Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cook that Cabbage

Cabbage is known as Brassica oleracea. Brassica are leaf crops, and are known as “heavy feeders”, which means they require a lot of soil nutrients to grow well.

Rearing cabbage

Cabbage seeds are small black and round, which are best sown in trays and transplanted when about 8-10cm tall.
One cabbage needs a lot of space to grow really well. Cutworm tend to chop the seedlings down so it is advisable to plant extra seedlings, which can be thinned out later, when the plants are established.
Most important is preparing the soil right. Cabbage likes a neutral soil, so adding a little agricultural lime to the soil a month before planting is a good practice. Lots of compost, a good mulch and liquid manure will help too. Use Lucerne or clover as a pre-planting crop to build up the nitrogen availability.
You can put an empty toilet paper spool around the base of the cabbage seedling to protect it.

Planting with companions

Plant your onions and leeks beside the edges of the bed, along with herbs and flowers like rosemary, thyme, sage, marigold and peppermint. You will find that these strong smelling plants keep pests away. Cabbage likes to be mixed in the beds with beetroots, lettuce, potato, spinach and cauliflower.
Cabbages thrive in the company of Clover, Celery and Chamomile Dandelion is effective as a trap crop, which means that it will draw the aphids away from your cabbage seedlings.

Cabbage generally does not tolerate the company of the following plants: Carrot, Climbing beans, Garlic, Hyssop, Rue, Strawberry and Tomato

Keeping all these things in mind will lead to successfully grown cabbage.

Health benefits

Cabbage is known as an effective poultice. Warmed cabbage leaves placed over the breasts of newly lactating mothers, help to release the milk.

Cooking cabbage

Try this delicious recipe from Berea Agricultural Group in Lesotho with your freshly grown brassica.

Cabbage Stir-Fry

Chopped Onion
Chopped Cabbage
2 sliced Bananas
Paprika (to taste)
1 clove Garlic
Salt and pepper.
Grated ginger (optional)

Fry the Onion, add the Cabbage, and fry it lightly, stirring it all the time. When it softens slightly, add the Banana and fry some more. Add the Paprika, Garlic, Ginger and Salt and Pepper. Eat and enjoy.

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