm Girl have a winner this time. I have to try and find some of those seeds too, they look excellent!

Sharon Rusk said...

And I thought the 3 1/2 pd cabbage that the farmer's wife brought us yesterday was 'huge'. How do you store that much cabbage. I could can but that's a lot of canning. A neighbor says that he freezes his after short cooking.

bijja said...

Great cabbages. They're beautiful and amazing. I love cabbages for their healing power.