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Title: Cabbages and Cauliflowers: How to Grow Them - A Practical Treatise, Giving Full Details On Every Point, - Including Keeping And Marketing The Crop
Author: Gregory, James John Howard, 1827-1910
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Literature in Agriculture (CHLA), Cornell University)

  New York
  State College of Agriculture
  At Cornell University
  Ithaca, N. Y.

       *       *       *       *       *






  [Illustration: Cabbage Head]




  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1889, by
  In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.


  OBJECT OF TREATISE                                                   1

  THE ORIGIN OF CABBAGE                                                1

  WHAT A CABBAGE IS                                                    2

  SELECTING THE SOIL                                                   4

  PREPARING THE SOIL                                                   5

  THE MANURE                                                           6

  HOW TO APPLY THE MANURE                                              8

  MAKING THE HILLS AND PLANTING THE SEED                              11

  CARE OF THE YOUNG PLANTS                                            16

  PROTECTING THE PLANTS FROM THEIR ENEMIES                            18

  THE GREEN WORM                                                      22

  CLUB, OR STUMP ROOT, OR MAGGOT                                      24

  CARE OF THE GROWING CROP                                            29

  MARKETING THE CROP                                                  30

  KEEPING CABBAGE THROUGH THE WINTER                                  32

  HAVING CABBAGE MAKE HEADS IN WINTER                                 39

  FOREIGN VARIETIES OF CABBAGE                                     43-45

  AMERICAN VARIETIES                                               46-60

  SAVOY VARIETIES                                                  60-63

  OTHER VARIETIES                                                  63-67

  CABBAGE GREENS                                                      67

  CABBAGE FOR STOCK                                                   69

  RAISING CABBAGE SEED                                                73

  COOKING CABBAGE, SOUR-KROUT, ETC.                                   75

  CABBAGE UNDER GLASS                                                 76

  COLD FRAME AND HOT-BED                                              78

  AND SEA-KALE                                                        81



As a general, yet very thorough, response to inquiries from many of my
customers about cabbage raising, I have aimed in this treatise to tell
them all about the subject. The different inquiries made from time to
time have given me a pretty clear idea of the many heads under which
information is wanted; and it has been my aim to give this with the same
thoroughness of detail as in my little work on Squashes. I have
endeavored to talk in a very practical way, drawing from a large
observation and experience, and receiving, in describing varieties, some
valuable information from McIntosh's work, "The Book of the Garden."


Botanists tell us that all of the Cabbage family, which includes not
only every variety of cabbage, Red, White, and Savoy, but all the
cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts, had their origin in
the wild cabbage of Europe (_Brassica oleracea_), a plant with green,
wavy leaves, much resembling charlock, found growing wild at Dover in
England, and other parts of Europe. This plant, says McIntosh, is mostly
confined to the sea-shore, and grows only on chalky or calcareous

Thus through the wisdom of the Great Father of us all, who occasionally
in his great garden allows vegetables to sport into a higher form of
life, and grants to some of these sports sufficient strength of
individuality to enable them to perpetuate themselves, and, at times, to
blend their individuality with that of other sports, we have the heading
cabbage in its numerous varieties, the creamy cauliflower, the feathery
kale, the curled savoy. On my own grounds from a strain of seed that had
been grown isolated for years, there recently came a plant that in its
structure closely resembled Brussels Sprouts, growing about two feet in
height, with a small head under each leaf. The cultivated cabbage was
first introduced into England by the Romans, and from there nearly all
the kinds cultivated in this country were originally brought. Those
which we consider as peculiarly American varieties, have only been made
so by years of careful improvement on the original imported sorts. The
characteristics of these varieties will be given farther on.


If we cut vertically through the middle of the head, we shall find it
made up of successive layers of leaves, which grow smaller and smaller,
almost _ad infinitum_. Now, if we take a fruit bud from an apple-tree
and make a similar section of it, we shall find the same structure. If
we observe the development of the two, as spring advances, we shall find
another similarity (the looser the head the closer will be the
resemblance),--the outer leaves of each will unwrap and unfold, and a
flower stem will push out from each. Here we see that a cabbage is a
bud, a seed bud (as all fruit buds may be termed, the production of
seed being the primary object in nature, the fruit enclosing it playing
but a secondary part), the office of the leaves being to cover, protect,
and afterwards nourish the young seed shoot. The outer leaves which
surround the head appear to have the same office as the leaves which
surround the growing fruit bud, and that office closes with the first
year, as does that of the leaves surrounding fruit buds, when each die
and drop off. In my locality the public must have perceived more or less
clearly the analogy between the heads of cabbage and the buds of trees,
for when they speak of small heads they frequently call them "buds."
That the close wrapped leaves which make the cabbage head and surround
the seed germ, situated just in the middle of the head at the
termination of the stump, are necessary for its protection and nutrition
when young, is proved, I think, by the fact that those cabbages, the
heads of which are much decayed, when set out for seed, no matter how
sound the seed germ may be at the end of the stump, never make so large
or healthy a seed shoot as those do the heads of which are sound; as a
rule, after pushing a feeble growth, they die.

For this reason I believe that the office of the head is similar to and
as necessary as that of the leaves which unwrap from around the blossom
buds of our fruit trees. It is true that the parallel cannot be fully
maintained, as the leaves which make up the cabbage head do not to an
equal degree unfold (particularly is this true of hard heads); yet they
exhibit a vitality of their own, which is seen in the deeper green color
the outer leaves soon attain, and the change from tenderness to
toughness in their structure: I think, therefore, that the degree of
failure in the parallel may be measured by the difference between a
higher and a lower form of organic life.

Some advocate the economy of cutting off a large portion of the heads
when cabbages are set out for seed to use as food for stock. There is
certainly a great temptation, standing amid acres of large, solid, heads
in the early spring months, when green food of all kinds is scarce, to
cut and use such an immense amount of rich food, which, to the
inexperienced eye, appears to be utterly wasted if left to decay, dry,
and fall to the ground; but, for the reason given above, I have never
done so. It is possible that large heads may bear trimming to a degree
without injury to the seed crop; yet I should consider this an
experiment, and one to be tried with a good deal of caution.


In some of the best cabbage-growing sections of the country, until
within a comparatively few years it was the very general belief that
cabbage would not do well on upland. Accordingly the cabbage patch would
be found on the lowest tillage land of the farm. No doubt, the lowest
soil being the richer from a gradual accumulation of the wash from the
upland, when manure was but sparingly used, cabbage would thrive better
there than elsewhere,--and not, as was generally held, because that
vegetable needed more moisture than any other crop. Cabbage can be
raised with success on any good corn land, provided such land is well
manured; and there is no more loss in seasons of drouth on such land
than there is in seasons of excessive moisture on the lower tillage land
of the farm. I wish I could preach a very loud sermon to all my farmer
friends on the great value of liberal manuring to carry crops
successfully through the effects of a severe drouth. Crops on soil
precisely alike, with but a wall to separate them, will, in a very dry
season, present a striking difference,--the one being in fine vigor, and
the other "suffering from drouth," as the owner will tell you; but, in
reality, from want of food.

The smaller varieties of cabbage will thrive well on either light or
strong soil, but the largest drumheads do best on strong soil. For the
_Brassica_ family, including cabbages, cauliflowers, turnips, etc.,
there is no soil so suitable as freshly turned sod, provided the surface
is well fined by the harrow; it is well to have as stout a crop of
clover or grass, growing on this sod, when turned under, as possible,
and I incline to the belief that it would be a judicious investment to
start a thick growth of these by the application of guano to the surface
sufficiently long before turning the sod to get an extra growth of the
clover or grass. If the soil be very sandy in character, I would advise
that the variety planted be the Winnigstadt, which, in my experience, is
unexcelled for making a hard head under almost any conditions, however
unpropitious. Should the soil be naturally very wet it should be
underdrained, or stump foot will be very likely to appear, which is
death to all success.


Should the soil be a heavy clay, a deep fall ploughing is best, that the
frosts of winter may disintegrate it; and should the plan be to raise an
early crop, this end will be promoted by fall ploughing, on any soil, as
the land will thereby be made drier in early spring. In New England the
soil for cabbages should be ploughed as deep as the subsoil, and the
larger drumheads should be planted only on the deepest soil. If the
season should prove a favorable one, a good crop of cabbage may be grown
on sod broken up immediately after a crop of hay has been taken from it,
provided plenty of fine manure is harrowed in. One great risk here is
from the dry weather that usually prevails at that season, preventing
the prompt germination of the seed, or rooting of the plants. It is
prudent in such a case to have a good stock of plants, that such as die
may be promptly replaced. It is wise to plant the seed for these a week
earlier than the main crop, for when transplanted to fill the vacant
places it will take about a week for them to get well rooted.

The manure may be spread on the surface of either sod or stubble land
and ploughed under, or be spread on the surface after ploughing and
thoroughly worked into the soil by the wheel harrow or cultivator. On
ploughed sod I have found nothing so satisfactory as the class of wheel
harrows, which not only cut the manure up fine and work it well under,
but by the same operation cut and pulverize the turf until the sod may
be left not over an inch in thickness. To do the work thus thoroughly
requires a yoke of oxen or a pair of stout horses. All large stones and
large pieces of turf that are torn up and brought to the surface should
be carted off before making the hills.


Any manure but hog manure for cabbage,--barn manure, rotten kelp,
night-soil, guano, fertilizers, wood ashes, fish, salt, glue waste, hen
manure, slaughter-house manure. I have used all of these, and found
them all good when rightly applied. If pure hog manure is used it is apt
to produce that corpulent enlargement of the roots known in different
localities as "stump foot," "underground head," "finger and thumb;" but
I have found barn manure on which hogs have run, two hogs to each
animal, excellent. The cabbage is the rankest of feeders, and to perfect
the larger sort a most liberal allowance of the richest composts is
required. To grow the smaller varieties either barn-yard manure, guano,
fertilizers, or wood ashes, if the soil be in good condition, will
answer; though the richer and more abundant the manure the larger are
the cabbages, and the earlier the crop will mature.

To perfect the large varieties of drumhead,--by which I mean to make
them grow to the greatest size possible,--I want a strong compost of
barn-yard manure, with night-soil and muck or fish-waste, and, if
possible, rotten kelp. A compost into which night-soil enters as a
component is best made by first covering a plot of ground, of easy
access, with soil or muck that has been exposed to a winter's frost, to
the depth of about eighteen inches, and raising around this a rim about
three feet in height, and thickness. Into this the night-soil is poured
from carts built for the purpose, until the receptacle is about
two-thirds full. Barn manure is now added, being dropped around and
covering the outer rim, and, if the supply is sufficient, on the top of
the heap also, on which it can be carted after cold weather sets in.
Early in spring, the entire mass should be pitched over, thoroughly
broken up with the bar and pick where frozen, and the frozen masses
thrown on the surface. In pitching over the mass, work the rim in
towards the middle of the heap. After the frozen lumps have thawed, give
the heap another pitching over, aiming to mix all the materials
thoroughly together, and make the entire mass as fine as possible. A
covering of sand, thrown over the heap, before the last pitching, will
help fine it.

