By: Laura Miller
If you’re looking for a variety of heirloom cabbage plants,you might want to consider growing Charleston Wakefield. Although theseheat-tolerant cabbages can be grown in almost any climate, Charleston Wakefieldcabbage was developed for southern United States gardens.
This variety of heirloom cabbage was developed in the 1800’son Long Island, New York and sold to F. W. Bolgiano seed company. Charleston Wakefieldcabbages produce large, dark green, cone-shaped heads. At maturity, the headsaverage 4 to 6 lbs. (2 to 3 kg.), the largest of the Wakefield varieties.
Charleston Wakefield cabbage is a fast-growing variety whichmatures in as little as 70 days. After harvest, this variety of cabbage storeswell.
In warmer climates, Charleston Wakefield can be planted inthe fall to overwinter in the garden. In cooler climates, spring planting isrecommended. Like most cabbageplants, this variety is moderately tolerant of frost.
Cabbage can be started indoors 4-6 weeks before the lastfrost. Charleston Wakefield cabbages can also be seeded directly into a sunnyarea of the garden in late spring or early fall depending upon the climate.(Soil temperatures between 45- and 80-degrees F. (7 and 27 C.) promotegermination.)
Plant seeds ¼ inch (1 cm.) deep in a seed-startingmix or rich, organic garden soil. Germination can take between one and threeweeks. Keep young seedlings moist and apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
After danger of frost has passed, transplantseedlings into the garden. Space these heirloom cabbage plants at least 18inches (46 cm.) apart. To prevent disease, it’s recommended to plant cabbage ina different location from previous years.
Charleston Wakefield cabbages generally grow 6- to 8-inch(15 to 20 cm.) heads. The cabbage is ready for harvest around 70 days when theheads feel firm to the touch. Waiting too long can result in the headssplitting.
To prevent damaging the head during harvest, use a knife tocut the stem at soil level. Smaller heads will then grow from the base as longas the plant isn’t pulled.
Cabbage can be consumed raw or cooked. Harvestedcabbage heads can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks orseveral months in a root cellar.
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Caribbean Queen Cabbage is a hybrid, tropical-style cabbage with a massive, flattened head. Easier to slice and process. Great for making wraps, slaw, soups, sauerkraut and more! Brassica oleracea var capitata. 80 days to maturity.
100 seeds per packet
Caribbean Queen is a hybrid, tropical style cabbage that produces massive heads. Tropical cabbages are slightly flattened compared to a traditional round cabbage. This makes them easier to cut and process for making slaw, soups, stir-fries, etc. The flatter leaves also make this a variety a great option for wraps. Caribbean Queen produces large cabbage heads that are great consumed raw or cooked. It can also be used for fermenting applications and making some of the best sauerkraut you’ve had. Leaves are pale green with a nice, crunchy texture.
Cabbage will grow best in areas where weeds are kept to a minimum. Cabbage is moderately frost-tolerant and performs better when planted in cooler weather. Cabbage will tend to bolt in warmer temperatures. Plant cabbage early in spring for a late spring/early summer harvest, or plant in late summer/early fall for a fall harvest. Cabbage are heavy feeders and require a considerable amount of nitrogen for larger heads. For best results, inject or soil drench with a balanced fertilizer at least once every two weeks. If smaller heads are desired, less fertilizer will be adequate.
Caribbean Queen may be direct-seeded or transplanted, although we suggest transplanting. Transplanting allows for more consistent plant spacing and prevents seedlings from competing with weeds in the early stages of the plant. We recommend starting transplants 3-4 weeks before the desired outdoor planting date. Carribean Cabbage transplants grow great in our heavy-duty seed starting trays, where they develop a solid root ball with roots that are trained to grow downward. Plants are ready to go in the ground when they can be easily pulled from the cells in the seed starting tray.
With cabbages, you want to really think about spreading out the harvest times by growing early, mid, and late varieties. That way one planting can keep you in heads 3-4 months or more.
There are four basic types of cabbages:
Green Cabbage: solid, compact and long-storing. Best for slaws, kraut, and soups.
Red Cabbage: solid and compact like green cabbages, but with slightly smaller heads. Use like green cabbage, though it can color foods red or pink.
Savoy cabbage: ruffled, ridged leaves with yellow base and looser, smaller heads. Good for salads, stir fries, and braising.
Chinese cabbage: tall and upright like romaine lettuce, Napa or Chinese cabbage has a mild flavor perfect for salads and stir fries. It is the traditional cabbage for making Kimchi.
I have often used this cabbage mix from Pinetree Garden Seeds to grow a variety with one packet of seeds. If you have enough room, this may be a good option for you to get an extended harvest.
Cooking: For recipes and tips for preparing cabbage, view our "Pick it! Try it! Like it!" resources for Cabbage.
Nutrition Facts: One cup of raw cabbage can provide over half of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C and 85% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin K for adults. Cabbage also contains an array of antioxidants that may help decrease inflammation, while also being high in fiber, which can increase healthy bacteria in the gut. Other compounds in cabbage appear to have cancer-fighting abilities.