You can cut greens from the brassica family most months of the year. There are varieties of cabbages for spring, summer and winter plus of course calabrese for autumn and sprouting broccoli and sprouts for Christmas and the new year.
These detailed instructions and timings are for producing ‘summer’ cabbages for August and September. For other brassica types follow the instructions below or on the seed packet for the best time to sow the seed, transplant the seedlings and pick your greens.
Soil and position
A semi-shaded spot is ideal. If the cabbage patch is weedy, spray weeds in September with Roundup Ready To Use Fast Action Formula. Wait a couple of weeks for the roots to be killed and then dig the soil adding some organic matter such as well-rotted garden compost or Levington Organic Blend Soil Conditioner. Allow the soil to consolidate during the winter and add a dressing of Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own Vegetable & Fruit Plant Food in spring. Rake this plant food into the soil ready for seed sowing or planting.
Primo and Minicole produce round headed cabbages; while Hispi, Greyhound and Caramba the pointed ones. Take your pick.
Indoors: Sow seeds in individual cells of Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own Vegetable & Fruit Enriched Compost in late February or early March. Seedlings will appear in a week indoors on a windowsill.
Outdoors: Sow seed thinly in late March or early April in a shallow drill and cover with fine soil. Water well.
When the seedlings have 5 or 6 leaves, transplant them to their final growing position. If the soil hasn’t been fed this year, rake in some Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own Vegetable & Fruit Plant Food and then firm the soil to remove any air pockets. Make planting holes 45cm (18in) apart with a similar gap between rows. Firm the soil well after planting and water in.
If pigeons or sparrows are a local problem cover the seedlings with a fleece. Keep weeds under control either with a hoe. Watch out for caterpillar damage - holes appear in the leaves during the summer. To prevent the problem, rub out the yellow eggs of the cabbage white butterfly found on the underside of cabbage leaves. If you see caterpillars themselves, spray with BugClear Gun! for Fruit & Veg.
For other brassicas different timings apply
|Brassica type||Sow||Plant out||Harvest|
|Spring Cabbages||Jul - Aug||Sep - Oct||Apr - May|
|Winter Cabbages||May||Jul||Nov - Feb|
|Savoy Cabbages||May||Jul||Nov - Feb|
|Brussels Sprouts||Mar - Apr||Jun||Oct - Feb|
|Calabrese||Apr - May||Jun - Jul||Aug - Oct|
|Broccoli||May||Jul||Feb - Apr|