To produce a good crop of cabbages, with a compost of this quality, from
six to twelve cords will be required to the acre. If the land is in good
heart, by previous high cultivation, or the soil is naturally very
strong, six cords will give a fair crop of the small varieties; while,
with the same conditions, from nine to twelve cords to the acre will be
required to perfect the largest variety grown, the Marblehead Mammoth

Of the other kinds of manure named above, I will treat farther under the
head of:


The manure is sometimes applied wholly in the hill, at other times
partly broadcast and partly in the hill. If the farmer desires to make
the utmost use of his manure for that season, it will be best to put
most of it into the hill, particularly if his supply runs rather short;
but if he desires to leave his land in good condition for next year's
crop, he had better use part of it broadcast. My own practice is to use
all my rich compost broadcast, and depend on guano, fertilizers, or hen
manure in the hill. Let all guano, if at all lumpy, like the Peruvian,
be sifted, and let all the hard lumps be reduced by pounding, until the
largest pieces shall not be larger than half a pea, before it is
brought upon the ground. My land being ready, the compost worked under
and the rows marked out, I select three trusty hands who can be relied
upon to follow faithfully my directions in applying so dangerous manure
as guano is in careless or ignorant hands; one takes a bucket of it,
and, if for large cabbage, drops as much as he can readily close in his
shut hand, where each hill is to be; if for small sorts, then about half
that quantity, spreading it over a circle about a foot in diameter; the
second man follows with a pronged hoe, or better yet, a six-tined fork,
with which he works the guano well into the soil, first turning it three
or four inches under the surface, and then stirring the soil _very
thoroughly_ with the hoe or fork. Unless the guano (and this is also
true of most fertilizers) is faithfully mixed up with the soil, the seed
will not vegetate. Give the second man about an hour the start, and then
let the third man follow with the seed. Of other fertilizers, I use
about half as much again as of guano to each hill, and of hen manure a
heaping handful, after it has been finely broken up, and, if moist,
slightly mixed with dry earth. When salt is used, it should not be
depended on exclusively, but be used in connection with other manures,
at the rate of from ten to fifteen bushels to the acre, applied
broadcast over the ground, or thoroughly mixed with the manure before
that is applied; if dissolved in the manure, better yet. Salt itself is
not a manure. Its principal office is to change other materials into
plant food. Fish and glue waste are exceedingly powerful manures, very
rich in ammonia, and, if used the first season, they should be in
compost. It is best to handle fish waste, such as heads, entrails,
backbones, and liver waste, precisely like night soil. "Porgy cheese,"
or "chum," the refuse, after pressing out the oil from menhaden and
halibut heads, and sometimes sold extensively for manure, is best
prepared for use by composting it with muck or loam, layer with layer,
at the rate of a barrel to every foot and a half, cord measure, of soil.
As soon as it shows some heat, turn it, and repeat the process, two or
three times, until it is well decomposed, when apply. Another excellent
way to use fish waste is to compost it with barn manure, in the open
fields. It will be best to have six inches of soil under the heap, and
not layer the fish with the lower half of the manure, for it strikes
down. Glue waste is a very coarse, lumpy manure, and requires a great
deal of severe manipulation, if it is to be applied the first season. A
better way is to compost it with soil, layer with layer, having each
layer about a foot in thickness, and so allow it to remain over until
the next season, before using. This will decompose most of the straw,
and break down the hard, tough lumps. In applying this to the crop, most
of it had better be used broadcast, as it is apt, at best, to be rather
too coarse and concentrated to be used liberally directly in the hill.
Slaughter-house manure should be treated much like glue manure.

Mr. Proctor, of Beverly, has raised cabbage successfully on strong clay
soil, by spreading a compost of muck containing fish waste, in which the
fish is well decomposed, at the rate of two tons of the fish to an acre
of land, after plowing, and then, having made his furrows at the right
distance apart, harrowing the land thoroughly crossways with the
furrows. The result was, besides mixing the manure thoroughly with the
soil, to land an extra proportion of it in the furrows, which was
equivalent to manuring in the drill.

Cabbage can be raised on fertilizers alone. I have raised some crops in
this way; but have been led to plow in from four to six cords of good
manure to the acre, and then use from five hundred to a thousand pounds
of some good fertilizer in the hill. The reason I prefer to use a
portion of the cabbage food in the form of manure, is, that I have
noticed that when the attempt is made to raise the larger drumhead
varieties on fertilizers only, the cabbages, just as the heads are well
formed, are apt to come nearly to a standstill. I explain this on the
supposition that they exhaust most of the fertilizer, or some one of the
ingredients that enter into it, during the earlier stage of growth;
perhaps from the fact that the food is in so easily digestible
condition, they use an over share of it, and the fact that those fed on
fertilizers only, tend to grow longer stumped than usual, appears to
give weight to this opinion. Though any good fertilizer is good for
cabbage, yet I prefer those compounded on the basis of an analysis of
the composition of the plants; they should contain the three
ingredients, nitrogen, potash, and phosphoric acid, in the proportion of
six, seven, five, taking them in the order in which I have written them.


The idea is quite prevalent that cabbages will not head up well except
the plants are started in beds, and then transplanted into the hills
where they are to mature. This is an error, so far as it applies to the
Northern States,--the largest and most experienced cultivators of
cabbage in New England usually dropping the seed directly where the
plant is to stand, unless they are first started under glass, or the
piece of land to be planted cannot be prepared in season to enable the
farmer to put his seed directly in the hill and yet give the cabbage
time sufficient to mature. Where the climate is unpropitious, or the
quantity of manure applied is insufficient, it is possible that
transplanting may promote heading. The advantages of planting directly
in the hill, are a saving of time, avoiding the risks incidental to
transplanting, and having all the piece start alike; for, when
transplanted, many die and have to be replaced, while some hesitate much
longer than others before starting, thus making a want of uniformity in
the maturing of the crop. There is, also, this advantage, there being
several plants in each hill, the cut-worm has to depredate pretty
severely before he really injures the piece; again, should the seed not
vegetate in any of the hills, every farmer will appreciate the advantage
of having healthy plants growing so near at hand that they can be
transferred to the vacant spaces with their roots so undisturbed that
their growth is hardly checked. In addition to the labor of
transplanting saved by this plan, the great check that plants always
receive when so treated is prevented, and also the extra risks that
occur should a season of drouth follow. It is the belief of some
farmers, that plants growing where the seed was planted are less liable
to be destroyed by the cut-worm than those that have been transplanted.
When planning to raise late cabbage on upland, I sow a portion of the
seed on a moist spot, or, in case a portion of the land is moist, I
plant the hills on such land with an extra quantity of seed, that I may
have enough plants for the whole piece, should the weather prove to be
too dry for the seed to vegetate on the dryer portions of it. It is wise
to sow these extra plants about a week earlier, for they will be put
back about a week by transplanting them.

Some of our best farmers drill their seed in with a sowing machine, such
as is used for onions, carrots, and other vegetable crops. This is a
very expeditious way, and has the advantage of leaving the plants in
rows instead of bunches, as in the hill system, and thus enables the hoe
to do most of the work of thinning. It has also this advantage: each
plant being by itself can be left much longer before thinning, and yet
not grow long in the stump, thus making it available for transplanting,
or for sale in the market, for a longer period.

The usual way of preparing the hills is to strike out furrows with a
small, one-horse plough, as far apart as the rows are to be. As it is
very important that the rows should be as straight as practicable, it is
a good plan to run back once in each furrow, particularly on sod land
where the plough will be apt to catch in the turf and jump out of line.
A manure team follows, containing the dressing for the hills, which has
previously been pitched over and beaten up until all the ingredients are
fine and well mixed. This team is so driven, if possible, as to avoid
running in the furrows. Two or three hands follow with forks or shovels,
pitching the manure into the furrows at the distance apart that has been
determined on for the hills. How far apart these are to be will depend
on the varieties, from eighteen inches to four feet. On land that has
been very highly manured for a series of years, cabbage can be planted
nearer than on land that has been under the plow but a few years. For
the distance apart for different varieties see farther on. The manure is
levelled with hoes, a little soil is drawn over it, and a slight stamp
with the back of the hoe is given to level this soil, and, at the same
time, to mark the hill. The planter follows with seed in a tin box, or
any small vessel having a broad bottom, and taking a small pinch between
the thumb and forefinger he gives a slight scratch with the remaining
fingers of the same hand, and dropping in about half a dozen seed covers
them half an inch deep with a sweep of the hand, and packs the earth by
a gentle pat with the open palm to keep the moisture in the ground and
thus promote the vegetation of the seed. With care a quarter of a pound
of seed will plant an acre, when dropped directly in the hills; but half
a pound is the common allowance, as there is usually some waste from
spilling, while most laborers plant with a free hand.

The soil over the hills being very light and porous, careless hands are
apt to drop the seed too deep. Care should be taken not to drop the seed
all in one spot, but to scatter them over a surface of two or three
inches square, that each plant may have room to develop without crowding
its neighbors.

If the seed is planted in a line instead of in a mass the plants can be
left longer before the final thinning without danger of growing tall and

If the seed is to be drilled in, it will be necessary to scatter the
manure all along the furrows, then cover with a plough, roughly leveling
with a rake.

Should the compost applied to the hills be very concentrated, it will
be apt to produce stump foot; it will, therefore, be safest in such
cases to hollow out the middle with the corner of the hoe, or draw the
hoe through and fill in with earth, that the roots of the young plants
may not come in direct contact with the compost as soon as they begin to

When guano or phosphates are used in the hills it will be well to mark
out the rows with a plough, and then, where each hill is to be, fill in
the soil level to the surface with a hoe, before applying them. I have,
in a previous paragraph, given full instructions how to apply these. Hen
manure, if moist, should be broken up very fine, and be mixed with some
dry earth to prevent it from again lumping together, and the mixture
applied in sufficient quantity to make an equivalent of a heaping
handful of pure hen manure to each hill. Any liquid manure is excellent
for the cabbage crop; but it should be well diluted, or it will be
likely to produce stump foot.

Cabbage seed of almost all varieties are nearly round in form, but are
not so spherical as turnip seed. I note, however, that seed of the
Savoys are nearly oval. In color they are light brown when first
gathered, but gradually turn dark brown if not gathered too early. An
ounce contains nearly ten thousand seed, but should not be relied upon
for many over two thousand good plants, and these are available for
about as many hills only when raised in beds and transplanted; when
dropped directly in the hills it will take not far from eight ounces of
the larger sorts to plant an acre, and of the smaller cabbage rather
more than this. Cabbage seed when well cured and kept in close bags will
retain their vitality four or five years; old gardeners prefer seed of
all the cabbage family two or three years old.

When the plan is to raise the young plants in beds to be transplanted,
the ground selected for the beds should be of rich soil; this should be
very thoroughly dug, and the surface worked and raked very fine, every
stone and lump of earth being removed. Now sprinkle the seed evenly over
the bed and gently rake in just under the surface, compacting the soil
by pressure with a board. As soon as the young plants appear, sprinkle
them with air-slaked lime. Transplant when three or four inches high,
being very careful not to let the plants get tall and weak.

For late cabbage, in the latitude of Boston, to have cabbages ready for
market about the first of November, the Marblehead Mammoth should be
planted the 20th of May, other late drumheads from June 1st to June
12th, provided the plants are not to be transplanted; otherwise a week
earlier. In those localities where the growing season is later, the seed
should be planted proportionally later.


