Questions? Write Me at

Questions? Write me at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.

Plant of the Week: Cabbage

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)
The Brassicaceae family holds many common garden plants like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale and more.  The interesting thing about all of the plants I have listed is that they were all developed from one wild plant according to my botany professor (years ago now ;)).  A different characteristic was selected for to produce each unique plant.  This week we will look into cabbage.  

Cabbage is a hate it or love it vegetable.  It is accused of being smelly as it is cooked and for producing gas in its consumer.  According to the University of Illinois Extension, the smell is produced when cabbage is over cooked.  They recommend a short cooking time, until the cabbage is just tender, and in a stainless steel container when cooking to reduce or eliminate the odor.  Unfortunately, they do not have a recommendation for eliminating the gaseous effects of cabbage.

Cabbage is among the plants that can be planted before the average last spring frost and therefore is among the first that can be started.  See my spring Seed Starting & Planting guide to help you know when you can first start cabbage or other plants in your area.  Hardened cabbage transplants can be planted in the garden 2-3 weeks prior to the average last spring frost.  Plant it 12-24 inches apart depending on its mature size.  Early maturing varieties tend to be a little smaller than the late maturing varieties.  Harvest when the head is compact and softball size or larger.  Maintain even moisture to the plants to prevent mature heads from splitting.  Cabbage heads are more likely to split if they are exposed to an influx of moisture once the head is mature.  If a head splits, harvest and use it as soon as possible to prevent spoilage.  Undamaged, harvested cabbage heads store best in a very cool location that is high in humidity.

Happy Gardening! :)

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