Cabbage is part of the Brassica family, a leafy green vegetable that comes in many varieties. You can have red cabbage and white (which is really green!) cabbage too.
Summer cabbage can be sown in February-March, Winter cabbage in April-May and Spring cabbage to be sown July-August. You can sow them in seed trays to be transferred later, although cabbage tends to do better sown directly.
Early sowing for summer cabbage should be in cloches/under cover. Seeds sown inside can be re-potted and hardened off before planting into their final spot.
It is worth sowing a few surplus cabbage plants for any that fail, however be mindful that they do take up a lot of space and tend to be ready all at once. They can be thinned out if need be.
When you do plant in their final soil bed, they need to be spaced out approximately 15 inches apart. Water the hole, really well and plant upto the bottom leaves.
Cabbage likes a sunny position in firm soil, once you have planted them out, you can flatten down the soil bed with your heels.
They like a generous watering during dry spells and nitrogen-high feed for summer and winter varieties. Cabbage requires protection from pests using mesh or fine netting.
Dependent on sowing times, will depend on harvest time but will be ready when it has grown to the desired size and has a firm head. Cut the cabbage off at the stem just above the soil and remove the outer leaves.
You can even encourage a growth of a second, smaller cabbage by cutting a deep cross in the stem of Spring and Summer varieties. You can then dig up the roots and remove to prevent rot and diseases.
Fresh raw cabbage can be enjoyed in salads and coleslaw or cooked in a range of dishes.
It is best stored in a cool place but can be blanched and frozen. When it has cooled, chop it up and lay it flat in an airtight freezer bag.