In four or five days, if the weather is propitious, the young plants
will begin to break ground, presenting at the surface two leaves, which
together make nearly a square, like the first leaves of turnips or
radishes. As soon as the third leaf is developed, go over the piece, and
boldly thin out the plants. Wherever they are very thick, pull a mass of
them with the fingers and thumb, being careful to fill up the hole made
with fine earth. After the fourth leaf is developed, go over the piece
again and thin still more; you need specially to guard against a
slender, weak growth, which will happen when the plants are too
crowded. In thinning, leave the short-stumped plants, and leave them as
far apart in the hill as possible, that they may not shade each other,
or so interfere in growing as to make long stumps. If there is any
market for young plants, thousands can be sold from an acre when the
seed are planted in the hill; but in doing this bear in mind that your
principal object is to raise cabbages, and to succeed in this the young
plants must on no account be allowed to stand so long together in the
hills as to crowd each other, making a tall, weak, slender
growth,--getting "long-legged," as the farmers call it.

If the manure in any of the hills is too strong, the fact will be known
by its effects on the plants, which will be checked in their growth, and
be of a darker green color than the healthy plants. Gently pull away the
earth from the roots of such with the fingers, and draw around fresh
earth; or, what is as well or better, transplant a healthy plant just on
the edge of the hill. When the plants are finger high they are of a good
size to transplant into such hills as have missed, or to market. When
transplanting, select a rainy day, if possible, and do not begin until
sufficient rain has fallen to moisten the earth around the roots, which
will make it more likely to adhere to them when taken up. Take up the
young plants by running the finger or a trowel under them; put these
into a flat basket or box, and in transplanting set them to the same
depth they originally grew, pressing the earth a little about the roots.

If it is necessary to do the transplanting in a dry spell, as usually
happens, select the latter part of the afternoon, if practicable, and,
making holes with a dibble, or any pointed stick an inch and a half in
diameter, fill these holes, a score or more at a time, with water; and
as soon as the water is about soaked away, beginning with the hole first
filled, set out your plants. The evaporation of the moisture below the
roots will keep them moist until they get a hold. Cabbage plants have
great tenacity of life, and will rally and grow when they appear to be
dead; the leaves may all die, and dry up like hay, but if the stump
stands erect and the unfolded leaf at the top of the stump is alive, the
plant will usually survive. When the plants are quite large, they may be
used successfully by cutting or breaking off the larger leaves. Some
advocate wilting the plants before transplanting, piling them in the
cellar a few days before setting them out, to toughen them and get a new
setting of fine roots; others challenge their vigor by making it a rule
to do all transplanting under the heat of mid-day. I think there is not
much of reason in this latter course. The young plants can be set out
almost as fast as a man can walk, by holding the roots close to one side
of the hole made by the dibble, and at the same moment pressing earth
against them with the other hand.


As soon as they have broken through the soil, an enemy awaits them in
the small black insect commonly known as the cabbage or turnip fly,
beetle, or flea. This insect, though so small as to appear to the eye as
a black dot, is very voracious and surprisingly active. He apparently
feeds on the juice of the young plant, perforating it with small holes
the size of a pin point. He is so active when disturbed that his
motions cannot be followed by the eye, and his sense of danger is so
keen that only by cautiously approaching the plant can he be seen at
all. The delay of a single day in protecting the young plants from his
ravages will sometimes be the destruction of nearly the entire piece.
Wood ashes and air-slaked lime, sprinkled upon the plants while the
leaves are moist from either rain or dew, afford almost complete
protection. The lime or ashes should be applied as soon as the plant can
be seen, for then, when they are in their tenderest condition, the fly
is most destructive. I am not certain that the alkaline nature of these
affords the protection, or whether a mere covering by common dust might
not answer equally well. Should the covering be washed off by rain,
apply it anew immediately after the rain has ceased, and so continue to
keep the young plants covered until the third or fourth leaves are
developed when they will have become too tough to serve as food for this
insect enemy.

A new enemy much dreaded by all cabbage raisers will begin to make his
appearance about the time the flea disappears, known as the cut-worm.
This worm is of a dusky brown color, with a dark colored head, and
varies in size up to about two inches in length. He burrows in the
ground just below the surface, is slow of motion, and does his
mischievous work at night, gnawing off the young plants close at the
surface of the ground. This enemy is hard to battle with. If the patch
be small, these worms can be scratched out of their hiding places by
pulling the earth carefully away the following morning for a few inches
around the stump of the plant destroyed, when the rascals will usually
be found half coiled together. Dropping a little wood ashes around the
plants close to the stumps is one of the best of remedies; its alkaline
properties burning his nose I presume. A tunnel of paper put around the
stump but not touching it, and sunk just below the surface, is
recommended as efficacious; and from the habits of the worm I should
think it would prove so. Perpendicular holes four inches deep and an
inch in diameter is said to catch and hold them as effectively as do the
pit falls of Africa the wild animals. Late planted cabbage will suffer
little or none from this pest, as he disappears about the middle of
June. Some seasons they are remarkably numerous, making it necessary to
replant portions of the cabbage patch several times over. I have heard
of as many as twenty being dug at different times the same season out of
one cabbage hill. The farmer who tilled that patch earned his dollars.
When the cabbage has a stump the size of a pipe stem it is beyond the
destructive ravages of the cut-worm, and should it escape stump foot has
usually quite a period of growth free from the attacks of enemies.
Should the season prove unpropitious and the plant be checked in its
growth, it will be apt to become "lousy," as the farmers term it,
referring to its condition when attacked by a small green insect known
as aphidæ, which preys upon it in myriads; when this is the case the
leaves lose their bright green, turn of a bluish cast, the leaf stocks
lose somewhat of their supporting powers, the leaves curl up into
irregular shapes, and the lower layer turns black and drops off, while
the ground under the plant appears covered with the casts or bodies of
the insects as with a white powder. When in this condition the plants
are in a very bad way.

Considering the circumstances under which this insect appears, usually
in a very dry season, I hold that it is rather the product than the
cause of disease, as with the bark louse on our apple-trees; as a remedy
I advocate sprinkling the plants with air-slaked lime, watering, if
possible, and a frequent and thorough stirring of the soil with the
cultivator and hoe. The better the opportunities the cabbage have to
develop themselves through high manuring, sufficient moisture, good
drainage, and thorough cultivation, the less liable they are to be
"lousy." As the season advances there will sometimes be found patches
eaten out of the leaves, leaving nothing but the skeleton of leaf veins;
an examination will show a band of caterpillars of a light green color
at work, who feed in a compact mass, oftentimes a square, with as much
regularity as though under the best of military discipline. The readiest
way to dispose of them is to break off the leaf and crush them under
foot. The common large red caterpillar occasionally preys on the plants,
eating large holes in the leaves, especially about the head. When the
cabbage plot is bordered by grass land, in seasons when grasshoppers are
plenty, they will frequently destroy the outer rows, puncturing the
leaves with small holes, and feeding on them until little besides their
skeletons remain. In isolated locations rabbits and other vegetable
feeders sometimes commit depredations. The snare and the shot-gun are
the remedy for these.

Other insects that prey upon the cabbage tribe, in their caterpillar
state, are the cabbage moth, white-line, brown-eyed moth, large white
garden butterfly, white and green veined butterfly. All of these produce
caterpillars, which can be destroyed either by application of
air-slaked lime, or by removing the leaves infested and crushing the
intruders under foot. The cabbage-fly, father-long-legs, the millipedes,
the blue cabbage-fly, brassy cabbage-flea, and two or three other insect
enemies are mentioned by McIntosh as infesting the cabbage fields of
England; also three species of fungi known as white rust, mildew, and
_cylindrosporium concentricum_; these last are destroyed by the
sprinkling of air-slaked lime on the leaves. In this country, along the
sea coast of the northern section, in open-ground cultivation, there is
comparatively but little injury done by these marauders, which are the
cause of so much annoyance and loss to our English cousins.


A new and troublesome enemy to the cabbage tribe which has made its
appearance within a few years, and spread rapidly over a large section
of the country, is a green worm, _Anthomia brassicæ_. This pest infests
the cabbage tribe at all stages of its growth; it is believed to have
been introduced into this country from Europe, by the way of Canada,
where it was probably brought in a lot of cabbage. It is the caterpillar
of a white butterfly with black spots on its wings. In Europe, this
butterfly is preyed on by two or more parasites, which keep it somewhat
in check; but its remarkably rapid increase in this country, causing a
wail of lamentation to rise in a single season from the cabbage growers
over areas of tens of thousands of square miles, proved that when it
first appeared it had reached this country without its attendant

Besides this green worm, there are found in Europe four varieties of
caterpillar variously marked, the caterpillars from all of which make
great havoc among the cabbage tribe.

The most effective destroyer of this, and about every other insect pest,
is what is known as the "Kerosene Emulsion." This is made by churning
common kerosene with milk or soap until it is diffused through the

Take one quart of kerosene oil and pour it into a pint of hot water in
which an ounce of common soap has been dissolved; churn this briskly
while hot (a force pump is excellent for this), and, when well mixed,
which will be in a few minutes, it will be of a creamy consistency; mix
one quart to ten or twelve of cold water, and spray or sprinkle it over
the plants with a force-pump syringe or a whisk broom.

Another remedy is pyrethrum. Use that which is fresh; either blowing it
on in a dry state with a bellows, wherever the worm appears, or using it
diluted, at the rate of a tablespoonful to two gallons of water;
applying as with the kerosene emulsion. Mr. A. S. Fuller, who is good
authority on garden matters, succeeds by applying tar-water. Place a
couple of quarts of coal tar in a barrel and fill with water; let it
stand forty-eight hours, then dip off, and apply with a watering-pot, or

Chickens allowed to run freely among the growing plants, the hen being
confined in a movable coop, if once attracted to them will fatten on
them. This remedy might answer very well for small plots. Large areas in
cabbage, in proportion to their size are, as a rule, far less injured by
insect enemies than small patches. The worm is of late years less
troublesome in the North than formerly.


The great dread of every cabbage grower is a disease of the branching
roots, producing a bunchy, gland-like enlargement, known in different
localities under the name of club foot, stump foot, underground head,
finger and thumb. The result is a check in the ascent of the sap, which
causes a defective vitality. There are two theories as to the origin of
club foot; one that it is a disease caused by poor soil, bad
cultivation, and unsuitable manures; the other that the injury is done
by an insect enemy, _Curculio contractus_. It is held by some that the
maggots at the root are the progeny of the cabbage flea. This I doubt.
This insect, "piercing the skin of the root, deposits its eggs in the
holes, lives during a time on the sap of the plant, and then escapes and
buries itself for a time in the soil."

If the wart, or gland-like excrescence, is seen while transplanting,
throw all such plants away, unless your supply is short; in such case,
carefully trim off all the diseased portions with a sharp knife. If the
disease is in the growing crop, it will be made evident by the drooping
of the leaves under the mid-day sun, leaves of diseased plants drooping
more than those of healthy ones, while they will usually have a bluer
cast. Should this disease show itself, set the cultivator going
immediately, and follow with the hoe, drawing up fresh earth around the
plants, which will encourage them to form new fibrous roots; should they
do this freely, the plants will be saved, as the attacks of the insect
are usually confined to the coarse, branching roots. Should the disease
prevail as late as when the plants have reached half their growth, the
chances are decidedly against raising a paying crop.

When the land planted is too wet, or the manure in the hill is too
strong, this dreaded disease is liable to be found on any soil; but it
is most likely to manifest itself on soils that have been previously
cropped with cabbage, turnip, or some other member of the Brassica

Farmers find that, as a rule, _it is not safe to follow cabbage, ruta
baga, or any of the Brassica family, with cabbage, unless three or four
years have intervened between the crops_; and I have known an instance
in growing the Marblehead Mammoth, where, though five years had
intervened, that portion of the piece occupied by the previous crop
could be distinctly marked off by the presence of club-foot.

