Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cabbage varieties

 Varieties

            There are many varieties of cabbage based on shape and time of maturity. Cabbages grown late in autumn and in the beginning of winter are called coleworts; their leaves do not form a compact head."Colewort" may also refer to a young cabbage. The word comes from Latin caulis  and Old English wyrt . A drumhead cabbage has a rounded, flattened head. An oxheart cabbage has an oval or conical head. A pickling cabbage, such as the red-leafed cabbage, is especially suitable for pickling; krautman is the most common variety for commercial production of sauerkraut. Red cabbage is a small, round-headed type with dark red leaves. Savoy cabbage has a round, compact head with crinkled and curled leaves.Winter cabbage will survive the winter in the open in mild regions such as the southern United States; the name is also used for Savoy cabbage. Other traditional varieties include white cabbage, "Late Flat Dutch", "Early Jersey Wakefield"  and "Danish Ballhead" .

 Red Cabbage


The red cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra) is a sort of cabbage, also known as 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 called anthocyanin (flavin). On acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish 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 blue in basic solutions. It can be found in Northern Europe, throughout the Americas, and in China.

Uses


Red cabbage is often used for salads and coleslaw. This vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked.


Cultivation


It is recommended to start red cabbage seeds indoors 4 weeks before the last frost. Sow in containers that allow for movement of water through the bottom of a cell. Popular seedling starting containers are peat pots, egg cartons, plug trays or milk cartons. Once the seedlings grow to about 2 inches tall, and have developed their first leaves, they can be hardened off and moved outside for transplanting. Red cabbage prefers climates that remain moist and cool for most of its vegetative growth stage, so they can be placed in the ground shortly after the last frost, while the spring is still cool. The cabbage plants can be spaced about 12-26 inches from one another. They will need watering often but are otherwise low maintenance plants

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