Botanical name: Brassica oleracea var. capitata
Cabbage is mainly an annual cool season crop; it is frost hardy. Sow late summer to late autumn depending on area. In temperate areas sow September – March, depending on variety; in subtropical areas sow late autumn to early winter. In tropical areas sow April – August, during the dry season but generally cabbages do not perform particularly well in the tropics. Sugarloaf types are a better choice in warmer areas than larger cabbages. Red cabbages are sometimes ignored by White Cabbage butterfly, making them less pest-prone. Cabbages germinate best between 10 – 25°C soil temperature. Sow seed 10 mm deep in trays or seedbed. Seeds take 7 – 12 days to germinate. Transplant seedlings by first carefully removing the seed leaves and planting deeper, up to the 1st set of true leaves. Doing this speeds maturity and makes the plant more resistant to wind damage. Space the plants 35 cm apart, with 65 – 75 cm between rows. Cabbage likes a rich, well-drained soil with a pH 6 – 6.5. Prepare the soil by digging well-rotted compost or animal manure through the bed. Keep the soil moist; add organic fertiliser when plants are half grown. Begin harvest as soon as heads feel solid. Covering young seedlings with a mesh net will protect them from White Cabbage butterflies.

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