Singular as it may appear, old gardens are an exception to this rule.
While it is next to impossible to raise, in old gardens, a fair turnip,
free from club-foot, cabbages may be raised year after year on the same
soil with impunity, or, at least, with but trifling injury from that
disease. This seems to prove, contrary to English authority, that
club-foot in the turnip tribe is the effect of a different cause from
the same disease in the cabbage family.

There is another position taken by Stephens in his "Book of the Farm,"
which facts seem to disprove. He puts forth the theory that "all such
diseases arise from poverty of the soil, either from want of manure when
the soil is naturally poor, or rendered effete by over-cropping." There
is a farm on a neck of land belonging to this town (Marblehead, Mass.),
which has peculiar advantages for collecting sea kelp and sea moss, and
these manures are there used most liberally, particularly in the
cultivation of cabbage, from eight to twelve cords of rotten kelp, which
is stronger than barn manure, and more suitable food for cabbage, being
used to the acre. A few years ago, on a change of tenants, the new
incumbent heavily manured a piece for cabbage, and planted it; but, as
the season advanced, stump-foot developed in every cabbage on one side
of the piece, while all the remainder were healthy. Upon inquiry, he
learned that, by mistake, he had overlapped the cabbage plot of last
season just so far as the stump-foot extended. In this instance, it
could not have been that the cabbage suffered for want of food; for, not
only was the piece heavily manured that year and the year previous, but
it had been liberally manured through a series of years, and, to a large
extent, with the manure which, of all others, the cabbage tribe delight
in, rotten kelp and sea mosses. I have known other instances where soil,
naturally quite strong, and kept heavily manured for a series of years,
has shown stump-foot when cabbage were planted, with intervals of two
and three years between. My theory is, that the _mere presence of the
cabbage_ causes stump-foot on succeeding crops grown on the same soil.
This is proved by the fact that where a piece of land in grass, close
adjoining a piece of growing cabbage, had been used for stripping them
for market, when this was broken up the next season and planted to
cabbage, stump-foot appeared only on that portion where the waste leaves
fell the year previous. I have another instance to the same point, told
me by an observing farmer, that, on a piece of sod land, on which he ran
his cultivator the year previous, when turning his horse every time he
had cultivated a row, he had stump-footed cabbage the next season just
as far as that cultivator went, dragging, of course, a few leaves and a
little earth from the cabbage piece with it. Still, though the mere
presence of cabbage causes stump-foot, it is a fact, that, under certain
conditions, cabbage can be grown on the same piece of land year after
year successfully, with but very little trouble from stump-foot. In this
town (Marblehead), though, as I have stated, we cannot, on our farms,
follow cabbage with cabbage, even with the highest of manuring and
cultivation, yet in the gardens of the town, on the same kind of soil
(and our soil is green stone and syenite, not naturally containing
lime), there are instances where cabbage has been successfully followed
by cabbage, on the same spot, for a quarter of a century and more. In
the garden of an aged citizen of this town, cabbages have been raised
_on the same spot of land_ for over half a century.

The cause of stump foot cannot, therefore, be found in the poverty of
the soil, either from want of manure or its having been rendered effete
from over cropping. It is evident that by long cultivation soils
gradually have diffused through them something that proves inimical to
the disease that produces stump foot. I will suggest as probable that
the protection is afforded by the presence of some alkali that old
gardens are constantly acquiring through house waste which is always
finding its way there, particularly the slops from the sink, which
abound in potash. This is rendered further probable from the fact given
by Mr. Peter Henderson, that, on soils in this vicinity, naturally
abounding in lime, cabbage can be raised year following year with almost
immunity from stump foot. He ascribes this to the effects of lime in
the soil derived from marine shells, and recommends that lime from bones
be used to secure the same protection; but the lime that enters into the
composition of marine shells is for the most part carbonate of lime,
whereas the greater portion of that which enters into the composition of
bones is phosphate of lime. Common air-slaked lime is almost pure
carbonate of lime, and hence comes nearer to the composition of marine
shells than lime from bones, and, being much cheaper, would appear to be

An able farmer told me that by using wood ashes liberally he could
follow with cabbage the next season on the same piece. One experiment of
my own in this direction did not prove successful, where ashes at the
rate of two hundred bushels to the acre were used; and I have an
impression that I have read of a like want of success after quite
liberal applications of lime. In a more recent experiment, on a gravelly
loam on one of my seed farms in Middleton, Mass., where two hundred
bushels of unleached ashes were used per acre, three-fourths broadcast,
I have had complete success, raising as good a crop as I ever grew the
second year on the same land, without a single stump foot on half an
acre. Still, it remains evident, I think, that nature prevents stump
foot by the diffusing of alkalies through the soil, and I mistrust that
the reason why we sometimes fail with the same remedies is that we have
them mixed, rather than intimately combined, with the particles of soil.

The roots of young plants are sometimes attacked by a maggot, though
there is no club root present. A remedy for this is said to be in the
burying of a small piece of bi-sulphide of carbon within a few inches
of the diseased plant. I have never tried it, but know that there is no
better insecticide.

As I have stated under another head, an attack of club foot is almost
sure to follow the use of pure hog manure, whether it be used broadcast
or in the hill. About ten years ago I ventured to use hog manure nearly
pure, spread broadcast and ploughed in. Stump foot soon showed itself. I
cultivated and hoed the cabbage thoroughly; then, as they still appeared
sickly, I had the entire piece thoroughly dug over with a six-tined
fork, pushing it as deep or deeper into the soil than the plough had
gone, to bring up the manure to the surface; but all was of no use; I
lost the entire crop. Yet, on another occasion, stable manure on which
hogs had been kept at the rate of two hogs to each animal, gave me one
of the finest lots of cabbage I ever raised.


As soon as the young plants are large enough to be seen with the naked
eye, in with the cultivator and go and return once in each row, being
careful not to have any lumps of earth cover the plants. Follow the
cultivator immediately with the hoe, loosening the soil about the hills.
The old rule with farmers is to cultivate and hoe cabbage three times
during their growth, and it is a rule that works very well where the
crop is in good growing condition; but if the manure is deficient, the
soil bakes, or the plants show signs of disease, then cultivate and hoe
once or twice extra. "Hoe cabbage when wet," is another farmer's axiom.
In a small garden patch the soil may be stirred among the plants as
often as may be convenient: it can do no harm; cabbages relish tending,
though it is not necessary to do this every day, as one enthusiastic
cultivator evidently thought, who declared that, by hoeing his cabbages
every morning, he had succeeded in raising capital heads.

If a season of drouth occurs when the cabbages have begun to head, the
heads will harden prematurely; and then should a heavy rain fall, they
will start to make a new growth, and the consequence will be many of
them will split. Split or bursted cabbage are a source of great loss to
the farmer, and this should be carefully guarded against by going
frequently over the piece when the heads are setting, and starting every
cabbage that appears to be about mature. A stout-pronged potato hoe
applied just under the leaves, and a pull given sufficient to start the
roots on one side, will accomplish what is needed. If cabbage that have
once been started seem still inclined to burst, start the roots on the
other side. Instead of a hoe they may be pushed over with the foot, or
with the hand. Frequently, heads that are thus started will grow to
double the size they had attained when about to burst. There is a marked
difference in this habit in different varieties of cabbage. I find that
the Hard-heading is less inclined to burst its head than any of the
kinds I raise.


When preparing for market cabbages that have been kept over winter,
particularly if they are marketed late in the season, the edges of the
leaves of some of the heads will be found to be more or less decayed; do
not strip such leaves off, but with a sharp knife cut clean off the
decayed edges. The earlier the variety the sooner it needs to be
marketed, for, as a rule, cabbages push their shoots in the spring in
the order of their earliness. If they have not been sufficiently
protected from the cold, the stumps will often rot off close to the
head, and sometimes the rot will include the part of the stump that
enters the head. If the watery-looking portion can be cut clean out, the
head is salable; otherwise it will be apt to have an unpleasant flavor
when cooked. As a rule, cabbages for marketing should be trimmed into as
compact a form as possible; the heads should be cut off close to the
stump, leaving two or three spare leaves to protect them. They may be
brought out of the piece in bushel baskets, and be piled on the wagon as
high as a hay stack, being kept in place by a stout canvas sheet tied
closely down. In the markets of Boston, in the fall of the year, they
are usually sold at a price agreed upon by the hundred head; this will
vary not only with the size and quality of the cabbage, but with the
season, the crop, and the quality in market on that particular day.
Within a few years I have known the range of price for the Stone Mason
or Fottler cabbage, equal in size and quality, to be from $3 to $17 per
hundred; for the Marblehead Mammoth from $6 to $25 per hundred. Cabbages
brought to market in the spring are usually sold by weight or by the
barrel, at from $1 to $4 per hundred pounds.

The earliest cabbages carried to market sometimes bring extraordinary
prices; and this has created a keen competition among market gardeners,
each striving to produce the earliest, a difference of a week in
marketing oftentimes making a difference of one half in the profits of
the crop. Capt. Wyman, who controlled the Early Wyman cabbage for
several years, sold some seasons thirty thousand heads if my memory
serves me, at pretty much his own price. As a rule, it is the very early
and the very late cabbages that sell most profitably. Should the market
for very late cabbages prove a poor one, the farmer is not compelled to
sell them, no matter at what sacrifice, as would be the case a month
earlier; he can pit them, and so keep them over to the early spring
market which is almost always a profitable one. In marketing in spring
it should be the aim to make sale before the crops of spring greens
become plenty, as these replace the cabbage on many tables. By starting
cabbage in hot beds a crop of celery or squashes may follow them the
same season.


In the comparatively mild climate of England, where there are but few
days in the winter months that the ground remains frozen to any depth,
the hardy cabbage grows all seasons of the year, and turnips left during
winter standing in the ground are fed to sheep by yarding them over the
different portions of the field. With the same impunity, in the southern
portion of our own country, the cabbages are left unprotected during the
winter months; and, in the warmer portions of the South they are
principally a winter crop. As we advance farther North, we find that the
degree of protection needed is afforded by running the plough along each
side of the rows, turning the earth against them, and dropping a little
litter on top of the heads. As we advance still farther northward, we
find sufficient protection given by but little more than a rough roof of
boards thrown over the heads, after removing the cabbages to a
sheltered spot and setting them in the ground as near together as they
will stand without being in contact, with the tops of the heads just
level with the surface.

In the latitude of central New England, cabbages are not secure from
injury from frost with less than a foot of earth thrown over the heads.
In mild winters a covering of half that depth will be sufficient; but as
we have no prophets to foretell our mild winters, a foot of earth is
safer than six inches. Where eel-grass can be procured along the sea
coast, or there is straw or coarse hay to spare, the better plan is to
cover with about six inches of earth, and when this is frozen
sufficiently hard to bear a man's weight (which is usually about
Thanksgiving time), to scatter over it the eel-grass, forest leaves,
straw, or coarse hay, to the depth of another six inches. Eel-grass,
which grows on the sandy flats under the ocean along the coast, is
preferred to any other covering as it lays light and keeps in dead air
which is a non-conductor of heat. Forest leaves are next in value; but
snow and water are apt to get among these and freezing solid destroy
most of their protecting value. When I use forest leaves, I cover them
with coarse hay, and add branches of trees to prevent its being blown
away. In keeping cabbages through the winter, three general facts should
be borne in mind, viz.: that repeated freezing and thawing will cause
them to rot; that excessive moisture or warmth will also cause rot;
while a dry air, such as is found in most cellars, will abstract
moisture from the leaves, injure the flavor of the cabbage, and cause
some of the heads to wilt, and the harder heads to waste. In the Middle
States we have mostly to fear the wet of winter, and the plan for
keeping for that section should, therefore, have particularly in view
protection from moisture, while in the Northern States we have to fear
the cold of winter, and, consequently, our plan must there have
specially in view protection from cold.

