Sunday, January 15, 2012

winter time cabbage

Snow is in the forecast this week and it looks like it's going to get cold.  This winter has been quite mild so far except for a wee frosty spell in November when we had a dusting of snow.  This is one of the red cabbages back then.

And after the snow melted.  Such a striking colour in the winter garden landscape.  I think every coastal flower garden needs a few of these for the winter time!  They'll stay happy outside through quite a bit of west coast cold and snow. 

The little slugs that live in the garden at this time of year really like to snuggle in with the cabbages.  They hide between the outer leaves and create spots that are pretty darned unattractive when you look closely.

But a few leaves removed and they become beautiful, tender, sweet cabbages.  Jewel-like in colour with not a blemish on them.  Ready to look gorgeous on the kitchen counter....and in a yummy, good-for-ya salad.

Did you know that if you harvest a cabbage in the summer and leave the plant in the ground, it'll begin to grow new little cabbages at all the remaining leaf nodes?  My Mom taught me this.  They look a bit like brussels sprouts which makes sense of course, since they're related.  But they get much bigger and I like that they're ready in time for winter meals. This is a second growth cabbage I harvested in November.  Isn't it cute?...and oh so tender and delicious.  A really fun thing to do and it feels so efficient and frugal too.  Getting the most from my cabbage plant.....the plant that keeps on might want to plan to try it this year!

If you try this and your garden is like mine and has lots of little slugs, don't be deterred by them.  They're just on the outside : )  This is the plant I cut that cabbage from.  See the little slug, I removed him.

Quite a pretty plant with all it's baby cabbages...if you'd like, you can remove some of them to give  a couple some more space to grow larger.

This is a January King cabbage that my Mom grew.  It's a favourite to grow for overwintering.  Very hardy and is just as eye-catching as the red cabbages with it's burgundy and pink outer leaves and veins.

Another photo of my Mom's garden in SW Ontario, early winter.  Lacinato or Tuscan kale and RedBor kale.   Two more gorgeous and edible winter landscape plants of the cruciferous family for the garden!
I see that I posted about yummy winter cabbage salad two years ago around the very same time of year. I'm envious of that year tho', I had carrots and beets in the ground for the winter too!   Not this year.  Every year is different.
Looking through some of my photos, I found some summer time red cabbage snapshots from a few years ago.  So beautiful in the summer too!  These photos make me want to go plant some cabbage asap!!

Planted at the foot of a scarlet runner bean teepee with tangerine gem marigolds, peas in front and lettuce behind....and green cabbages in the far background.

Red cabbage and fuchsia red roses are a beautiful combo.

A few along a pathway.

Young red cabbage plants are beautiful in the flower garden with lady's mantle blooming throughout.  Time to dream and scheme about next summer's garden : )

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