I looked in the archives...still needing answers to a question. How DO you get a cabbage to form a head? I didn't realize they wouldn't...but, we are on our 2nd round. First time, last year...red cabbages. Never grew over 6" tall, never formed a head. Had them for over 12 months in the ground.
2nd round, planted them in the back veggie garden, back in november I think. They are about 12" tall so far...no heads.
I am in zone 8B, SC midlands.
Cabbage head when they feel like it. Generally not a problem. They are heavy feeders, especially nitrogen, so if you are not getting size that may be the problem. They also need loose soil. Most red cabbages have a very long season, so they are a problem in the south. If the soil conditions are right, I would suggest that you start with short season varieties especially in the spring.
Well, turns out neither DH nor I have ever raised cabbages. So, we haven't a clue. What I found online, was contradicting information mostly. I bet it is the feeding thing for one though. We have a heavy clay soil, working on amending it, but that will take a lot of time and organic material.
Thanks for the input...we're working on it. >>smiles
moxies_garden - I've never grown cabbages either because I've read that they are hard to "head". If you would like to grow something that tastes like cabbage but is easier to grow (and is in the same family) try collards.
I have heavy Carolina red clay soil, too. My solution is raised beds.
For the past 2 years I have grown Caraflex cabbage in the cinder blocks that edge my garden. No problems at all other than aphids- I sowed seeds then transplanted- it has to be in cool weather. Best time is Fall, but with cooperation from weather you can try them now for spring.I'll find some photos from last year and post later.
Cabbage does fine in Piedmont red clay. Just make sure you work it about 8 inches deep and and add nitrogen. Chicken manure works wonders. Actually cabbage is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Major problem is cabbage worms which are relatively easy to control.
Even if you think your soil is problematic, you can grow them in a bucket or large planter. I use the eBuckets with a built in reservoir. The plants love access to water-on-demand from the reservoirs.
Last fall/wtr, I filled the buckets with a mixture of 3 parts pine bark fines, 2 parts peat (MG potting mix or reed/sedge peat), and 1 part perlite. This fall/wtr I'll be adding some aged compost to that mix in the ebuckets.
gymgirl-I remember reading about your cabbages...in the cast iron thread I think. I enjoyed reading about your Auntie that lived with you for a while. I might try them in a 5 gal bucket next time...mine are all busy right now. Or,I need to go and buy more 5 gal buckets...lol
Never, ever, NEVER buy a bucket! There are too many to be had for FREE. Scout around your community. Burger joints use pickle buckets. Pool companies use 6.5 gallon ones for chlorine. Bakeries get em with icing. ..