Thursday, July 2, 2015

Broccoli, Cabbage, and Kale

The broccoli I seeded two weeks ago was doing well. I figured it was time for it to see the light of day. I didn't bother to harden them off. They were better off just going in the ground. Soil blocks don't need much hardening off and with even one sunny warm day the blocks can dry out if I forget about them. And I tend to. They were safer in the ground.

In the spring I plant 10 broccoli plants, 5 on each side of the bed. After I harvest the heads, one row gets pulled out.

Side shoots starting to form

The other side I leave for side shoots. That way I get the best of both worlds. I get some really nice heads, but I get a constant supply of broccoli over the summer too.

The huge leaves on the other side of the bed will die over time, or start to get mildewed. I tend to pull them off at the first sign of yellowing. The side shoots will put out more new leaves to feed the plant.

I also got under the kale cover to pick. I'll miss my kale harvests when it comes time to plant this bed up in carrots.

Golden Acre

Also under the same cover as the kale are my cabbages. This one had a leaf starting to crack. I was worried that it might bolt on me. I've never really gotten the hang of when you should pick cabbage. Someone mentioned when the head hardens up. But this head was tight pretty small. It would have been a tiny thing. It still isn't huge, but a couple of pounds is pretty good for cabbages in my garden. Some year I might learn how to grow them well.

Early Jersey

Despite my lack of cabbage expertise, this is turning out to be my best ever year for cabbage. Though I suppose that really isn't saying much. I might not get huge heads, but I love cabbage a lot and will enjoy eating them. Big or small.


  1. Those cabbages look really nice. Cabbage is one of those other veg that I've always thought difficult to grow. I actually wouldn't mind a smaller head as we always have trouble getting through the large heads we get at the store which often end up languishing in the fridge for weeks.

  2. Your cabbages don't need to have huge heads to be delicious. Apparently the size of the head is affected by the spacing of the plants. The closer together the smaller the cabbages.

  3. You did the right thing with the Golden Acre cabbage - when the heads start to split, it is time for them to be cut without delay. This is a variety I have grown a few times, and they never get big in my garden. What Sue says is true - closer spacings lead to smaller veg.

  4. I have never hardened off cole crop seedlings and they always seem to do just fine. I like to plant them on a cloudy day as direct sun seems to shock them after being indoors under lights, or wait until later in the day. Knowing when to pick cabbage is a challenge. I pinch the heads to feel how solid they are but am mostly in the dark about it.

  5. All my regular cabbages are aphids infested, I let them be the trap crop and kept them going, the aphids never touched my fava beans and other crops except 2 pepper plants which I treated with soap and water and they are fine now.

  6. I think your cabbage looks great! (As does your kale.) Here cabbage is best in the fall. We grow it in the spring (and have a lot of it waiting to be processed) but it seems the cabbage worms get as much as we do. I harvest when the heads are tight. Sometimes they're big and sometimes they're small. My guess is that your climate is much better suited for cabbage this time of year than we are.

  7. Hi Daphne, Your cabbages look great to me! You have a great system down pat for growing your broccoli. Have a nice 4th! Nancy