now that winter arrives, it is time to harvest the last cabbage. their harvest time depends on the period you planted them. early planted cabbages, in april or may, will be ready in the end of summer. and the cabbages planted in june will be ready in autumn.
growing cabbage is a very space consuming thing. we usually buy small plants and plant them (sowing would take too much time i think). they need 60 cm in and between the rows. you can´t imagine it in the beginning, but they get enormous.
end of last year we decided not to grow cabbage any more, because of its’ enormous need for space … and over all, cabbage is not our favorite. but then spring arrived, i could not resist and bought some savoy cabbage plants, which i prefer most. and i really like to observe them growing and starting to form the cabbage head one day.
and if you are lucky, they get nice big cabbage heads without any worms or other disgusting pests and you can enjoy your harvest. with our first savoy cabbage we cooked some delicious ribolita this summer. and now in autumn the savoy cabbage is ideal for a soup or some hearty cabbage roll, which we call “kohlroulade”or “krautwickel”.
you might see on the pictures above that we did not find an adequate solution for the worm problem. one thing we do, is putting collars around the plants. you can take the (expensive) ones from the stores or you simply cut an empty plastic water bottle in 4 cm rings and pull them over the young plants. it will avoid that the leaves lie on the earth until the cabbage is bigger and it should help to fight the cabbage fly and a worm who will go in the roots.
between all the small savoy cabbage plants we had one stowaway, a white cabbage, which grew like all the others but did not ripple like a savoy cabbage usually does. he finally ended up as a korean kimchi.
in the past years we also tried to store the cabbages after harvest. i read about a method where you have to harvest the whole cabbage including the roots. then you drill a hole in the roots and suspend the cabbages on a string. hanging them upside down in a cellar should allow to store them for some weeks. but unfortunately it did not work in our case. i have no idea why. our cellar is fine to store potatoes and apples, but not cabbage. maybe you have some more experiences to share.