September 1, 2007
Plant of the Week
As mentioned previous times in the past, we are very fortunate in Central and South Texas to vegetable garden 10 to 11 months of the year. Many of you started as early as the Fourth of July weekend with fresh fall Extension recommended tomato transplants. Fresh pepper and eggplant transplants should have also already replaced the tired spring ones for this year’s second waive of fall vegetables.
Last week, we talked about the Newest 2007 Texas SuperStar, ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli. For more information, click here: http://agrilife.org/bexarcounty/programs/horticulture-gardening/welcome-to-our-horticulture-archives-of-weekly-articles-davids-plant-of-the-week/green-magic-broccoli/.
This week’s plant-of-the-week fits in just fine for the fall vegetable garden. A fall vegetable garden would not be complete if you didn’t grow any cabbage.
Cabbage is a hardy vegetable that grows especially well in fertile soils. There are various shades of green available, as well as red or purple types. Head shape varies from the standard round to flattened or pointed. Most varieties have smooth leaves, but the Savoy types have crinkly textured leaves.
Cabbage is easy to grow if you select suitable varieties and practice proper culture and insect management. Always regarded as a good source of vitamins, cabbage recently has been shown to have disease-preventive properties as well.
The cabbage that Extension Horticulturists recommend as a transplant for this part of the state is called ‘Cheers.’
Like all other vegetable plants, ‘Cheers’ cabbage requires a minimum of eight hours of sunlight. It prefers a soil that is fertile, well-drained, medium textured, and a pH range of 6.0 – 7.5; releatively well adapted to heavy soils, but poorly adapted to light sands.
For example, if you plant a 10 foot linear role of ‘Cheers’ cabbage, the row should be at least 18-24 inches wide. Incorporate at every seasonal planting at least two inches of an aged manure compost (roller tilling is not always needed, just work in with a grubbing hole). Fertilize within two weeks of initial planting with two-to-three pounds of an organic 4-2-3 analysis incorporated into the planting area with the manure compost.
Fertility is a must. Plants should be side-dressed with a supplemental slow release granulated fertilizer every 10 to 14 days after initial planting with one cup of 19-5-9 analysis per every 10 linear planting feet. Fertilizer should be watered in throughly. Since ‘Cheers’ cabbage is like other vegetable varieties as being heavy feeders and short term crops; usually heads are harvested within 75 days.
Ideally a 10 foot planting row would hold up to six plants every 18 inches from center.
Cole crops such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprout that are planted now should be dusted at initial planting and every 7-10 days with Dipel dust to prevent and minimize cabbage looper caterpillars. If damage persists later from caterpillars, spray with liquid Bt worm killer in the late evening.
For a complete listing of Extension fall recommended vegetable varities for Central/South Texas click here: http://agrilife.org/bexarcounty/files/2011/12/FallVegetableVarietiesRev07-08.pdf.
Remember, Learn and Have Fun!
David Rodriguez is County Extension Agent-Horticulture, Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener ‘Hotline’ at (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu, click under Horticulture and Gardening.