Latin Name: Brassica oleracea var. capitata
Item #: 55A
LATE STORAGE CABBAGE - for fresh market & processing
1/4 lb/113 g of seed produces an acre of transplants Direct seed at 1 lb/454 g per acre. Approx. 6,000 - 8,000 seeds per oz/28 g
CULTURE: For proper head maturity, sow red types in the greenhouse or cold frames in late April and transplant in June. Green long storage types should be sown in seed beds outdoors May 20th - June 1st and transplanted 5 or 6 weeks later. Short term green storage types should be sown 1 week later, June 10th and transplanted in early July for late Sept./Oct. harvests. The long storage types are slow growers but triple their size in the fall.
TIMING: This is a critical grower responsibility which can ruin a crop of the best hybrid storage cabbage. If you sow a 95 day and a 110 day cabbage the same day early in May, it could force the 95 day variety to mature 45 days too early from transplants or two months too early from direct field seeding. The 110 day type would be all right from field seeding but may be too early to store from transplants. For each day that you shift your sowing date in the spring - it will cause a 3 day change in fall harvest.
DIRECT SEEDING: Although some growers still attempt to direct seed a small percentage of storage cabbage, it is quite risky due to soil compaction or "crusting" depending on soil type and heavy rains after seeding. If crusting occurs it will delay or cause irregular seedling emergence, which in turn causes a wide variation in harvest dates in the fall. Use transplants for storage types. Never direct seed in clay/loam soils.
SEEDING: should be completed by the above dates using either method at 0.5-0.75 in/13-19 mm deep (2 seeds per in/26 mm); rows 3-3.5 ft/91-106 cm apart. Thin seedlings or transplant 18-24 in/46-61 cm apart in the rows.
FERTILIZE: Sandy soils with 650 lbs/292 kg of 5-20-20 per acre/.405 ha., worked into the soil during early May before transplanting or sowing. Side dress lightly with the same 15 days after plants are established and once a month there after, until 4 weeks before harvest depending on wet weather.
CULTIVATION: Green keeping types should be hilled-up like potatoes to prevent top heavy plants from falling over before harvest.
CABBAGE LOOPERS: Control must be started no later than July 15th with weekly applications of spray until 10 days before harvest.
STRESS/BOLTING TO SEED: Even though storage cabbage is classed as a biennial and is slower growing than other cabbage, it will show premature stages of bolting if plants are severely stressed by extreme drought, sudden release of nitrogen or weed controls, or heavy July/August rains and flooding, just as the plants begin to head.
HARVEST: During late Oct. and Nov. sort heads to size, small for fresh market, medium for cole slaw, cabbage rolls, large for sauerkraut.
STORAGE: Discard damaged heads, diseased leaves etc. to prevent rot. Store in complete darkness at 32°F/0°C with relative humidity of 90% and good air circulation. Commercial growers should fill pallet bins to a depth of only 4.5 ft/137 cm, forcing air through the fork lift holes, for ventilation. The use of C02 gas improves color. Trim excess leaves just before serving.