Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ugly Cabbage

The cabbage patch is looking rather bedraggled lately. There's stubs and bugs and gaps and cracks...

Yes, the cabbages are starting to crack, this one spectacularly. This is the first time in my limited experience growing cabbages that I've had them crack. The cause is most likely uneven watering in the last few weeks. The main shutoff valve to the drip system in my garden broke in the "off" position a few weeks ago and the weather has been cycling between warm and dry and cold and not quite wet enough to water the garden, at least until the last storm system that came through. Cabbage will crack if it goes through a growth spurt caused by too much water after too little water and I do believe that that is what happened. Excess fertilizing when the heads are maturing can also cause them to crack, but that is probably not the problem here, I generally only apply fertilizer when I prepare the beds for planting and that was months ago. Although, I suppose that the cabbages may also be getting more nutrients because last week I severed some of the competing oak tree roots that continually invade that bed.

This head is not going to waste (or the chickens). I discovered it before it started to spoil and was able to rescue most of it. After trimming off the bad parts there was still 2 pounds of good cabbage. I used half of the head to make cabbage braised with Cowboy Sausage "G" Spot Italian Sausage (it has cocoa and red wine in it). I'll write up my cooking notes on that one shortly and put it on my recipe blog. Here it is.

Back to cracking cabbage, if you find your cabbages starting to misbehave you can slow things down by pruning their roots. Either use a spade to cut the roots around the plants or just grab the cabbage and give it a good twist to crack some of the roots. So, the valve is being repaired and I'll be needing to water the garden soon because the forecast is for highs in the 70's in the next few days. I think I am going to go "do the twist" with a few of the remaining cabbages.


  1. I've never grown cabbage before but looks interesting. The cowboy sausage looks delicious.

  2. I'm glad you got to rescue your cabbage. It looks delicious.

  3. That is really interesting about pruning the cabbage roots. I haven't had too manage cabbages misbehave but this is good to know. I wonder if it works on 2 year old boys....

  4. Thanks for the information, my cabbages are getting cracked here we have four days sunshine and three days rain every week for the past month.

  5. Cabbage and sausage looks delicious. I have to check on my cabbage in the tunnel, they are not forming solid heads, I think they are trying to bold.

  6. Good job salvaging the mostly usable portions of the split cabbage. I am totally jealous of your weather forecast! We are expecting highs in the mid 40's for the next few days - lows right at or slightly above freezing. Still relatively mild for late winter - but nothing like a shirt sleeve 70 degree day!

    1. KitsapFG, our weather has changed dramatically and the next few days will top out in the mid 40's to low 50's with a chance of snow showers at higher elevations. Brrr, I was so spoiled by our fling with spring.

  7. Tiffany @ No Ordinary HomesteadFebruary 27, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    I am pleasantly amazed of your creation... Ugly cabbage turns to yum! I love this idea. So glad to find your blog. I actually host a weekly gardening link up every Friday on my blog. I'd love for you to drop by and join in.


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