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Red cabbages


by Jane Moore

Not only are red cabbages easy to grow but they're also rather gorgeous to look at. Their rich colour lifts your spirits on a chilly winter day when everything else is looking drab and dull.


Red cabbage covered in frostI have a confession to make. After raving about the arrival of the purple sprouting broccoli and extolling the virtues of winter veg in my blog last week I realised that I had forgotten to mention red cabbages.

Not only are red cabbages easy to grow but they're also rather gorgeous to look at. Their rich colour lifts your spirits on a chilly winter day when everything else is looking drab and dull. As with all brassicas, red cabbages need protection from pests, but as I grew mine over winter I didn't have to worry about the attentions of cabbage white caterpillars. I still had to protect them from pigeons, though.

It's a bit of a happy accident that I ended up growing red cabbages. I bought a few plants towards the end of last summer for no better reason than they looked nice and I hadn't grown any before. I planted the cabbages in the brassica bed along with a few pak choi, some summer cabbages and the purple sprouting broccoli and covered the lot with netting to protect them from the hungry pigeons.

Over autumn they developed hearts and throughout the winter months they've endured rain, winds and last weekend's hail and snow. I've been harvesting them selectively, trying to save them for special roast dinners with friends as they're so good. The only trouble is that I can't tell you what variety it was as the label has long since blown away.



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Gardeners' World Web User 31/07/2008 at 15:07

How can you tell when red cabbage is ready to harvest and do you know any recipes for pickled red cabbage? Toe

Gardeners' World Web User 23/10/2008 at 21:45

Can you grow them at this time of year.

Gardeners' World Web User 28/05/2009 at 08:31

How long should I keep the netting on my runner and broad beans and other seedlings?

Gardeners' World Web User 29/11/2009 at 16:23

My red cabbages are brilliant but the only pest seems to be a type of 'earthworm' that bores holes almost to the centre. They seem to inhabit potatoes aswell. Any idea how I can stop this and still keep a healthy soil?

Gardeners' World Web User 21/04/2010 at 13:57

[...] Reading/Watching: Red Cabbage By Coldsoil Found an article on growing red cabbage on a gardener’s world blog. [...]

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