GROWING YOUR OWN
Cabbages are members of the brassica family – along with broccoli, cauliflower and kale. It has to be said that brassicas are not the easiest crops to grow. They are in the ground for a long time and there are a lot of creatures out there that like the taste of them as much as we do. Protecting them from these pests is essential, or your cabbages will be a holey mess. On planting them out, they will need to be immediately protected from slugs, cabbage white caterpillars and pigeons. Use organic slug pellets and beer slug traps, and then build a ‘brassica frame’ around them, covered in fine mesh. This will keep pigeons and caterpillars at bay. The time of sowing and planting out will depend on which type it is, so follow the instructions on the seed packet.
Three to try:
Tundra This is a savoy type, hardy, reliable and flavourful. Sow in spring, plant out in summer, pick from November until spring. Available from marshalls-seeds.co.uk
Red Rookie A red cabbage and one of the earliest summer cabbages. Sow in February, plant out in April, harvest from August. Available from mr-fothergills.co.uk
Duncan A ‘spring cabbage’ style that can be harvested all year round with careful sowing. Sow indoors in early spring and outdoors at intervals from February to September. Available from kingsseedsdirect.com »
Cabbages can be sourced all year, so if you haven’t got any in your patch, just pop down to your local market and come home looking like you’ve just been a contestant on