Life-cycle of Cabbage

cabbage seedsFrank and I love cabbage in pretty much every way it can be eaten – especially stuffed cabbage leaves, fried cabbage, in a stir fry and as sauerkraut.

A couple of years ago Frank was spurred on by the high price of sauerkraut in Australia to try to make his own. After a quick phone call to his mother he was armed with a recipe. After a dollar handed across to his green grocer, he was supplied with the ingredients (I’m not counting the salt and caraway seeds which are always in the cupboard). One month later we had sauerkraut.

cabbage tubThis year, for whatever reason, cabbage is costing more like $5 a head. Enter Laura. Today I sowed 4 seeds in a tub filled with soil, cow manure, sand, a bit of fertiliser and a few water crystals. Hopefully we’ll have our own head of cabbage soon.

Cabbages should grow all year round, they take about 3-4 months to mature and so I’m thinking in a tub like this I can get 3 or 4 heads a year – about matching our sauerkraut consumption.

sauerkraut pot

fermenting sauerkraut

But we don’t want to wait 4 months for our next batch of sauerkraut so on Friday we chopped up a head and put up a pot. On the left is our sauerkraut pot. On the right you can see the fermentation process starting after only about 40 hours. The pot will be stored under the house for the next few weeks.

The last step in our cabbage’s life-cycle is eating (not pictured – we have to wait for the kraut to finish). My favourite use for sauerkraut is in Szegediner goulash – that’s normal goulash with sauerkraut cooked in it, all served on homemade steamed bread. Yummmmm.

If this planting produces a nice head of cabbage, I may get another tub going to satisfy our other cabbage cravings. I’m certainly not going to dedicate a garden bed to cabbages. They need a lot of space and one of my little beds would be filled with 3 cabbages leaving no space for anything else. Besides with the pot we may be able to help lessen the heat stress by moving our summer cabbage into a more shady spot. I really don’t see cabbage doing well in 35 degree sun.

 Now it’s just an exercise in patience….

Update 5 July: 3 of the seeds have sprouted. Here we go.


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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1 Response to Life-cycle of Cabbage

  1. Pingback: Sauerkraut Salad | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

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