When storing for winter, select a dry day, if possible, sufficiently
long after rainy weather to have the leaves free of water,--otherwise
they will spout it on to you, and make you the wettest and muddiest
scarecrow ever seen off a farm,--then strip all the outer leaves from
the head but the two last rows, which are needed to protect it. This may
be readily done by drawing in these two rows toward the head with the
left hand, while a blow is struck against the remaining leaves with the
fist of the right hand. Next pull up the cabbages, which, if they are of
the largest varieties, may be expeditiously done by a potato hoe. If
they are not intended for seed purposes, stand the heads down and stumps
up until the earth on the roots is somewhat dry, when it can be mostly
removed by sharp blows against the stump given with a stout stick. In
loading do not bruise the heads. Select the place for keeping them in a
dry, level location, and, if in the North, a southern exposure, where no
water can stand and there can be no wash. To make the pit, run the
plough along from two to four furrows, and throw out the soil with the
shovel to the requisite depth, which may be from six to ten inches; now,
if the design is to roof over the pit, the cabbages may be put in as
thickly as they will stand; if the heads are solid they may be either
head up or stump up, and two layers deep; but if the heads are soft,
then heads up and one deep, and not crowded very close, that they may
have room to make heads during the winter. Having excavated an area
twelve by six feet, set a couple of posts in the ground midway at each
end, projecting about five feet above the surface; connect the two by a
joist secured firmly to the top of each, and against this, extending to
the ground just outside the pit, lay slabs, boards or poles, and cover
the roof that will be thus formed with six inches of straw or old hay,
and, if in the North, throw six or eight inches of earth over this.
Leave one end open for entrance and to air the pit, closing the other
end with straw or hay. In the North close both ends, opening one of them
occasionally in mild weather.

When cabbages are pitted on a large scale this system of roofing is too
costly and too cumbersome. A few thousand may be kept in a cool root
cellar, by putting one layer heads down, and standing another layer
heads up between these. Within a few years farmers in the vicinity of
Lowell, Mass., have preserved their cabbages over winter, on a large
scale, by a new method, with results that have been very satisfactory.
They cut off that portion of the stump which contains the root; strip
off most of the outer leaves, and then pile the cabbages in piles, six
or eight feet high, in double rows, with boards to keep them apart, in
cool cellars, which are built half out of ground. The temperature of
these, by the judicious opening and closing of windows, is kept as
nearly as possibly at the freezing point. The common practice in the
North, when many thousands are to be stored for winter and spring sales,
is to select a southern exposure having the protection of a fence or
wall, if practicable, and, turning furrows with the plough, throw out
the earth with shovels, to the depth of about six inches; the cabbages,
stripped as before described, are then stored closely together, and
straw or coarse hay is thrown over them to the depth of a foot or
eighteen inches. Protected thus they are accessible for market at any
time during the winter. If the design is to keep them over till spring,
the covering may be first six inches of earth, to be followed, as cold
increases, with six inches of straw, litter, or eel-grass. This latter
is my own practice, with the addition of leaving a ridge of earth
between every three or four rows, to act as a support and keep the
cabbages from falling over. I am, also, careful to bring the cabbages to
the pit as soon as pulled, with the earth among the roots as little
disturbed as possible; and, should the roots appear to be dry, to throw
a little earth over them after the cabbages are set in the trench. The
few loose leaves remaining will prevent the earth from sifting down
between the heads, and the air chambers thus made answer a capital
purpose in keeping out the cold, as air is one of the best
non-conductors of heat. It is said that muck-soil, when well drained, is
an excellent one to bury cabbage in, as its antiseptic properties
preserve them from decay. If the object is to preserve the cabbage for
market purposes only, the heads may be buried in the same position in
which they grew, or they may be inverted, the stump having no value in
itself; but if for seed purposes, they must be buried head up, as,
whatever injures the stump, spoils the whole cabbage for that object. I
store between ten and fifty thousand heads annually to raise seed from,
and carry them through till planting time with a degree of success
varying from a loss, for seed purposes, of from one-half to thirty-three
per cent. of the number buried; but, if handled early in spring, many
that would be worthless for seed purposes, could be profitably marketed.
A few years since, I buried a lot with a depth varying from one to four
feet, and found, on uncovering them in the spring, that all had kept,
and apparently equally well. In the winter of 1868, excessively cold
weather came very early and unexpectedly, before my cabbage plot had
received its full covering of litter. The consequence was, the frost
penetrated so deep that it froze through the heads into the stumps, and,
when spring came, a large portion of them came out spoiled for seed
purposes, though most of them sold readily in the market. A cabbage is
rendered worthless for seed when the frost strikes through the stump
where it joins the head; and though, to the unpractised eye, all may
appear right, yet, if the heart of the stump has a water-soaked
appearance on being cut into, it will almost uniformly decay just below
the head in the course of a few weeks after having been planted out. If
there is a probability that the stumps have been frozen through, examine
the plot early, and, if it proves so, sell the cabbages for eating
purposes, no matter how sound and handsome the heads look; if you delay
until time for planting out the cabbage for seed, meanwhile much waste
will occur. I once lost heavily in Marblehead Mammoth cabbage by having
them buried on a hill-side with a gentle slope. In the course of the
winter they fell over on their sides, which let down the soil from
above, and, closing the air-chambers between them, brought the huge
heads into a mass, and the result was, a large proportion of them rotted
badly. At another time, I lost a whole plot by burying them in soil
between ledges of rock, which kept the ground very wet when spring
opened; the consequence was, every cabbage rotted. If the heads are
frozen more than two or three leaves deep before they are pitted they
will not come out so handsome in the spring; but cabbages are very
hardy, and they readily rally from a little freezing, either in the open
ground or after they are buried, though it is best, when they are frozen
in the open ground, to let them remain there until the frost comes out
before removing them, if it can be done without too much risk of
freezing still deeper, as they handle better then, for, being tougher,
the leaves are not so easily broken. If the soil is frozen to any depth
before the cabbages are removed, the roots will be likely to be injured
in the pulling, a matter of no consequence if the cabbages are intended
for market, but of some importance if they are for seed raising. Large
cabbages are more easily pulled by giving them a little twist; if for
seed purposes, this should be avoided, as it injures the stump. A small
lot, that are to be used within a month, can be kept hung up by the
stump in the cellar of a dwelling-house; they will keep in this way
until spring; but the outer leaves will dry and turn yellow, the heads
shrink some in size, and be apt to lose in quality. Some practise
putting clean chopped straw in the bottom of a box or barrel, wetting
it, and covering with heads trimmed ready for cooking, adding again wet
straw and a layer of heads, so alternating until the barrel or box is
filled, after which it is headed up and kept in a cool place, at, or a
little below, the freezing point. No doubt this is an excellent way to
preserve a small lot, as it has the two essentials to success, keeping
them cool and moist.

Instead of burying them in an upright position, after a deep furrow has
been made the cabbages are sometimes laid on their sides two deep, with
their roots at the bottom of the furrow, and covered with earth in this
position. Where the winter climate is so mild that a shallow covering
will be sufficient protection, this method saves much labor.


When a piece of drumhead has been planted very late (sometimes they are
planted on ground broken up after a crop of hay has been taken from it
the same season), there will be a per cent. of the plants when the
growing season is over that have not headed. With care almost all of
these can be made to head during the winter. A few years ago I selected
my seed heads from a large piece and then sold the first "pick" of what
remained at ten cents a head, the second at eight cents, and so down
until all were taken for which purchasers were willing to give one cent
each. Of course, after such a thorough selling out as this, there was
not much in the shape of a head left. I now had what remained pulled up
and carted away, doubtful whether to feed them to the cows or to set
them out to head up during winter. As they were very healthy plants in
the full vigor of growth, having rudimentary heads just gathering in, I
determined to set them out. I had a pit dug deep enough to bring the
tops of the heads, when the plants were stood upright as they grew, just
above the surface of the ground; I then stood the cabbages in without
breaking off any of the leaves, keeping the roots well covered with
earth, having the plants far enough apart not to crowd each other very
much, though so near as to press somewhat together the two outer
circles of leaves. They were allowed to remain in this condition until
it was cold enough to freeze the ground an inch in thickness, when a
covering of coarse hay was thrown over them a couple of inches thick,
and, as the cold increased in intensity, this covering was increased to
ten or twelve inches in thickness, the additions being made at two or
three intervals. In the spring I uncovered the lot, and found that
nearly every plant had headed up. I sold the heads for four cents a
pound; and these refuse cabbages averaged me about ten cents a head,
which was the price my best heads brought me in the fall. I have seen
thousands of cabbages in one lot, the refuse of several acres that had
been planted on sod land broken up the same season a crop of hay had
been taken from it, made to head by this course, and sold in the spring
for $1.30 per barrel. When there is a large lot of such cabbages the
most economical way to plant them will be in furrows made by the plough.
Most of the bedding used in covering them, if it be as coarse as it
ought to be to admit as much air as possible while it should not mat
down on the cabbages, will, with care in drying, be again available for
covering another season, or remain suitable for bedding purposes. These
"winter-headed" cabbages, as they are called in the market, are not so
solid and have more shrinkage to them than those headed in the open
ground; hence they will not bear transportation as well, neither will
they keep as long when exposed to the air. The effect of wintering
cabbage by burying in the soil is to make them exceedingly tender for
table use.


If a piece of land is planted with seed grown from two heads of cabbage
the product will bear a striking resemblance to the two parent cabbages,
with a third variety which will combine the characteristics of these
two, yet the resemblance will be somewhat modified at times by a little
more manure, a little higher culture, a little better location, and the
addition of an individuality that particular vegetables occasionally
take upon themselves which we designate by the word "sport." The
"sports" when they occur are fixed and perpetuated with remarkable
readiness in the cabbage family, as is proved by a great number of
varieties in cultivation, which are the numerous progeny of one
ancestor. The catalogues of the English and French seedsmen contain long
lists of varieties, many of which (and this is especially true of the
early kinds) are either the same variety under a different name or are
different "strains" of the same variety produced by the careful
selections of prominent market gardeners through a series of years.

Every season I experiment with foreign and American varieties of cabbage
to learn the characteristics of the different kinds, their comparative
earliness, size, shape, and hardness of head, length of stump, and such
other facts as would prove of value to market gardeners. There is one
fact that every careful experimenter soon learns, that one season will
not teach all that can be known relative to a variety, and that a number
of specimens of each kind must be raised to enable one to make a fair
comparison. It is amusing to read the dicta which appear in the
agricultural press from those who have made but a single experiment with
some vegetable; they proclaim more after a single trial than a cautious
experimenter would dare to declare after years spent in careful
observation. The year 1869 I raised over sixty varieties of cabbage,
importing nearly complete suites of those advertised by the leading
English and French seed houses, and collecting the principal kinds
raised in this country. In the year 1888, I grew eighty-five different
varieties and strains of cabbages and cauliflowers. I do not propose
describing all these in this treatise or their comparative merits; of
some of them I have yet something to learn, but I will endeavor to
introduce with my description such notes as I think will prove of value
to my fellow farmers and market gardeners.

I will here say in general of the class of early cabbages, that most of
them have elongated heads between ovoid and conical in form. They appear
to lack in this country the sweetness and tenderness that characterize
some varieties of our drumhead, and, consequently, in the North when the
drumhead enters the market there is but a limited call for them.

