Red and White Cabbage is popular in the fall.
There are several vegetables that do well in the cooler weather that comes with the autumn, but most of them are primarily seasonal and sparse in grocery stores year-round. One rare vegetable that can be found in abundance in the produce aisle throughout all four seasons is cabbage. We use cabbage in everything from soup to sandwiches, despite their notorious reputation for showing up in salads. It’s been popular ever since it showed up in the Mediterranean region in 5 B.C. in the form of Kale.
Kale, a large leafy plant of the Brassica Oleracea family, was a prominent vegetable in European gardens along the Mediterranean. As the recipes for kale expanded, people began to desire a way to harvest it with younger, tightly bound leaves. With much experimenting, a new hybrid of kale was born circa 1 A.D., and it’s what we know and love as cabbage today.
Out of the dozens of breeds of cabbage in the Brassica Oleracea family, there are six that are widely seen in gardens across the North America today. Red or white cabbage, as it’s known, is the most popular in autumn. There are a number of different recipes that call for red or white, which means that you’ll hardly be making a mistake by trying your hand at planting it this fall season.
Red & White Cabbage Q&A
1. When should I begin planting red and white cabbage?
Cabbage is one of those vegetables that can be planted during the very cool weather of early spring or late fall. However, it’s easier to break into the ground in early fall to grow them, rather than starting them indoors and preparing them for planting in the spring. When the weather begins to become consistently cooler (around 50° F or cooler, preferably), it should be safe to plant them in your garden. Remember, warm weather will cause the cabbage to rot or go dormant.
2. Is cabbage frost-tolerant?
Yes. Like other autumn vegetables, cabbage is tolerant of frost. In fact, cabbage can even thrive in snow, and temperatures as low as 30° F. Many members of the cabbage family, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, also possess this same ability.
3. Where should I plant cabbage in my garden?
Even though they are a fall vegetable, cabbage enjoys full sunlight along with the cool weather. It grows best in rich soil with a 7.0 pH level, mixed with compost or manure. Keep the soil well drained, and you’ll be sprouting heads in no time.
4. How long does it take cabbage to mature?
If you are planting your cabbage late in the fall season, it may take anywhere from 80 to 100 days for it to mature. If you get a head start, it will take around 60 days before they are ready to harvest.
5. Is cabbage prone to any pests or disease?
Unfortunately, cabbage are a favorite snack for most garden pests. Cabbage loopers and aphids tend to frequent members of the cabbage family. The best way to defend your plants from these bugs is by screening them, and applying a light insecticide of it becomes a prevailing problem. Luckily, cabbage is not typically affected by other vegetable diseases. Just keep them watered and cool throughout the fall season, and it’ll be a gardening success.