Cabbage ‘Regilius' F1 Hybrid - Red - Seed
Very tasty red cabbage!
Red cabbage seed requires no prior treatment but soaking them overnight in lukewarm water will encourage germination.
Cabbages grow quickly and will thrive in a moisture retaining soil that has been well fertilised in the winter.
In the garden, April-May.
Be aware that birds are very fond of cabbage seed! We therefore recommend sowing in the cold frame and only planting out your seedlings when they are quite big. Otherwise you will definitely have to take preventative measures to keep the birds off.
There are two ways to sow:
- In pots in the cold-frame from February through April. Use a fine seeding compost and plant one seed per pot. Cover to a max. of 1 cm, press lightly down and sprinkle with water. As the living room is really too warm, stand the pots in the cold-frame. Do not allow them to dry out and give them lots of room - put the pots so far apart that the leaves almost touch each other. Plant out from the end of April at 70 cm intervals in the row, with 70 cm between extra rows.
- Plant in the garden, preferably in full sun from April to May. The seedlings are quite frost resistant. Loosen the soil with a fork to at least 30 cm deep. Draw a straight furrow and sow a thin row of seed between thumb and forefinger (mix the seed with some dry sand). Cover with 1 cm soil, press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Label the row and plant extra rows 20 cm apart. A tunnel of chicken wire should protect the seedlings from the birds. Once the seedlings have four leaves you can thin them out and transplant them further up the row, or into pots. Keep those birds at bay!
Cabbages and cauliflower all belong in the same family (Brassicaceae or Cruciferea). Although they may look different, genetically speaking they are all practically identical and in Latin these edibles get the name 'Brassica oleracea'. The different varieties have all been selected and continually hybridised over the past 5,000 years. This cabbage falls under 'Brassica oleracea convar. capitata var. rubra' and is a bi-annual that generally bolts and sets seed in year two.
There are many varieties of cabbage - earlies, lates and those that can be sown year round. There are also varieties with more or less resistance to cold. Keep to the instructions on the packet to avoid problems - fast growers are often less hardy and unsuitable for harvesting in frost.
The red colouring in red cabbage comes from the pigment cyanidin which is activated depending on the ph value of the soil. So red cabbage is a good ph indicator - pink when the soil has a high ph, purple when it is neutral, blue when base level is achieved and it will even turn white when lower than base level. A squeeze of lemon or vinegar will help turn it more red.
Red cabbage is tastiest when fresh. It is delicious raw and will freeze well when cooked. A freshly harvested red cabbage will keep for several weeks in the fridge or a cold cellar.
A quick blanching makes cabbage suitable for use in salads but a short boil makes it even more tender and it's great when used in a rice dish. Loads of recipes call for cabbage of various colourings!
Water extra only in dry periods. White cabbages should be fertilised regularly throughout the season. Keep the bed weed-free and the cabbages will thrive.Harvesting
Pick your cabbages when they are just about fully grown. Cut the head of cabbage directly under the head, to free it from the stem. The remaining plant can be dug up and discarded.
Your pet rabbit will thank you for extra cabbage leaves.