It may be well here to note a fundamental distinction between the
drumhead cabbage of England and those of this country. In England the
drumhead class are almost wholly raised to feed to stock. I venture the
conjecture that owing in part, or principally, to the fact European
gardeners have never had the motive, and, consequently, have never
developed the full capacity of the drumhead as exampled by the fine
varieties raised in this country. The securing of sorts reliable for
heading being with them a matter of secondary consideration, seed is
raised from stumps or any refuse heads that may be standing when spring
comes round. For this reason English drumhead cabbage seed is better
suited to raise a mass of leaves than heads, and always disappoints our
American farmers who buy it because it is cheap with the expectation of
raising cabbage for market. English-grown drumhead cabbage seed is
utterly worthless for use in this country except to raise greens or

The following are foreign varieties that are accepted in this country as
standards, and for years have been more or less extensively cultivated:
In my experience as a seed dealer, the Sugar Loaf and Oxheart are losing
ground in the farming community, the Early Jersey Wakefield having, to a
large extent, replaced them.

~Early York.~ Heads nearly ovoid, rather soft, with few waste leaves
surrounding them, which are of a bright green color. Reliable for
heading. Stump rather short. Plant two feet by eighteen inches. This
cabbage has been cultivated in England over a hundred years. LITTLE
PIXIE with me is earlier than Early York, as reliable for heading,
heads much harder, and is of better flavor; the heads do not grow quite
as large.

~Early Oxheart.~ Heads nearly egg-shaped, small, hard, few waste leaves,
stumps short. A little later than Early York. Have the rows two feet
apart, and the plants eighteen inches apart in the row.

~Early Winnigstadt.~ (A German cabbage.) Heads nearly conical in shape,
having usually a twist of leaf at the top; larger than Oxheart, are
harder than any of the early oblong heading cabbages; stumps middling
short. Matures about ten days later than Early York. The Winnigstadt is
remarkably reliable for heading, being not excelled in this respect when
the seed has been raised with care, by any cabbage grown. It is a
capital sort for early market outside our large cities, where the very
early kinds are not so eagerly craved. It is so reliable for heading,
that it will often make fine heads where other sorts fail; and I would
advise all who have not succeeded in their efforts to grow cabbage, to
try this before giving up their attempts. It is raised by some for
winter use, and where the drumheads are not so successfully raised, I
would advise my farmer friends to try the Winnigstadt, as the heads are
so hard that they keep without much waste. Have rows two feet apart, and
plant twenty inches to two feet apart in the rows.

~Red Dutch.~ Heads nearly conical, medium sized, hard, of a very deep
red; outer leaves numerous, and not so red as the head, being somewhat
mixed with green; stump rather long. This cabbage is usually planted too
late; it requires nearly the whole season to mature. It is used for
pickling, or cut up fine as a salad, served with vinegar and pepper.
This is a very tender cabbage, and, were it not for its color, would be
an excellent sort to boil; to those who have a mind to eat it with their
eyes shut, this objection will not apply.

~Red Drumhead.~ Like the preceding, with the exception that the heads
grow round, or nearly so, are harder, and of double the size. It is very
difficult to raise seed from this cabbage in this country. I am
acquainted with five trials, made in as many different years, two of
which I made myself, and all were nearly utter failures, the yield, when
the hardest heads were selected, being at about the rate of two great
spoonfuls of seed from every twenty cabbages. French seed-growers are
more successful, otherwise this seed would have to sell at a far higher
figure in the market than any other sort.

~The Little Pixie.~ has much to recommend it, in earliness, quality,
reliability for heading, and hardness of the head; earlier than Early
York, though somewhat smaller.

Among those that deserve to be heartily welcomed and grow in favor, are
the EARLY ULM SAVOY (for engraving and description of which see
under head of Savoy), and the ST. DENNIS DRUMHEAD, a late,
short-stumped sort, setting a large, round, very solid head, as large,
but harder, than Premium Flat Dutch. The leaves are of a bluish-green,
and thicker than those of most varieties of drumhead. Our brethren in
Canada think highly of this cabbage, and if we want to try a new
drumhead, I will speak a good word for this one.

~Early Schweinfurt~, or ~Schweinfurt Quintal~, is an excellent early
drumhead for family use; the heads range in size from ten to eighteen
inches in diameter, varying with the conditions of cultivation more than
any other cabbage I am acquainted with. They are flattish round, weigh
from three to nine pounds when well grown, are very symmetrical in
shape, standing apart from the surrounding leaves. They are not solid,
though they have the finished appearance that solidity gives; they are
remarkably tender, as though blanched, and of very fine flavor. It is
among the earliest of drumheads, maturing at about the same time as the
Early Winnigstadt. As an early drumhead for the family garden, it has no
superior; and where the market is near, and does not insist that a
cabbage head must be hard to be good, it has proved a very profitable
market sort.

The following are either already standard American varieties of cabbage,
or such as are likely soon to become so; very possibly there are two or
three other varieties or strains that deserve to be included in the
list. I give all that have proved to be first class in my locality:
as I have previously stated, are but improvements of foreign kinds; but
they are so far improved through years of careful selection and
cultivation, that, as a rule, they appear quite distinct from the
originals when grown side by side with them, and this distinction is
more or less recognized, in both English and American catalogues, by the
adjective "American" or "English" being added after varieties bearing
the same name.

~Early Wakefield~, sometimes called ~Early Jersey Wakefield.~ Heads
mostly nearly conical in shape but sometimes nearly round, of good size
for early, very reliable for heading; stumps short. A very popular early
cabbage in the markets of Boston and New York. Plant two and a half feet
by two feet. There are two strains of this cabbage, one a little later
and larger than the other.



~Early Wyman.~ This cabbage is named after Capt. Wyman, of Cambridge,
the originator. Like Early Wakefield the heads are usually somewhat
conical, but sometimes nearly round; in structure they are compact. In
earliness it ranks about with the Early Wakefield, and making heads of
double the size, it has a high value as an early cabbage. Capt. Wyman
had entire control of this cabbage until within the past few years, and,
consequently, has held Boston Market in his own hands, to the chagrin of
his fellow market gardeners, raising some seasons as many as thirty
thousand heads. Have the rows from two to two and a half feet apart, and
the plants from twenty to twenty-four inches apart in the row. Crane's
Early is a cross between the Wyman and Wakefield, intermediate in size
and earliness.


~Premium Flat Dutch.~ Large, late variety; heads either round or flat,
on the top (varying with different strains); rather hard; color bluish
green; leaves around heads rather numerous; towards the close of the
season, the edge of some of the exterior leaves and the top of the heads
assume a purple cast. The edges of the exterior leaves, and of the two
or three that make the outside of the head, are quite ruffled, so that
when grown side by side with Stone Mason, this distinction between the
habit of growth of the two varieties is noticeable at quite a distance.
Stumps short; reliable for heading. Have the rows three feet apart, and
the plants from two and a half to three feet apart in the rows. This
cabbage is very widely cultivated, and, in many respects, is an
excellent sort to raise for late marketing. There are several strains of
it catalogued by different seedsmen under various names, such as Sure
Head, &c.


~Stone Mason.~ An improvement on the Mason, which cabbage was selected
by Mr. John Mason of Marblehead, from a number of varieties of cabbage
that came from a lot of seed purchased and planted as Savoys. Mr. John
Stone afterwards improved upon the Mason cabbage, by increasing the size
of the heads. Different growers differ in their standard of a Stone
Mason cabbage, in earliness and lateness, and in the size, form, and
hardness of the head. But all these varieties agree in the
characteristics of being very reliable for heading, in having heads
which are large, very hard, very tender, rich and sweet; short stumps,
and few waste leaves. The color of the leaves varies from a bluish green
to a pea-green, and the structure from nearly smooth to much blistered.
In their color and blistering some specimens have almost a Savoy cast.
The heads of the best varieties of Stone Mason range in weight from six
to twenty-five pounds, the difference turning mostly on soil, manure,
and cultivation.

The Stone Mason is an earlier cabbage than Premium Flat Dutch, has fewer
waste leaves, and side by side, under high cultivation, grows to an
equal or larger size, while it makes heads that are decidedly harder and
sweeter. These cabbages are equally reliable for heading. I am inclined
to the opinion that under poor cultivation the Premium Flat Dutch will
do somewhat better than the Stone Mason.

Until the introduction of Fottler's Drumhead it was the standard
drumhead cabbage in the markets of Boston and other large cities of the
North. Have the rows three feet apart, and the plants from two to three
feet apart in the row.

~Large Late Drumhead.~ Heads large, round, sometimes flattened at the
top, close and firm; loose leaves numerous; stems short; reliable for
heading, hardy, and a good keeper. The name "Large Late Drumhead"
includes varieties raised by several seedsmen in this country, all of
which resemble each other in the above characteristics, and differ in
but minor points. Have rows three feet apart, and plants from two and a
half to three feet apart in the row.

~Marblehead Mammoth Drumhead.~ This is the largest of the cabbage
family, having sometimes been grown to weigh over ninety pounds to the
plant. It originated in Marblehead, Mass., being produced by Mr. Alley,
probably from the Mason, by years of high cultivation and careful
selection of seed stock. I introduced this cabbage and the Stone Mason
to the general public many years ago, and it has been pretty thoroughly
disseminated throughout the United States. Heads varying in shape
between hemispherical and spherical, with but few waste leaves
surrounding them; size very large, varying from fifteen to twenty inches
in diameter, and, in some specimens, they have grown to the
extraordinary dimensions of twenty-four inches. In good soil, and with
the highest culture, this variety has attained an average weight of
thirty pounds by the acre. Quality, when well grown, remarkably sweet
and tender, as would be inferred from the rapidity of its growth.
Cultivate in rows four feet apart, and allow four feet between the
plants in the rows. Sixty tons of this variety have been raised from a
single acre.

~American Green Glazed.~ Heads loose, though rather large, with a great
body of waste leaves surrounding them; quality poor; late; stump long.
This cabbage was readily distinguished among all the varieties in my
experimental plot by the deep, rich green of the leaves, with their
bright lustre as though varnished. It is grown somewhat extensively in
the South, as it is believed not to be so liable to injury from insects
as other varieties. Plant two and a half feet apart each way. I would
advise my Southern friends to try the merits of other kinds before
adopting this poor affair. I know, through my correspondence, that the
Mammoth has done well as far South as Louisiana and Cuba, and the
Fottler, in many sections of the South, has given great satisfaction.


~Fottler's Early Drumhead.~ Several years ago a Boston seedsman imported
a lot of cabbage seed from Europe, under the name of Early Brunswick
Short Stemmed. It proved to be a large heading and very early Drumhead.
The heads were from eight to eighteen inches in diameter nearly flat,
hard, sweet, and tender in quality; few waste leaves; stump short. In
earliness it was about a fortnight ahead of the Stone Mason. It was so
much liked by the market gardeners that the next season he ordered a
larger quantity; but the second importation, though ordered and sent
under the same name, proved to be a different and inferior kind, and the
same result followed one or two other importations. The two gardeners
who received seed of the first importation brought to market a fine,
large Drumhead, ten days or a fortnight ahead of their fellows. The seed
of the true stock was eagerly bought up by the Boston market gardeners,
most of it at _five dollars an ounce_. After an extensive trial on a
large scale by the market farmers around Boston, and by farmers in
various parts of the United States, Fottler's Cabbage has given great
satisfaction, and become a universal favorite, and when once known it,
and especially the improved strain of it, known as Deep Head, is fast
replacing some of the old varieties of Drumhead. Very reliable for


~Vandergaw Cabbage.~ This new Long Island Cabbage must be classed as A
No. 1 for the midsummer and late market. It is as sure to head as the
Succession, and has some excellent characteristics in common.

