Good Gardening: Cabbage

Oct 7, 2019

Credit John Fischer / KLCC

Master Gardener John Fischer here with KLCC's Good Gardening. Sometimes careful planning, and benign neglect can produce the same results in your garden.  Having grown cabbage for many years, I know that leaving the base of the plant in the ground after harvesting the head of cabbage will allow three to five cute little "single serving" cabbages to grow where the first head was cut off.

 I plan on a double harvest off of each plant, so I  leave enough room to assure the plants will get all the sun, water, and nutrients they need to produce the second crop. If you rushed out to your garden, and sliced off the first big cabbage in June for an emergency coleslaw preparation, and left the base of the plant in the ground, go back out there, pull off the squash vines and giant cherry tomatoes that have overrun the cabbage patch, and see if you have seconds.  I like to use the second cabbage sliced thin in a green salad, for part of a hearty vegetable soup, as a stir fry ingredient, or for a relaxed batch of coleslaw.  But the best use for cabbage- take 2- is sauerkraut.  The benefit. of fresh fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut,  is well known.  Processed foods don't have the pro-biotics of raw fermented foods.  And since kraut ferments best in cooler weather, you can make a new batch now, and have live kraut that will last until next springs cabbage is ready.  Sauerkraut is easy to make.   A good first batch can be made in a wide mouth mason jar.  You don't need a fermentation lock- I don't use one for my kraut-, but there are inexpensive units, and make the process even easier.

Credit John Fischer / KLCC

  I have attached the sauerkraut instructions from the master food preserver group if you want to try a tried and true recipe, but there are variations with less salt that are safe too.  I'm going out to the garden now to do something for the cabbage.  Thank you .  Thank you. Copyright KLCC, 2019