I know it’s a bit early in the season, but the weather has been so mild that I went ahead and planted out my broccoli and cabbage plants today, and plan to plant my kale tomorrow. This also means that two of my four raised beds are fully planted!
Last year, our broccoli didn’t produce large heads, although we did get many small heads. I believe that was due to my planting them too close together. This year, I’m giving them much more space. I’ve never grown cabbage before, but I know they need a lot of space. I figured 8 plants staggered in each 4×3 foot area would work well.
Since I grew my plants in cups, the first step was to get them out. The easiest way to do this is to hold the cup upside-down and squeeze lightly. The plants should pop right out.
You then have a mass of soil and roots. Just wiggle it and work gently with your finger to separate them plants.
The key thing here is to be gentle with the roots. Transplanting causes a lot of stress on a plant in any case, and if they go into shock you may well kill them. Poke a nice, deep hole in the ground, and settle the plants into them, so that the leaves are just above the soil.
I had to be a bit ruthless here, because I planted more seeds than my garden could handle. By planting only the best seedlings, you can increase the health of your garden. The remaining seedlings were planted in a large pot, so I can use them if I lose any in my garden.
Since cabbage and broccoli are closely related, I want to try to prevent movement of pests across the bed. I will do this by planting a band of chives in the middle of the raised bed. I have already planted a band of arugula seeds as well.
And this is what it looks like now!
~The Homesteading Hippy