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The English word cabbage is believed to derive from the French caboche, a colloquial term for head, the wild cabbage Brassica oleracea was a native of western coastal Europe. Species of Brassica have been cultivated for human and animal food since ancient times. We believe the cabbage first appeared in England in the 14th century. Savoy cabbages, however, were not developed until the 16th century.
With a little planning you can have cabbages ready for cutting 12 months a year. One of the great standbys of the kitchen garden, they are so versatile. Read more
How to grow Cabbage
Cabbages grow best in undisturbed, fertile soil, which must be dug over in the autumn and not prior to planting out. They’ll benefit from a reasonably sunny position and require a fair amount of room to grow. Do not plant in soil that has recently had other brassicas growing in it. They prefer a neutral pH so add lime in the autumn if your soil is acidic.
Seed can be sown in a well-prepared seed bed from as early as January (depending on variety) however to minimise root disturbance, they are best started off undercover in pots or modules and planted out when they have 5 or 6 leaves. Sow very seed thinly to a depth of 1cm/ ½ in and cover with a fine layer of compost or vermiculite, transplant from May (depending on variety) leaving approx. 45cm/1½ft between plants. Spring greens can be sown much closer together.
Use Cabbage Collars around the base of the seedlings if cabbage root fly is a problem and protect from birds. Keep well-watered and feed regularly as the heads mature. Young plants may benefit from a high nitrogen feed such as sulphate of ammonia. Show less