These are small, hardy types of cabbage cropping in autumn or winter and useful as a catch crop following the harvesting of, say, early broad beans, peas or potatoes.
They are not widely grown, but are most useful, especially for smaller gardens. They are green throughout, with hearts looser than in the white-hearted cabbages.
Cultivation Seed is sown in July. Ground should be in good condition with adequate humus. If it was properly prepared for one of the previous crops mentioned it should require nothing further than the possible application of superphosphate at 40-55g (11-2oz) per sq m (sq yd). This will assist young seedlings to get a good start, bearing in mind the need for fairly quick and continuous growth in the shortening days. Land should be lightly forked through, then firmed and raked down to produce the necessary fine tilth for successful seed sowing. Sow in rows 40cm (15in) apart where intended to crop; thin first to 15cm (6in) subsequently to 30cm (ift). Alternatively, raise in a prepared seed bed, transplanting the seedlings in September, at similar spacings. Another recommended planting scheme is 40cm (15in) apart each way. Should the weather be dry, draw out and soak the drills before sowing seed. Apart from its value in cropping in its normal season, colewort may prove especially useful in localities too rigorous for the usual spring cabbage. After harvesting the main heads, the stumps can be allowed to remain where they are to produce useful, secondary spring greens.
Varieties: ‘Rosette’ and ‘Hardy Green’, the latter considered best for colder, northern climes.