Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ornamental Cabbage in the Fall Garden

This year I decided to grow some ornamental cabbage from seed. I got a very late start...July to be I wasn't especially hopeful that my efforts would amount to much. Happily, the cabbage plants don't seem finicky about calendar dates. They have reached a fairly substantial size. The largest are more than a foot tall and more than a foot in diameter. The smallest aren't that much smaller. I grew the plants in my raised veggie beds. Today I moved them to the front yard garden where they are nestled in among the geranium "Rozanne."

The plants haven't developed the wildly colourful centres of pink, purple and white as seen on the seed pack (blame the late start) but there's still plenty of time in the growing season, especially since these guys don't mind the cold. Even without their colourful centres, the plants are quite bold in their appearance and add interest as "Rozanne" begins to wane. They are right up against the sidewalk so I hope the neighbours enjoy the view.

A trip to the garden centre to pick up some compost revealed that ornamental cabbages, similar in size to mine, are going for $10 or more each! That makes me feel pretty good about a seed pack I picked up for $1.69.

Update: I'v been doing some more research on ornamental cabbage and it turns out I planted the seeds at just about the right time. Most websites suggest planting anywhere between 6 and 10 weeks before the first anticipated hard frost. As for the brightly coloured centres of the plant, I can expect to see them as the temperature drops. Cooler days and nights enhance the colour of the cabbage. I thought I would be able to enjoy these plants until about Halloween, but it turns out they don't mind temperatures as low as 5F or -15C. That means there could be colour in the garden right until the end of the year! My $1.69 investment is looking better and better.


Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

What a good job you did cultivating them; and a super price. They're very pretty; I've never tried them myself but have always wanted to. Maybe I'll take a page out of your book.

Salix said...

Like you, I tried the ornamental cabbages from seed this year. I followed the seed package and sowed the seeds at what I thought was 10 weeks before first anticipated frost! So they were sown a little too late for one thing - BUT worse than that, they are being eaten by cabbage worms. Yours look extremely beautiful!

Ottawa Gardener said...

They look lovely. The contrast between the leaf size and shape is very nice.

Connie said...

A good investment, indeed. I have never grown them, but you have encouraged me to try. I do so miss my flowers after the frost comes, which could be any day now.