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VEGETABLE GARDEN: SELECTED VEGETABLE CROPS [continued]

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  MG Manual Reference
Ch. 10, pp. 86 - 87

[Selected Crops: intro | asparagus | beans | broccoli | brussels sprouts | cabbage | cauliflower | sweet corn | cucumbers | eggplant | lettuce | melons | onions | peppers | potatoes | squash | tomatoes | herbs | herb use ]

Cabbage
CABBAGE Top

ENVIRONMENTAL PREFERENCES
Light: Sunny.
Soil: Well-drained.
Fertility: Rich
pH: 5.5 to 6.5
Temp: Cool (60 to 65° F).
Moisture: Keep moist, not waterlogged.
CULTURE Top
Planting: Start seeds indoors for early spring transplants. Seed in beds or flats for fall transplants.
Spacing: 15 to 18 inches by 30 to 36 inches.
Hardiness: Hardy biennial.
Fertilizer Needs: Medium feeder, use starter fertilizer when transplanting, sidedress three weeks later using 1 1/2 ounces of 33-0-0 per 10-foot row.
CULTURAL PRACTICES Top

Cabbage grows from March to December. It will withstand temperatures as low as 15 to 20° F. Buy locally-grown transplants or produce your own. Start them in growing structures four to six weeks before the first date when plants can be set out or sow a few seeds in the cold-frame or garden every month in order to have cabbage plants thereafter. It takes about three weeks to get plants ready from seeding to set during the summer months. It is best not to plant cabbage family crops (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower) in the same spot year after year, since diseases and insect pests will build up. Rotate crops within your garden.
Plant spacing affects head size. Close space (12 inches apart in the row) produces small heads. Average spacing is 15 to 18 inches apart in rows 30 inches apart.
Varieties for sauerkraut are spaced wider. For a small family not interested in sauerkraut production, the dwarf varieties may be ideal. The heads are about the right size for a generous bowl of cole slaw, and the fast maturity makes these varieties excellent for succession planting. Cabbage is harvested when it reaches adequate size, depending on variety and growing conditions. Firm heads are preferred, especially for storage. Heads can be left on the plant in the garden for about two weeks in the summer, three to four weeks in the fall.
Cabbage
COMMON PROBLEMSTop
Diseases: Black rot.
Insects: Cutworms, imported cabbage worms, cabbage looper worms, flea beetles, aphids, whitefly.
Cultural: Head cracking or splitting from excessive water uptake and growth near maturity, root prune with spade or trowel or twist stalk to break some roots and reduce water uptake.
HARVESTING AND STORAGE Top
Days to Maturity: 70 to 100 days.
Harvest: When heads become firm, size will vary with variety, fertility, and spacing. If unable to harvest at maturity, bend over to break part of the roots to reduce head splitting.
Approximate yields: 10 to 18 pounds per 10-foot row.
Amount to Raise: 15 pounds per person.
Storage: Very cold (32° F), moist (95% relative humidity) conditions for 4 to 5 months.
Preservation: Can as sauerkraut.

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