Cabbage And Radish Soaked In The Snow You Haven’t Seen

Chinese cabbage is very tolerant to cold but it takes a little planning to get it to thrive in the full cold of winter. There are a few tricks on how to grow winter cabbage. What is winter cabbage? These are late season varieties of cabbage, but with a little protection, keeping cabbages over winter is possible for most types. If you love cabbage, winter growing varieties will provide the fresh flavor well into the cold season.

How to Grow Winter Cabbage

Sow seeds directly into a prepared bed in midsummer. Some gardeners might wonder when to plant winter cabbage. As long as you wait until midsummer, you can sow anytime until late summer or even early fall in mild climates. Seeds will germinate in temperatures as low as 40 degrees F. (4 C.). Successively sow every week for a crop that will last through the winter. Winter cabbage cultivation is the same as early season cabbage. Care must be taken not to get the young leaves exposed to frost or they will wither and die.
Winter crops need less frequent irrigation since most of their moisture is supplied by nature. Be careful that the area is not overly soggy and drains well. Cabbages that are in boggy soil tend to split.

Sow seeds directly into a prepared bed in midsummer

Provide protection from cold

Most cabbages can survive light frosts, but when temperatures dip below 20ºF this can damage them. If you live in an area where the temperature gets this cold, plan to protect your plants. Floating row covers can protect plants from frost and increase temperatures a little under the cover.
For frost protection, choose a heavyweight cover. Make sure the sides are weighted down and the ends gathered to provide maximum protection against the elements. Cold frames and low tunnels are other options to protect cabbage from extreme cold.

Provide protection from cold

Harvest Tips

Cabbage is ready to harvest when the heads are full and firm. Cabbages can be harvested even if they appear frost damaged. Simply peel back damaged leaves until you reach the healthy ones inside.
As an added bonus, light frosts can actually increase the sweetness of these hardy vegetables.

High yielding Chinese cabbage grown in the snow

Storage Tips

One of my favorite things about cabbage is that it’s easy to store, and lasts a long time. Once you’ve harvested your heads, they will keep for up to three months in a root cellar. If you don’t have a root cellar, they will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. I’ve found the best storage method is to place heads in a plastic bag on a shelf.

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