Cabbage – Melvin F1
Cabbage Melvin F1 is a very early maturing hybrid variety which is ready about 2 months after transplanting. It has a round head with a good internal structure, crunchy texture and delicious taste. It weighs about 1kg and is slow to bolt. Suitable for protected cropping and outdoors.
Late January to late March for planting indoors and early April to May for planting outdoors. Sow one seed per module about 1.5cm deep and plant out about 4 weeks later.
Between rows: 45cm
Between plants in the row: 35cm
Approx. seed count: 25
Brassica oleracea (Capitata Group) – Cabbage Melvin F1
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. 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. Composted manure should be incorporated a few weeks prior to planting.
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. Also 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. I sow one or two seeds per module about 1.5cm deep. 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 as early as late January. A second sowing can be made in late February for planting in late March.
The spacing of the plants determines the final size of the head. If lots of small cabbages are required plant them closer.
I usually space the plants 25 x 25cm apart. As soon as the growing plants touch each other I harvest every second plant as spring greens (non-hearted leafy cabbage) and to give the remaining plants space to bulk up.
Cabbages require a firm soil. The transplants should be well watered before transplanting. They should be planted firmly with a trowel or dibber. Regular hoeing will control weed growth whilst stimulating plant vigour.
Spring greens can be harvested from early April onwards. The first headed spring cabbages are ready from late April until early June. Be aware though that these early cabbages have hardly any shelf life. As soon as they are ready they are prone to crack open. So it’s essential to harvest and eat them as soon as they have filled out.
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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