The Cabbage Guide

18 May 2020
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So you have your garden ready and maybe you are a cabbage lover. It’s a good green to have even in the summer but production should be just as easy in these chilly times as it would be in the summer. Maybe even better.

Today, we have a few pointers to share on your gardening journey with a focus on cabbage. The vegetable is largely and diversely consumed and you could have it in your garden for the same reasons. You get to make some coleslaw salads, add to your Asian stir-fry recipes for that fragrant rice and noodles. Bringing it down to how we usually have it in Africa you could decide to cook it up and sere with some warm Pap and fried beef. All these are delicious meals we all care about and might see ourselves cooking soon wit hour produce.

But before you can get dreaming about those and calling out your African Genie to wish away your garden full of cabbage there are a few things to note. Firstly, some dreams don’t need a genie but a little bit of tact and work to make them a reality. Your garden is already proof of all this because you have been putting in some good work to where it is now. Secondly, you need to know, ahead of yourself that cabbage is considered a heavy feeder, both on nutrition and water, so serve it well. A healthy dose of nitrogen based fertiliser or some chicken manure will do you and your cabbage crop good. A cup full of the manure and/or a tea spoon of the fertiliser will be a good start.

As you continue with your watering and feeding of your cabbage, and watching it fold into a massive ball of healthy vitamins and good taste, you won’t be alone. Just as there are thieves out there eyeing out everything you have there are pests eyeing out your cabbage. There is one particular tyrant you need to look out for, the Diamond Back Moth or Cabbage Moth. It is a dreadful pest that can turn your cabbage into a compost pit candidate before you even eat it. It’s so small that the adult stage is smaller than a centimeter long and has a diamond like shape on its back when the wings are closed. Greyish-brown in colour, you may mistake it for a harmless moth or butterfly but please don’t.

It’s most destructive stage is however the larvae or worm stage. This worm starts off almost invisible to the eye with a near clear or white colour. As it eats up your green, healthy cabbage it turns light green in colour and continues it’s growth path. It doesn’t take it too long to get to the pupae stage where it will evolve into an adult moth restart the cycle meaning it’s increasing in number. The adults mate, lay eggs inside your cabbage leaves and the whole process repeats itself every 30 or so days. To avoid all this, take note of the descriptions shared and look out for the moth.

There are some biological ways of combating these but too much for a home garden so since you have only a few cabbage plants growing in yours, just stay on the lookout and hand pick the moths or the larvae and throw them out. Enjoy!