Water Cabbage, Water Lettuce Plant
Cabbage (Brassica oleracea or variants) is a leafy green biennial plant, grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. Closely related to other cole crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, it descends from B. oleracea var. oleracea, a wild field cabbage.
Cabbage heads generally range from 1 to 8 pounds (0.5 to 4 kg), and can be green, purple and white. Smooth-leafed firm-headed green cabbages.
Planting and care
- When transplants reach 5 inches tall, thin to make sure they are still the desired length apart. (The plants you remove can be transplanted elsewhere in your garden.)
- Fertilize 3 weeks after transplanting.
- Keep soil moist with mulch and water 2 inches per week.
- Start cabbage seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost.
- See frost dates for your area here.
- Harden off plants over the course of a week.
- To prepare soil, till in aged manure or compost.
- Transplant outdoors 2 to 3 weeks before the last expected frost date. Choose a cloudy afternoon.
- Plant 12 to 24 inches apart in rows, depending on size of head desired. The closer you plant, the smaller the heads.
- Mulch thickly to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
- Practice crop rotation with cabbage year to year to avoid a build-up of soil borne diseases.
- Although broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are closely related, cabbage will not tolerate them. Also avoid proximity to strawberries and tomatoes.
- Cabbage can be grown near beans and cucumbers.The planting season for cabbage is quite long. Early cabbage should be transplanted as soon as possible so that it can mature before summertime heat. If you have been wondering when to plant cabbage plants, you should know that several varieties are available at different maturity times so you can have a harvest all summer long.When thinking about when to plant cabbage plants, you should remember that hardened plants can be very tolerant of frosts. Therefore, you can plant these early in the spring with other cool season vegetables. Late cabbage can be started during mid-summer, but remember that they wonâ€™t develop a head until fall.
Sunlight Cabbage needs at least 6 hours of full sun each day; more is better. Watering Water regularly, applying 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week if it doesn t rain. Soil Requires well-drained soil, fertile soil high in organic matter, pH 6.0 to 7.5. Can tolerate slightly alkaline soil. This heavy feeder also needs plentiful, consistent moisture. Temperature Germination temperature: 45 F to 85 F – Will germinate at soil temperatures as low as 40 F. Fertilizer Fertilize plants again with a liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion or 20-20-20 after they begin to develop new leaves and when they start forming heads. Harvest Season
- Harvest when heads reach desired size and are firm. This will take around 70 days for most green cabbage varieties.
- Most early varieties will produce 1- to 3-pound heads.
- Cut each cabbage head at its base with a sharp knife. After harvesting, bring inside or put in shade immediately.
- To get two crops from early cabbage plants, cut the cabbage head out of the plant, leaving the outer leaves and root in the garden.
- The plant will send up new headsâ€”pinch them off until only four or so smaller heads remain.
- When these grow to tennis-ball size, they will be perfect for salad.
- After harvesting, remove the entire stem and root system from the soil to prevent disease build up.
- Only compost healthy plants; destroy those with maggot infestation.
- Cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than two weeks, wrapped lightly in plastic. Make sure it is dry before storing.
- In proper root cellar conditions, cabbage will keep for up to 3 months.