It makes large, green heads, hard, tender, and crisp. This is an


~The Warren Cabbage.~ This first-class cabbage is closely allied to, but
an improvement on, the old Mason Cabbage of twenty-five years ago. It
makes a head deep, round, and very hard, the outer leaves wrapping it
over very handsomely. In reliability for heading no cabbage surpasses
it; a field of them when in their prime is as pretty a sight as a
cabbage man would wish to see. It comes in as early as some strains of
Fottler, and a little earlier than others. A capital sort to succeed the
Early Summer. The heads being very thick through, and nearly round, make
it an excellent sort to carry through the winter, as it "peels" well, as
cabbage-growers say. Ten inches in diameter, in size it is just about
right for profitable marketing. A capital sort, exceedingly popular
among market-man in this vicinity.


~Early Bleichfeld Cabbage.~ I find the Bleichfeld to be among the
earliest of the large, hard-heading Drumheads, maturing earlier than the
Fottler's Brunswick. The heads are large, very solid, tender when
cooked, and of excellent flavor. The color is a lighter green than most
varieties and it is as reliable for heading as any cabbage I have ever
grown. The above engraving I have had made from a photograph of a
specimen grown on my grounds.


~Danish Drumhead Cabbage.~ In 1879, Mr. Edward Abelgoord wrote me from
Canada, that he raised a large Drumhead Cabbage, the seed of which was
brought from Denmark, which was the best kind of cabbage that he had
seen in that latitude (46°), being very valuable for the extreme North.
It was earlier than Fottler's Drumhead, and made large, flat heads, of
excellent flavor, and was so reliable for heading. I raised a field of
this new cabbage, and it proved a large, flat, early Drumhead, very
reliable for heading.


~The Reynolds Early Cabbage.~ In the year 1875, Mr. Franklin Reynolds,
of this town, crossed the Cannon-Ball Cabbage on the Schweinfurt
Quintal, by carefully transferring the pollen of the former on the
latter, the stamens having first been removed, and immediately tying
muslin around the impregnated blossoms to keep away all insects. The
results were a few ripe seeds. These were carefully saved and planted
the next season, when the product showed the characteristics of the two
parents. The best heads were selected from the lot, and, from these,
seeds were raised. Several selections were made of the choicest heads
from year to year; and I now have the pleasure of introducing the
results, _a new cabbage which combines the good qualities of both its

The flavor of this new cabbage is rich, tender, and sweet, being
superior to the general Drumhead class, making it a very superior
variety for family use, and also for marketing when there is not a long
transportation. None of the scores of varieties I have ever grown has a
shorter stump than this; the heads appear to rest directly on the
ground, and no one is surer to head.


~All-Seasons Cabbage.~ This new cabbage is the result of a cross made by
a Long Island gardener between the Flat Dutch and a variety of Drumhead.
The result is a remarkably large, early Drumhead, that matures close in
time with the Early Summer, while it is from one third to one half
larger. It is an excellent variety either as an early or late sort; the
roundness of the head, leaving a thick, solid cabbage, should it become
necessary, as is often the case with those marketed in the spring, to
peel off the outer layer of leaves. Heads large in size, solid and
tender, and rich flavored when cooked. It has already, in three years,
verified the prophecy I made when sending it out, and become a standard
variety in some localities.


~Gregory's Hard-Heading Cabbage.~ I am not acquainted with any variety
of cabbage (I believe I have raised about all the native and foreign
varieties that have been catalogued) that makes so hard a head as does
the "Hard-heading" when fully matured. Neither am I acquainted with any
variety that is so late a keeper as is this; the German gardener, from
whom I obtained it, said that it gave him, and his friends who had it,
complete control of the Chicago market for about a fortnight after all
other varieties had "played out." My own experience with it tends to
confirm this statement, for under the same conditions it kept decidedly
later than all my other varieties, was greener in color, and when
planted out they were so late to push seed-shoots that I almost
despaired of getting a crop of seed. I find, also, that they are much
less inclined to burst than any of the hard-heading varieties. Heads
grow to a good market size, are more globular than Flat Dutch; and, as
might be presumed, of great weight in proportion to their size. The
color is a peculiar green, rather more of an olive than most kinds of
cabbage. About a fortnight later than Flat Dutch. For late fall, winter,
and spring sales plant 3 by 3 the first of June.


~Early Deep-Head Cabbage.~ This is a valuable improvement on the Fottler
made by years of careful selection and high cultivation by Mr. Alley of
Marblehead, a famous cabbage grower, who, as the name indicates, has
produced a deeper, rounder heading variety than the original Fottler,
thus making what that was not, an excellent sort for winter and spring
marketing. It has all the excellent traits of its parent in reliability
for making large, handsome heads.

~Bergen Drumhead.~ Heads round, rather flat on the top, solid; leaves
stout, thick, and rather numerous; stump short. With me, under same
cultivation, it is later than Stone Mason. It is tender and of good
flavor. A popular sort in many sections, particularly in the markets of
New York City. Have the plants three feet apart each way.


The Savoys are the tenderest and richest-flavored of cabbages, though
not always as sweet as a well-grown Stone Mason; nor is a Savoy grown on
poor soil, or one that has been pinched by drouth, as tender as a Stone
Mason that has been grown under favoring circumstances; yet it remains,
as a rule, that the Savoy surpasses all other cabbages in tenderness,
and in a rich, marrow-like flavor. The Savoys are also the hardiest of
the cabbage tribe, enduring in the open field a temperature within
sixteen degrees of zero without serious injury; and if the heads are not
very hard they will continue to withstand repeated changes from freezing
to thawing for a couple of months, as far north as the latitude of
Boston. A degree of freezing improves them, and it is common in that
latitude to let such as are intended for early winter use, in the
family, remain standing in the open ground where they grew, cutting the
heads as they are wanted.

As a rule Savoys neither head as readily (the "Improved American Savoy"
being an exception) nor do the heads grow as large as the Drumhead
varieties; indeed, most of the kinds in cultivation are so unreliable in
these respects as to be utterly worthless for market purposes, and
nearly so for the kitchen garden.

~The Drumhead Savoy.~ This, as the name implies, is the result of a
cross between a Savoy and a Drumhead cabbage, partaking of the
characteristics of each. Many of the cabbages sold in the market as
Savoy are really this variety. One variety in my experimental garden,
which I received as TOUR'S SAVOY (evidently a Drumhead variety
of the Savoy), proved to be much like Early Schweinfurt in earliness and
style of heading; the heads were very large, but quite loose in
structure; I should think it would prove valuable for family use.

It is a fact that does not appear to be generally known that we have
among the Savoys some remarkably early sorts which rank with the
earliest varieties of cabbage grown. Pancalier and Early Ulm Savoy are
earlier than that old standard of earliness, Early York; Pancalier being
somewhat earlier than Ulm.

~Pancalier~ is characterized by very coarsely blistered leaves of the
darkest-green color; the heads usually gather together, being the only
exception I know of to the rule that cabbage heads are made up of
overlapping leaves, wrapped closely together. It has a short stump, and
with high cultivation is reliable for heading. The leaves nearest the
head, though not forming a part of it, are quite tender, and may be
cooked with the head. Plant fifteen by thirty inches.

~Early Ulm Savoy~ is a few days later than Pancalier, and makes a larger
head; the leaves are of a lighter green and not so coarsely blistered;
stump short; head round; very reliable for heading. It has a capital
characteristic in not being so liable as most varieties to burst the
head and push the seed shoot immediately after the head is matured. For
first early, I know no cabbages so desirable as these for the kitchen


The ~Early Dwarf Savoy~ is a desirable variety of second early. The
heads are rather flat in shape, and grow to a fair size. Stumps short;
reliable for heading.

~Improved American Savoy.~ Everything considered, this is the Savoy,
"par excellence," for the market garden. It is a true Savoy, the heads
grow to a large size, from six to ten inches in diameter, varying, of
course, with soil, manure, and cultivation. In shape the heads are
mostly globular, occasionally oblong, having but few waste leaves, and
grow very solid. Stump short. In reliability for heading it is
unsurpassed by any other cabbage.


~Golden Savoy~ differs from other varieties in the color of the head,
which rises from the body of light green leaves, of a singular pale
yellow color, as though blanched. The stumps are long, and the head
rather small, a portion of these growing pointed. It is very late, not
worth cultivating, except as a curiosity.

~Norwegian Savoy.~ This is a singular half cabbage, half kale--at least,
so it has proved under my cultivation. The leaves are long, narrow,
tasselated, and somewhat blistered. The whole appearance is very
singular and rather ornamental. I have tried this cabbage twice, but
have never got beyond the possible promise of a head.

~Victoria Savoy~, ~Russian Savoy~, and ~Cape Savoy~, tested in my
experimental garden, did not prove desirable either for family use or
for market purposes.

~Feather Stemmed Savoy.~ This is a cross between the Savoy and Brussels
sprouts, having the habit of growth of Brussels sprouts.


I will add notes on some other varieties which have been tested, from
year to year, in my experimental plot. The results from tests of
different strains of standard sorts, I have not thought it worth the
while to record.

~Cannon Ball.~ The heads are usually spherical, attaining to a diameter
of from five to nine inches, with the surrounding leaves gathered rather
closely around them; in hardness and relative weight it is excelled by
but few varieties. Stump short. It delights in the highest cultivation
possible. It is about a week later than Early York. In those markets
where cabbages are sold by weight, it will pay to grow for market; it is
a good cabbage for the family garden.

~Early Cone~, of the Wakefield class, but with me not as early.

~Garfield Pickling~, of late variety, of the conical class.

~Cardinal Red.~ A large, late variety of red; but on my grounds, it is
not equal to Red Drumhead.

~Vilmorin's Early Flat Dutch.~ Not quite as large as Early Summer,
though about as early and resembles it in shape of head.

~Royal German Drumhead.~ Reliable for heading.

~Large White Solid Magdeburg.~ A late Drumhead; short stumped; reliable
for heading. Medium late.

~Pak Choi.~ Evidently of the Kale class; no heads.

~Chou de Burghlez~ and ~Chou de Milan~. These are coarse, loose, small
heading varieties, allied to Kale. The latter is of the Savoy class.

~Earliest Erfurt Blood-Red.~ Decidedly the earliest of the red cabbages.
Very reliable for heading. A Drumhead; smaller than Red Drumhead. Very
dark red.

~Empress.~ Resembles Wyman in size and shape; but the heads are more
pointed, and it makes head earlier. Heads well.

~Schlitzer.~ This makes heads mostly shaped like the Winnigstadt, but a
third larger. Its mottling of green and purple gives it a striking
appearance. Early and very reliable for heading. Heads are not very
hard; but, when cooked, are just about as tender and rich-flavored as
the Savoy. Promises to be an excellent sort for family use.

~Rothelburg.~ An early sure heading variety of the Drumhead class. Heads
of medium size; resembling in shape Deep Head.

~Sure Head.~ A strain of Flat Dutch. A late variety; heads deeper than
Fottler, but with me not so reliable.

~Dark Red Pointed.~ Resembles Winnigstadt in shape. About as late as Red
Dutch, and not as desirable.

~Bacalan Late.~ In shape resembles Winnigstadt. Grow a little wild.

