Cabbage, Charleston Wakefield

  Cabbage, Charleston Wakefield

Heirloom. Organic. Introduced by Peter Henderson & Company in 1892.  Charleston Wakefield produces a larger head than other Wakefield Cabbages, with each head weighing about 4 to 6 pounds.  Charleston Wakefield has a short season, stores well and performs for those in the South. This is my favorite of the Wakefield type cabbages. It is about three times the size (4+ lbs) and about a week later (72 days)than the Jersey Wakefield. The cone (heart) shaped head is broader at the base than the Jersey. For a medium early old fashioned boiling cabbage it can't be beat. This cabbage, like others, is a good source of vitamins and easy to grow. A vintage favorite with big heads and big flavor. Outstanding performer in the South. In the 19th century, cabbage was a delicious fixture on American dinner tables. This longtime favorite has lost none of its flavor.

Planting Charleston Wakefield Cabbage

While starting seeds of the Charleston Wakefield Cabbage is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful. Sow Charleston Wakefield Cabbage seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or start in containers several weeks before transplanting into soil. Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position.  Heirloom / Open Pollinated Charleston Wakefield Cabbage are cool weather loving plants that prefer well drained loose soil and an even amount of water. Plant heirloom Charleston Wakefield Cabbage in rows or hills but make sure the soil is well warmed. In cooler climates, you can start Lettuce seeds indoors 2-4 wks. before last frost to extend the growing season. Plant seeds ½ - 1" deep. Plant seeds or set out heirloom Cabbage transplants in full sun. For rows plant 12" apart, in rows 10-12” apart. For hills plant 4-6 seeds per hill, in 1’ diameter hills, with hills 10-12” apart. Germination should occur in 5-10 days in soil 70-85°F. In hills thin to 2 plants per hill. In rows thin plants to or set out transplants 24-36" apart.

Height: 10 inch balls Spacing: 10-12" inches, 12 inches between rows Depth: 1/2  inch Germination: 10-21 days

Starting from Seed Indoors

Generally, the time to start your seeds is about 2-3 weeks before the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after that date. Another way to figure is to plan on setting out sturdy seedlings in the garden when night temperatures stay in the mid-50 degree range both day and night. Count back and sow seeds 2 to 3 weeks before that date normally arrives. Place a few seeds (5 to 10) into each pot and push them into the soil with your finger. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/2 inches of the potting mix. Mist each  pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 10 to 21 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 4 to 6 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. Place a pot in the hole center and level so that your seedling is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Push dirt in carefully all the way to fill the hole back up. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem.

Direct-seeding into the Garden

Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the area. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/2 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 6 to 8 inches in rows approximately 8-12 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/2 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for the Cabbage plants is approximately 10 to 21 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.   

Germination Problems

Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted.  Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others.  We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors.  Good luck.