First attempt at red cabbage

My neighbour told me her way of cooking red cabbage—slice finely, steam gently till soft, add a dash of balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of raw sugar. I tried it, liked it and thought: I’ve got to grow this.

It wasn’t a great success.

I sowed seed of the variety Red Acre from Eden Seeds in December last year and eventually put two seedlings into a wicking box :


They grew pretty well for some weeks and then one died. The other one developed a small head which stayed that way for months, so I got fed up and picked it yesterday.

After taking off the coarse outer leaves, I got this :


Taking off off the not-so-coarse inner leaves, I was left with this :


Oops! That’s a little Badge Huntsman spider lurking in there (brief pause while I return him/her to the garden).

What was left was no bigger than a baseball! :


I cut it in half and after discarding 2 worms and a slug (not considered significant enough for a photo), this was the sum total of 6 months work :


Enough for one meal, but like I said, not a great success.

Back to the drawing board.

10 Responses to “First attempt at red cabbage”

  1. Bek Says:

    I too struggle with red cabbage. I have a couple growing which I sowed seed for in late Jan, and they are just starting to heart up. I’ll see how they go, but I’m not at all confident I’ll get a crop.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I’ll keep trying. I’m thinking lots of nitrogen, to make leaves. Will sow more seed this summer and maybe try a different variety.


  2. notsomethingelse Says:

    Good on you for having a go. Always remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Everything that you do now is adding to your sum of knowledge which one day may save your life and even now is greater than many of us have accumulated.

    Right now is the time for learning. It is not yet a life or death thing. One day it may be that. So, keep on experimenting and trying new things. It will pay off.

    Meanwhile, your efforts are inspiring others.


  3. rabidlittlehippy Says:

    I know brassicas are very heavy feeders. My red cabbages did ok but were also small. My white cabbages did much better but not sure if that’s variety or sheer dumb luck.


  4. narf77 Says:

    My mum used to pickle red cabbage and serve it with rich foods. I remember jars of it on the table. I guess you first have to have enough cabbage to pickle eh? 😉 Oh well, back to the drawing board and story of our lives eh? 😉


  5. Chris Says:

    I’m glad you said it was a spider, as I thought you had some hairy caterpillars. That would have been a shame if it was, because you’d have an even smaller cabbage to eat!

    At least you gave it a try though. If you get better success with a different variety of cabbage, and you have limited space, then its a good decision to leave out the poor performers. I’m trying savoy cabbage for the first time this year, and its a slow grower! Maybe that has a little to do with the fact its winter, lol. Although our days are starting to warm up consistently now.

    I can still feel my skin glowing from the sun I received, while outdoors today.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Yes, I think the idea is to only grow the slower things if you have the space. As the oil crisis hits and industrially-grown food becomes in short supply, people will want yields in the shortest time possible. Cabbages will disappear from small home gardens in favour of quick-growing greens.


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