The red cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra) is a sort of cabbage, also known as purple cabbage, red kraut, or blue kraut after preparation. Its leaves are coloured dark red/purple. However, the plant changes its colour according to the pH value of the soil, due to a pigment belonging to anthocyanins (flavins). In acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish, in neutral soils they will grow more purple, while an alkaline soil will produce rather greenish-yellow coloured cabbages. This explains the fact that the same plant is known by different colours in various regions. Furthermore, the juice of red cabbage can be used as a home-made pH indicator, turning red in acid and green/yellow in basic solutions. It can be found in Northern Europe, throughout the Americas, and in China.
Raw cabbage is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. Red cabbage has twice the vitamin C of green cabbage. One serving provides ¾ of the daily requirements of vitamin C which helps maintain healthy skin. It is full of other essential vitamins and minerals to put the rosy red color in your children‘s cheeks!
Sun: Full Sun
Optimum Soil Ph: 7.0
Days To Maturity: 75
Sowing Method: Indoors
Start spring seedlings 4-5 weeks before transplanting. Start fall transplants 2-3 months before first frost. Transplant out to the garden when 3” tall at least 90 days before your first frost in midsummer. When transplanting, enrich soil with a little blood and bone meal. Needs cool temperatures to head properly – will bolt in heat. Keeping soil evenly moist is a must for a healthy crop.
Set out your spring cabbage transplants early enough so that they can mature before the heat of summer, about 5 weeks before the last frost. For a longer cabbage harvest plant 2 or 3 varieties with different maturities.
Soil: Surprisingly heirloom organic cabbage will do well on heavy clay soil, although it prefers a rich heavy loam. It delights in copious amounts of composted manure mixed into the soil bed. Remember not to plant cabbage seed in the same place year to year. The soil pH should be between 6.0 and 7.5 for optimum growth and to discourage clubroot disease.
Heirloom seeds are hardy but always take care with your garden seeds to give them the appropriate amount of moisture – not letting the vegetable seeds dry out prematurely or overwatering and possibly having them rot.