Part of our heritage week focus on creating a traditional Irish kitchen garden
How to grow and harvest Cabbage
Cabbage has been a staple in the traditional Irish kitchen garden as it is not only hardy but also full of vitamins. Cabbage is easy to grow from seed or you can buy cabbage plants ready for planting. The trick to a successful cabbage crop is soil preparation so make sure you have put the time and effort it beforehand to reap the benefits. Once you have prepared your bed you would plant the cabbage seeds 0.25 inches deep and 18-24 inches apart so as to ensure they have plenty of room to grow.
Cabbage likes fertile, heavy clay soils so again the pre-preparing of the bed is crucial - add lot's of nice compost the season before and remove weeds/stones etc. Pick a spot that doesn't get waterlogged or too dry. Add some nitrogen-rich fertilizer to your soil before planting to give them a healthy start.
Consistency is key when watering cabbages - 1 to 2 inches of water per week is often adequate. Cabbages do unfortunately tend to attract a lot of pests such as pigeons and caterpillars amongst others so it is advisable to protect them early on with netting.
Cabbage should be ready to harvest within a few months when it is nice and firm so give it a squeeze rather than going by the look of it. Cabbage will keep for a few days in a fridge or you can store it in a cool dark area for 3 to 4 months.