Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cabbage considerations

Whether you're planning your spring garden or your next winter-comfort meal, cabbage is a good vegetable to consider in the dead of winter.

If you grew a proven storage variety, like our 'Storage No. 4' or 'Kaitlin', hopefully you're able to pull a head or two from the root cellar for fresh cole slaw and a mid-winter blast of Vitamin C.

Maybe you're fortunate enough to have a friend or co-worker, like us at Johnny's, who makes a blazing hot Kim Chee from a Napa-type Chinese cabbage to warm you up on frigid February nights.

We got to thinking about cabbage after reading a wonderful post on Martha Stewart's blog about this versatile Brassica -- Cabbage 101.

An excerpt from the blog entry:
"Cabbage is as happy in a casserole as it is atop a hot dog or in a stir-fry. And if you're daring enough to experiment, those leaves will also excite the palate."
Martha describes cabbage's adaptability to many climates and conditions. The post also includes a few recipes and touts cabbage's nutritional/medicinal benefits.

She recommends our seeds, which is always nice. We offer Fresh Eating, Storage, Savoy, and Red cabbage, as well as Chinese cabbage; 19 varieties in all.

Our cabbage criteria:
  1. Delicious, sweet, juicy flavor and crisp texture
  2. Small to medium-size plants suitable for close spacing
  3. Extra short cores for more usable cabbage and less waste
  4. Densely packed interiors, even near base
  5. Very good resistance to splitting


Jean in Mt. said...

So does cabbage growing require anything special ? I'm thinking of trying some this year. Its much more eatable than I thought. We grow broccoli fine, havn't had any luck starting our own though.

Johnny's Seeds News said...

Jean: This info. from Andrew, our Cabbage Technician:

If your broccoli grows well, the cabbage should too as they’re in the same family. If you haven't done so already, getting a soil test to monitor the nutrient levels in your soil might be wise. For cabbage, start transplants under grow lights or in a greenhouse 4-5 weeks before transplanting outside. Make sure there is enough fertility (nitrogen) in your soil because cabbage is a heavy feeder and does not have a very extensive root system. Follow the instructions in the green cultural boxes in the catalog or at the bottom of any of the individual Cabbage variety product pages on the website under the "Growing Info" tab.

Oh, and Andrew says: "If you haven’t tried it yet, Tendersweet is the best tasting cabbage variety in the universe."

Unknown said...

In 2009 I grew the Chinese Cabbage and had much more than I expected in my crop. Since I enjoy a nice hot Kimchee, I tried a new recipe to preserve some of the cabbage for winter, but I wish I had a better recipe than the one I tried. Will your friend or co-worker share her recipe for my 2010 crop?