If you love cabbage but live in a region with a short growing season, try growing Red Express cabbage. Red Express cabbage seeds yield open-pollinated red cabbage perfect for your favorite coleslaw recipe. The following article contains Red Express cabbage growing info.
Red Express Cabbage Info
As mentioned, Red Express cabbage seeds yield recently developed open-pollinated red cabbages that live up to their name. These beauties are ready to harvest in as little as 60 to 63 days from sowing your seeds. The split resistant heads weigh in at about 2 to 3 pounds (about 1 kg.) and were specifically developed for northern gardeners or those with a short growing season.
How to Grow Red Express Cabbages
Red Express cabbage seeds can be started indoors or outside. Start seeds grown indoors four to six weeks prior to the last frost in your area. Use a soilless mix and sow seeds just barely below the surface. Place the seeds on a heating mat with set temperatures of between 65 to 75 degrees F. (18-24 C.). Provide the seedlings with direct sun or 16 hours of artificial light per day and keep them moist.
Seeds for this cabbage will germinate within 7 to 12 days. Transplant when the seedlings have their first few sets of true leaves and a week before the last frost. Prior to transplanting, harden the plants off little by little over the course of a week in a cold frame or greenhouse. After a week, transplant into a sunny area with well-draining, compost rich soil.
Keep in mind that when growing Red Express, the heads are quite compact and can be spaced closer together than other varieties. Space plants 15 to 18 inches (38-46 cm.) apart in rows that are 2 to 3 feet (61-91 cm.) apart. Cabbages are heavy feeders, so along with a well amended soil, fertilize the plants with fish or seaweed emulsion. Also, when growing Red Express cabbage, keep the beds consistently moist.
This cabbage variety is ready to harvest when the head feels solid, about 60 days or so from sowing. Cut the cabbage from the plant and wash well. Red Express cabbage can keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.