Cabbage – Balkan



HenCabbage – Balkan is a delicious Dutch-type variety which produces firm heads in autumn.  Originates in Bulgaria.


April to early June

Sow one seed per module about 1.5cm deep and about 4 weeks later plant out.


Between rows: 45cm

Between plants in the row: 45cm

Approx. seed count: 30

Growing Cabbage – Balkan

Latin name

Brassica oleracea  (Capitata Group) – Cabbage Balkan


Brassicaceae (also known as Cruciferae)

Cabbages are the most commonly grown member of the brassica family.  They generally do extremely well in our cool, moist climate provided that plenty of compost or ripened manure is available.  Thus they are not really suitable for growing under protection as they dislike extreme heat during the summer.  In fact, the only time I grow them in a tunnel or greenhouse is in later winter/early spring.

Soil and site

Cabbages are greedy plants and therefore require a high level of soil fertility.  Moreover, composted manure should be incorporated a few weeks prior to planting.

Also, the pH level of the soil should be above 6.5, otherwise it should be corrected either in the form of calcified seaweed or ground limestone.  In fact, an acid soil may encourage the spread of clubroot.


I prefer sowing cabbages in modular seed trays which are placed on a heating bench in a greenhouse or on a warm windowsill.  Therefore, I sow one or two seeds per module about 1.5cm deep. So,if two seeds germinate you have to remove the weaker seedling. They usually germinate within 5 to 7 days and are ready for planting out about 5 weeks after sowing.

The first sowing can be done in early April.  A second sowing can be made in late May for planting out 4 weeks after sowing.


The spacing of the plants determines the final size of the head. Therefore, if lots of small cabbages are required plant them closer.

I usually space the plants 45 x 45cm apart.

Plant care

Cabbages require a firm soil.  Also, the transplants should be well watered before transplanting.  As they require a firm soil they should be planted very firmly with a trowel or dibber.  Additionally, regular hoeing will control weed growth whilst stimulating plant vigour.


Cabbage – Balkan can be harvested from late August to late October

Potential problems

Cabbages are susceptible to the same insect and disease pests as all the other brassicas but due to the early cropping period most problems will be avoided.

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