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Pamper your cabbages

Growing cabbages is a fun project for gardeners who like to piddle because these plants love to be coddled and pampered.

Now is the best time to either set out the plants or sow the seeds because cabbages prefer the cooler temperatures. Set them just a little below ground, just enough to support the stem. Usually, twelve inches apart is a good distance between each one.

Unfortunately, snails and slugs love cabbage along with the cool weather so you will have to choose the method to control them. Snail pellets placed in a circle around each plant is the best and fastest way to rid the areas of the pests. However, if you prefer to be green, then place small containers of beer every few inches nearby (jar lids are the right size and very economical). The beer makes them sluggish and when the temperature rises, they will die. With this method, it takes a little longer to get rid of them but at least no chemicals are involved. It is important to get rid of the pests early one because not only will they eat the plants but will move inside; and when the heads of the cabbages start to form they will be enclosed.

In an earlier article, gardeners were advised to not fret over a few weeds growing here and there, limit the amount of water given to growing plants and to just let nature take care of everything. With cabbages, the opposite is true. Cabbages like to be messed with. Using a small pronged garden tool, loosen the dirt around the plants everyday. They love it! The more attention they get, the larger they grow.

There is nothing better than a homegrown cabbage. The outer leaves are dark and full of vitamins and minerals. If you want to get the full benefit of the nutrition in your product, instead of boiling them simply steam them al dente, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Delicious and healthy!

Home Depot, http://www.homedepot.com, sells healthy plants at six per pack.

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