Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, part of the same family as broccoli, mustard, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Cabbage has become a little more appreciated, reversing an overall declining trend that started in the 1920’s. Since 2003, there has been an increase in the end uses for cabbage which include food manufacturing, fresh-cut salads and food markets, and sauerkraut. Green head cabbage is the most common, traditional type although red cabbage is gaining popularity in salad mixes. The native cabbage is native to the Mediterranean region and was known to ancient Greeks and Romans. Cato the Elder praised this vegetable for its medicinal properties, declaring that “It is the cabbage that surpasses all other vegetables.
Cabbage contains impressive amounts of calcium, iron, iodine, potassium, sulfur, and phosphorus. In the vitamins department, it is loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K and folic acid. Not only that, but cabbage also has anti-cancer properties and research has proven that it has been effective in the treatment of cancers and ulceration in the digestive tract. To be able to better obtain the vitamins embedded within the vegetable, it is suggested to consume it raw. Just put the cabbage in the blender, add some fruits and then drink to your satisfaction.
Planting cabbages within your home is highly encouraged. Not only does it promote healthy living, since you won’t be needing chemicals and pesticides, it would also help you on honing your skills on planting. Cabbage seeds, readily supplied by seed suppliers in Australia, have different varieties as follows:
Spring Cabbage– Spring cabbages are usually sown in July and August being planted out in September and October to overwinter and be harvested from late February through to the beginning of June. In windy areas, earth up around the stem and compress the soil with your foot to ensure the plants are stable and don’t suffer root rock. They tend to be conical in shape and quite loose leaved, often referred to as spring greens or collards.
Summer Cabbage– Usually these are ball headed (drumhead) sown from mid-February under glass to mid-May being planted out in May and June to provide a harvest from late June to November although more usually August and September are the prime harvesting months. For the earliest crop, sow early – obviously! They also tend to be conical in shape.
Winter Cabbage– The winter cabbages are generally sown in late April through May, being planted out in July to provide a harvest from November right through to March. They’re ball or drum-headed and obviously hardy.
Savoy Cabbage– The savoy type of cabbage is basically a ball head but the leaves are crinkled rather than smooth. Sowing and planting are just like winter cabbages except the cutting season tends to be a little wider.
Red Cabbage– Red cabbage is traditional for pickling but it is great for adding color to a winter salad when shredded finely and cooked it adds color as well as flavor to a meal.Grown just like a summer cabbage, sowing in April, planting in June and harvest in September. They will hold a while in the ground or can be stored for a few months.
Chinese Cabbage– Chinese cabbage, often called Chinese leaves in supermarkets is the odd one out in the cabbage family. They look more like a lettuce than a cabbage for starters. The cultivation method is completely different than conventional cabbage as well, they do not like root disturbance and usually would be sown in situ rather than being transplanted.
It’s up to your own liking as to what variety of cabbage you would want to plant. Some of the seeds may not be available on your local seed supplier, so I encourage you to try online seed suppliers. When considering cabbages as part of your garden, or even your diet, there would be no wrong reason as to choose this vegetable.