Welcome to my website in which I show you how I grow great organic vegies in a water conserving raised garden bed with the help of a built in worm farm and pest exclusion devices. I also show you how I rotate these vegies in a 4 year 4 bed cycle. Check out my website 'Gardening with Ecobeds' which shows you how Ecobeds are made and how they grow food without using poisonous chemicals....................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Growing Mini Cabbage
Latest Update 10th June 2017.
grow mini Cabbages, because they don't dominate the Garden Ecobed as much as
the full sized varieties. They are very crisp and sweet when harvested
and are a great size for 2 people.
Most months I sow 5 seeds and
usually get a 100% germination rate in my Propagator.
I grow the best 4 in a 1500mm row across an Ecobed (about a months supply).
harvest mini cabbages as needed in the kitchen, prepare the soil in
the space left by its removal and plant a replacement without delay.
Ecobed is kept occupied growing plants. I germinate more seeds than I
need, but rarely have prepared soil waiting for seedlings.
These mini cabbages are surprisingly tasty and are very nutritious containing lots of vitamins and minerals, and are a great source of dietary fibre.
They are best shredded and used fresh in homemade coleslaw, but we like them chopped and lightly steamed with salt, pepper and a few garden herbs.
Binomial Name: Brassica oleracea.
Variety: Mini Cabbage.
Crop Rotation Group: Heavy Feeders.
Garden Bed Type: Garden Ecobed.
Plant Spacings: 375mm. (4 per row)
Recommended pH: 6.0 - 7.5.
Minimum sun per day: 4 hours.
Weeks to harvest: 18 weeks.
Good Companions: Beans, beetroot, sage, onion, nasturtium.
Climate: Warm temperate.
Geography: Southern hemisphere.
This food is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
good source of thiamin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and
potassium, and a very good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin
K, vitamin B6, folate and manganese.
They grow best in full sun in cooler months, and need light shade in high summer to prevent bolting.
Cabbages prefer well structured firm soil containing plenty of organic material.
Extra shading is used in very hot weather (over 40 deg C) using 75% shadecloth.
The soil must be kept moist at all times.
In Summer, clear space for Cabbage by removing used mulch and other debris. Leave the roots of previous crops in the ground (root crops excepted) and don't dig the soil. Apply a 60mm layer of homemade compost followed by a 50mm layer of fresh straw mulch, and plant the following crop without delay.
Sow 5 Cabbage seeds In January on the surface of an organic seed growing mix in a mini pot, and lightly cover.
the mini pot for an hour in a tray containing 10mm of water (preferably
rainwater). The water will wick up into the soil without flooding it.
Sink the mini pots up to their rim in a Propagator. The seedlings will be protected and kept supplied with water until they are ready to transplant.
a few weeks the seedlings are re-potted into fibre pots filled with organic potting mixand returned to the Propagator.
When they are ready, a space is cleared in the mulch so the seedlings can be planted in the Ecobed.
Select the strongest 4 seedlings and plant themat 375mm centres in the prepared soil.Water themin generously with dilute seaweed extract.
A foliar spray of aerated compost tea is applied every 4 weeks at the same time asall the other edible plants.
Earth up the stems as the Cabbages grow, and fit
a layer of 75% shadecloth over the Ecobed's pest exclusion frame
to limit wilting and bolting in the warmer months (Dec
Repeat sowings can be made every month in gaps left by plants recently harvested. make sure the soil in these gap has been properly prepared.
Harvesting and Storage.
Cabbages can be harvested all year round.
Cut the stalk at ground level when harvesting your cabbage. Leave the roots to decompose in the ground.
If you have a surplus of cabbage, try sauerkraut, stored in preserving jars. Here's how.
Cabbages should be protected against slugs and snails using self adhesive copper
tape bonded around the base of your Ecobeds.
these molluscs get into your Ecobed as eggs laid in your compost, kill
them with organically approved iron based snail pellets as soon as you
discover them. You should only need to use a small number of pellets.
The best deterrent for caterpillars is exclusion netting. My Ecobeds have built-in frames and attachments for easy mounting of exclusion netting.
If the butterfies get past your defences, spray the crop thoroughly with Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel in Australia) This
natural soil dwelling bacterium once ingested by the caterpillars produces toxins which
paralyse their digestive system causing them to stop feeding. They die within a few days.
A 4 year crop rotation
plan is the best cure for root knot nematode. They do not prosper when
their host plant is removed to another bed, and after 4 years, their
effectiveness as a plant pathogen is substantially reduced.
applications of aerated compost tea boost the natural defences of
plants by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
They defend the plant against airborne pests and diseases.
proper soil preparation including regular applications of home made
compost boosts the community of beneficial
microbes, which defend the plants roots against plant pathogens.
Exclusion netting stops birds digging up worms in your Ecobed, and takes the edge off hot sunshine with a 20% shade factor.