Cabbage ranks as one of the most important home-garden crops.
In the lower South, it can be grown in all seasons except summer,
and in latitudes as far north as Washington, D.C., it is
frequently set in the autumn, as its extreme hardiness enables it
to live over winter at relatively low temperatures and thus become
one of the first spring garden crops. Farther north, it can be
grown as an early summer crop and as a late fall crop for storage.
Cabbage can be grown throughout practically the entire United
Cabbage is adapted to widely different soils as long as they
are fertile, of good texture, and moist. It is a heavy feeder; no
vegetable responds better to favorable growing conditions.
Quality in cabbage is closely associated with quick growth.
Both compost and .commercial fertilizer should be liberally used.
In addition to the applications made at planting time, a side
dressing or two of nitrate of soda, sulfate of ammonia, or other
quickly available nitrogenous fertilizer is advisable. These may
be applied sparingly to the soil around the plants at intervals of
3 weeks, not more than 1 pound being used to each 200 square feet
of space, or, in terms of single plants, 1/3 ounce to each
For late cabbage the supplemental feeding with nitrates may be
omitted. Good seed is especially important. Only a few seed is
needed for starting enough plants for the home garden, as 2 or 3
dozen heads of early cabbage are as many as the average family can
Where cabbage yellows is a serious disease, resistant varieties
should be used. Cabbage plants for spring setting in the North may
be grown in hotbeds or greenhouses from seeding made a month to 6
weeks before planting time, or may be purchased from southern
growers who produce them outdoors in winter. The winter-grown,
hardened plants, sometimes referred to as frost proof, are hardier
than hotbed plants and may be set outdoors in most parts of the
North as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring.
Northern gardeners can have cabbage from their gardens much
earlier by using healthy southern-grown plants or well-hardened,
well-grown hotbed or greenhouse plants. Late cabbage, prized by
northern gardeners for fall use and for storage, is grown from
plants produced in open seedbeds from sowings made about a month
ahead of planting.
Late cabbage may well follow early potatoes, peas, beets,
spinach, or other early crop. Many gardeners set cabbage plants
between potato rows before the potatoes are ready to dig, thereby
gaining time. In protected places, or when plant protectors are
used, it is possible always to advance dates somewhat, especially
if the plants are well hardened.
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