View from above of a spring cabbage.

How to Plant Spring Cabbage in Your Garden

Spring cabbage is ready in late spring, earlier if grown as spring greens, when other crops are just getting going. Give it a sheltered position to help it survive the winter.

When to start: Late summer.

At their best: Spring.

Time to complete: 30 minutes sowing; 1 hour planting.

You will need: Spring cabbage seed, seed soil, pot, modular seed trays, dibber or garden trowel.

Sow in modular tray

You can either sow seed directly in the soil and thin the plants later, or sow in pots and transplant into modules, planting the seedlings out once they have five leaves each. Water the soil well first.

Plant out

Position plants 12 in (30 cm) apart for smaller spring greens; 18 in (45 cm) apart if you want fully-hearted cabbages. Do not add fertilizer—it encourages soft leafy growth, and your cabbages need to be tough to withstand the winter. In late autumn, mound up the soil around the stems to protect the plants during bad weather. Spring greens can be harvested as soon as they are big enough to eat, while fully-hearted cabbages will be ready during the last month of spring.

Tips: Repeat cropping

To harvest a succession of spring greens, start cutting in early spring, before the plants form hearts, cutting away the entire leafy part but leaving the stalk. Cut a cross in the top of the leftover stalks. This encourages the plant to sprout again, and produce a second flush of leaves, which you can then harvest. Do this to alternate plants in the row, leaving the others to form cabbages with rounded hearts.