Tuesday, 17 January 2012

HOW TO GROW GIANT CABBAGE FROM SEED


Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop

I have loved giant vegetables since I was a child, and growing them indulges my passion for them. So go on, grab a packet of seeds and have a go at growing some yourself.

First of all you will need to select a suitable giant cabbage seed variety as you will not get giant cabbages from standard cabbage seeds no matter how well you feed them!  You will need to start sowing your giant cabbage seed in early spring in order to harvest successfully in the autumn. The best time to do this is February.

Fill a seed tray with John Innes seed and cutting compost, tapping the tray to settle the compost. Level gently with a flat piece of wood but avoid compacting the soil. Set out the giant cabbage seeds individually within the tray, approximately 25 seeds in total. Lightly cover with compost using a sieve. Place the tray in a larger tray holding 2cm of water until the soil is moist and the surface of the compost turns from light to dark brown.

Remove from the water tray and place in a well lit area such as a windowsill or bench in a heated greenhouse. Either cover with glass or place in a propagator until the first seedlings emerge or leave uncovered and water frequently by spraying daily. Do not allow the compost to dry out (or become waterlogged). The seedlings are ready to transplant when they are showing two strong leaves.
 
Carefully transplant the seedlings into individual pots or modules filled with John Innes seed and cutting compost. The developing seedlings require a lot of space and you will need to report the cabbage seedlings on a regular basis. They will be ready to plant outside when the risk of frost has passed.

Harden off the seedlings prior to planting outside by placing in the ventilated cold frame during the day, bringing them back inside during the night. Continue this for a week, then leave them in the cold frame overnight for a few weeks. Finally, move them to a sheltered position for a further week.

Planting Giant cabbages thrive in a well feed soil, so incorporate manure into the final planting plot. Avoid beds that have previously suffered from club root and incorporate some lime within the hole prior to planting. Giant cabbages need plenty of room so space your cabbages at least 1 metre apart, and at the same spacing between rows.

Water well, these cabbages will be thirsty on hot days, and keep the bed well weeded during the season. Giant cabbages require high levels of nitrogen to produce all their large leaves so feed regularly with a liquid nitrogen feed during the growing season.

The cabbages will be ready to harvest in the autumn.

Photos care of http://blogs.crocus.co.uk/, http://gardenofeaden.blogspot.com/ and
http://www.allaboutyou.com/

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