Cabbage Dutchman F1
Also known as a ‘Duchy’ cabbage, the soft and tender leaves form distinctly pointed heads and are ideal for shredding to make dishes such as coleslaw. The leaves tend to have milder, sweeter flavour than some other types of cabbage. With looser heads it is also ideal for use as ‘greens’, so can be harvested more quickly and grown at a closer spacing if desired.
Sow outdoors March to June. Cabbages can be sown directly outdoors for ease, although plants may take a bit longer to get going and therefore crop slightly later. If possible choose a sunny location for best results. All brassicas like good fertile soil so it’s worth digging in a slow release fertiliser or some organic matter before you start. Sow directly where plants are to grow 1.5cm deep, in shallow trenches 25cm apart. Cover the seeds with fine soil and water well. Keep the soil moist and remove any weeds as they appear. When young plants are 10cm tall transplant them to a final spacing of 40cm apart, or 25cm apart for ‘greens’ or mini-heads. Plant seedlings deep, right up to the first set of leaves and be sure to firm the young plants in well to prevent the plants from rocking in the wind, which can damage their delicate roots. Keep the soil moist and remove any weeds as they appear.
Top Tips About Seeds
Once the seed packet has been opened, the seeds can be stored in an airtight container until required for further sowings. cabbage seeds will maintain their vigour for a good number of years.
Cabbages are not recommended for patio pots but compact heads and ‘greens’ can be grown in raised beds or large troughs.
Young brassica plants are a real favourite with pigeons and later in the summer caterpillars can also become a problem. If you use a fine enough netting, held well above the plants, this will stop both the pigeons eating the young leaves and the cabbage white butterflies from reaching the plants to lay their eggs. To prevent disease, rotate brassica crops so they are not grown in the same location for at least a couple of years.
Harvest from June to October. The heads can be cut and used at any stage, thought it is best to wait until they have matured and begun to develop their pointy shape. It is good practice to clear away any remaining stumps when they are finished with, to prevent the growth of moulds, pests and diseases.
Ideas for using your cabbage heart
Early outdoor sowings will benefit from cloche protection. Drawing a little soil up around the stems of developing plants will help to prevent wind rock as the plants get larger. Check plants after windy weather and firm them in again if necessary. Give plants a really good soaking and a feed a week or so before harvesting begins and don’t let them dry out. Once the main head is cut, try scoring the stump with an X, this often results in one last flush of fresh ‘greens’.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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