To Pick or Not to Pick – That is the Question!

This cabbage is testing my patience!  Actually the 5 others I have growing that have not even reached this stage are more annoying but this one is causing me to have the most self restraint.

You see it has a heart and I could harvest it.  But then its grown so much in the past week that perhaps I should leave it to get a bit bigger…. But then I really want to know what it tastes like…But then if it tastes really good I might regret not letting it get bigger so I’d have more of it.  This is what it look liked 6 days ago:

I planted out cabbages as seedlings in mid April once I finally got rid of the pumpkin from the bed.  Little did I know quite how long they would take to mature…..

By the 3rd June they looked like this:

By the end of June they had got a bit bigger:

They grew and grew over winter, by the end of September they looked huge, but heartless.

Even on the 11th October there wasn’t really much to see:

But now, now one of them has a heart, albeit a small one, and I could pick it.  But should I?

I hope it tastes nice…….

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10 Responses to To Pick or Not to Pick – That is the Question!

  1. Diana says:

    Your cabbage is forming really nicely. I don’t have luck with winter cabbage this year. They form heart and quickly sprout flower stalk. This is the first time it happen to us. So I am also trying to restrain myself from pulling out the ones that still growing but not yet forming heart.

  2. Frogdancer says:

    I grew heaps of cabbage this winter. I still have 3 red cabbages in the garden bed… one’s been gnawed at by something but the other two are fine. We’ve been discovering the taste of red cabbage… just lovely!

    By the way, I’ve noticed you talk a lot about watercress here and I wondered what the attraction was. The name sounds like all it would taste of is water, presumably with a bit of a crunch. Friday I was at a new-to-me nursery and I saw punnets of watercress so I sneaked a leaf. Wow! I now own one. Before I plant it somewhere, does it go well in the ground in a normal garden bed or should I look at creating (another) wicking tub? It’s perennial, right?

    • Liz says:

      I grow mine in the ground, although strictly speaking it is an aquatic plant (hence the water in its name). You do need to ensure its gets a good supply of water so a wicking tub might be a good idea. It spreads out heaps so despite it being perennial I tend to grow it as an annual, primarily in our winter as I find it easiest to keep the water up to it then. The watercress in my garden is currently flowering and I do let it self seed so it comes up where it likes when it likes. Taking cuttings are as easy as picking a bit off the plant and replanting it and it will grow. I have container grown it in polystyrene tubs before and as long as you cut it back hard after flowering (it gets really raggedy when in flower) and keep the water coming it can be treated as a perennial (the biggest issue with treating it as a perenial is giving it space to grow into as its the new growth that tastes nice).

  3. I would never have the patience to wait any longer. I say pick and cook something really delicious with it, so that way even if you only have a little one at least it can be savoured. I actually had some success with cabbages last year – the only winter veg that didn’t either succumb to the pests or bolt to seed. Enjoy and I hope the others heart soon for you.

  4. If it has a nice solid heart and is big enough to get a couple of meals out of it then I’d pick it – the others may catch up soon

  5. Jo says:

    Vegetables are so gorgeous, those purple veins against the green leaves look stunning.
    No advice as to pick/don’t pick, sorry 🙂

  6. Liz says:

    Thanks Jo. Its interesting they have got more purple as they’ve got older. I think I preferred the colours of the younger plants but the current colour is very good for spotting caterpillars on.

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