~Amack.~ A late variety. Heads generally nearly globular and quite hard.
Very reliable for heading.

~Bangholm.~ First of all. As early as the earliest, but very small,--not
as large as Little Pixie.

~Early Enfield Market.~

~Tourleville.~ Heads resemble Wakefield in form; but, with me, are
neither so large nor so large, and are more inclined to burst.

~Danish Round Winter.~ A late variety; bearing deep, hard heads on long

~Dwarf Danish.~ Late. Reliable to head; uneven in time of heading. Worth
planting for market.

~Danish Ball Drumhead.~ Heads not characterized by globular shape, but
rather flattish. Irregular in length of stump.

~Early Paris.~ Closely resembles Wakefield.

~Very Early Etampes.~ Earlier than Wakefield. Shape partakes of both
Oxheart and Wakefield.

~Early Mohawk.~ Light green in color; a good header, but not so hard
heading as Fottler. Appears to have a little of the Savoy cross in it.

~Sure Head.~ A late variety of the Dutch class; reliable for heading;
stump rather long.

~Excelsior.~ A variety which is of the Fottler class, but makes smaller
sized heads.

~Louisville Drumhead.~ Of the flat Dutch type; nearly as early as Early

~Early Advance.~ Of the Wakefield type. With me it is full as early as
Wakefield, and considerably larger. Rather coarser in structure.

~Market Garden.~ Of the Fottler class; very reliable for heading. Heads
of good size, but rather coarser than the Deep Head.

~Chase's Excelsior.~ A second early; much like Fottler; heads finely.

~Bloomsdale Early Market.~ With me this is not as good a variety as

~Berkshire Beauty.~ There appear to be fine possibilities in this
cabbage, which have not yet been developed into uniformity.

~Landredth's Extra Early.~ With me it does not prove as early as
Wakefield, and does not head as well.

~Bridgeport Late Drumhead.~ A large Drumhead; in size, between Stone
Mason and Marblehead Mammoth. Reliable for heading, but does not head as
hard as either of these varieties. Not inclined to burst.

~Large French Oxheart~ closely resembles Early Oxheart, but grows to
double the size, and is about ten days later; quality usually good.

~Early Sugar Loaf.~ Heads shaped much like a loaf of sugar standing on
its smaller end, resembling, as Burr well says, a head of Cos lettuce in
its shape, and in the peculiar clasping of the leaves about the head.
Heads rather hard, medium size; early, and tender. It is said not to
stand the heat as well as most sorts.

~Large Brunswick Short-Stemmed.~ (English seed.) Late, long-stumped,
wild, plenty of leaves, almost no head; bears but a slight resemblance
to Fottler's Drumhead.

~Early Empress.~ Cabbages well; heads conical; early.

~Robinson's Champion Ox Drumhead.~ Stump long; heads soft and not very
large; wild.

~English Winnigstadt.~ Long-stumped; irregular; not to be compared with
French stock.

~Blenheim.~ Early; heads mostly conical; of good size.

~Shillings Queen.~ Early; heads conical; stumps long.

~Carter's Superfine Early Dwarf.~ Surpasses in earliness and hardness of
head. Closely allied to Little Pixie.

~Enfield Market Improved.~ Most of the heads were flat; rather wild; not
to be compared with Fottler.

~Kemp's Incomparable.~ Long-headed; heads, when mature, do not appear to
burst as readily as with most of the conical class.

~Fielderkraut.~ Closely resembles Winnigstadt, with larger and longer
heads and stump; requires more room than Winnigstadt.

~Ramsay's Winter Drumhead.~ Closely resembles St. Dennis. I think it is
the same.

~Pomeranian Cabbage.~ Heads very long; quite large for a conical heading
sort; very symmetrical and hard; color, yellowish-green. It handles
well, and I should think would prove a good keeper. Medium early.

~Alsacian Drumhead.~ Stump long; late; wild.

~Marbled Bourgogne.~ Stumps long; heads small and hard; color, a mixture
of green and red.


In the vicinity of our large cities, the market gardeners sow large
areas very thickly with cabbage seed, early in the spring, to raise
young plants to be sold as greens. The seed is sown broadcast at the
rate of ten pounds and upwards to the acre. Seed of the Savoy cabbage is
usually sown for this purpose, which may be sometimes purchased at a
discount, owing to some defect in quality or purity, that would render
it worthless for planting for a crop of heading cabbage.

The young plants are cut off about even with the ground, when four or
five inches high, washed, and carried to market in barrels or bushel
boxes. The price varies with the state of the market, from 12 cents to
$3 a barrel, the average price in Boston market being about a dollar.
With the return of spring most families have some cabbage stumps
remaining in the cellar; these can be planted about a foot apart in some
handy spot along the edge of the garden, where they will not interfere
with the general crop, setting them under ground from a quarter to a
half their length, depending on the length of the stumps. They will soon
be covered with green shoots, which should be used as greens before the
blossom buds show themselves, as they then become too strong to be
agreeable. If the spot is rich and has been well dug, the rapidity of
growth is surprising; and if the shoots are frequently gathered, many
nice messes of greens can be grown from a few stumps. Farmers in
Northern Vermont tell me, that if they break off each seed shoot as soon
as it shows itself, close home to the stump, nice little heads will push
out on almost every stump. In England, where the winter climate is much
milder than that of New England, it is the practice to raise a second
crop of heads in this way. In my own neighborhood I have seen an acre
from which a crop of drumhead cabbage had been cut off early in the
season, every stump on which had from three to six hard heads, varying
from the size of a hen's egg to that of a goose egg; but to get this
second growth of heads, as much of the stump and leaves should be left
as possible, when cutting out the original head. As in the cabbage
districts of the North little or no use is made of this prolific after
growth, it is worse than useless to suffer the ground to be exhausted by
it; the stump should be pulled by the potato hoe as soon as the heads
are marketed. When cabbages are planted out for seed, if, for any
reason, the seed shoot fails to push out, and at times when it does push
out, fine sprouts for greens will start below the head; when the stock
of these sprouts becomes too tough for use, the large leaves may be
stripped from them and cooked. I usually break off the tender tops of
large sprouts, and then strip off the tenderest of the large leaves


No vegetable raised in the temperate zone, Mangold Wurtzel alone
excepted, will produce as much food to the acre, both for man and beast,
as the cabbage. I have seen acres of the Marblehead Mammoth drumhead
which would average thirty pounds to each cabbage, some specimens
weighing over sixty pounds. The plants were four feet apart each way
which would give a product of over forty tons to the acre; and I have
tested a crop of Fottler's that yielded thirty tons of green food to the
half acre. Other vegetables are at times raised for cattle feed, such as
potatoes, carrots, ruta bagas, mangold wurtzels; a crop of potatoes
yielding four hundred bushels to the acre at sixty pounds the bushel
would weigh twelve tons; a crop of carrot yielding twelve hundred
bushels to the acre would weigh thirty tons; ruta bagas sometimes yield
thirty tons; and mangolds as high as seventy tons to the acre. I have
set all these crops at a high capacity for fodder purposes; the same
favoring conditions of soil, manure, and cultivation that would produce
four hundred bushels of potatoes, twelve hundred bushels of carrots, and
thirty-five tons of ruta baga turnips, would give a crop of forty tons
of the largest variety of drumhead cabbage. If we now consider the
comparative merits of these crops for nutriment, we find that the
cabbage excels them all in this department also. The potatoes abound in
starch, the mangold and carrot are largely composed of water, while the
cabbage abounds in rich, nitrogeneous food.

Prof. Stewart states that cabbage for milch cows has about the same
feeding value as sweet corn ensilage, and makes the value not over $3.40
per ton. Now it is admitted by general current that the value of common
ensilage, which is inferior to that made from sweet corn, is, when
compared with good English hay, as 3 to 1. This would make cabbages for
milch cows worth not far from $7.00 per ton.

When cabbage is kept for stock feed later than the first severe frost,
if the quantity is large there is considerable waste even with the best
of care. The loose leaves should be fed first, and the heads kept in a
cool place, not more than two or three deep, at as near the freezing
point as possible. If it has been necessary to cut the heads from the
stumps, they may be piled, after the weather has set in decidedly cold,
conveniently near the barn, and kept covered with a foot of straw or
old litter. As long as a cabbage is kept frozen there is no waste to it;
but if it be allowed to freeze and thaw two or three times, it will soon
rot with an awful stench. I suspect that it is this rotten portion of
the cabbage that often gives the bad flavor to milk. On the other hand,
if it is kept in too warm and dry a place, the outer leaves will dry,
turning yellow, and the whole head lose in weight,--if it be not very
hard, shrivelling, and, if hard, shrinking. If they are kept in too warm
and wet a place, the heads will decay fast, in a black, soft rot. The
best way to preserve cabbages for stock into the winter, is to place
them in trenches a few inches below the surface, and there cover with
from a foot to two feet of coarse hay or straw, the depth depending on
the coldness of the locality. When the ground has been frozen too hard
to open with a plough or spade, I have kept them until spring by piling
them loosely, hay-stack shape, about four feet high, letting the frost
strike through them, and afterwards covering with a couple of feet of
eel-grass; straw or coarse hay would doubtless do as well.

I have treated of cabbage thus far when grown specially for stock; in
every piece of cabbage handled for market purposes, there is a large
proportion of waste suitable for stock feed, which includes the outside
leaves and such heads as have not hardened up sufficiently for market.
On walking over a piece just after my cabbages for seed stock have been
taken off, I note that the refuse leaves that were stripped from the
heads before pulling are so abundant they nearly cover the ground. If
leaves so stripped remain exposed to frost, they soon spoil; or, if
earlier in the season they are exposed to the sun, they soon become
yellow, dry, and of but little value. They can be rapidly collected with
a hay fork and carted, if there be but a few, into the barn; should
there be a large quantity, dump them within a convenient distance of the
barn or feeding ground, but not where the cattle can trample them, and
spread them so that they will be but a few inches in depth. If piled in
heaps they will quickly heat; but even then, if not too much decayed,
cattle will eat them with avidity. Cabbages are hardy plants, and loose
heads will stand a good deal of freezing and thawing without serious
injury. They are not generally injured with the thermometer 16° below
freezing. The waste, after the seed and all market cabbage are removed,
brings me about $10 per acre on the ground, for cow feed.

If cabbage is fed to cows in milk without some care, it will be apt to
give the milk a strong cabbage flavor; all the feed for the day should
be given early in the morning. Beginning with a small quantity, and
gradually increasing it, the dairy man will soon learn his limits. The
effect of a liberal feed to milk stock is to largely increase the flow
of milk. Avoid feeding to any extent while the leaves are frozen.

An English writer says: "The cabbage comes into use when other things
begin to fail, and it is by far the best succulent vegetable for milking
cows,--keeping up the yield of milk, and preserving, better than any
other food, some portion of the quality which cheese loses when the cows
quit their natural pasturage. Cows fed on cabbages are always quiet and
satisfied, while on turnips they often scour and are restless. When
frosted, they are liable to produce hoven, unless kept in a warm shed to
thaw before being used; fifty-six pounds given, at two meals, are as
much as a large cow should have in a day. Frequent cases of abortion are
caused by an over-supply of green food. Cabbages are excellent for young
animals, keeping them in health, and preventing 'black leg.' A calf of
seven months may have twenty pounds a day."


Cabbage seed in England, particularly of the drumhead sorts, is mostly
raised from stumps, or from the refuse that remains after all that is
salable has been disposed of. The agent of one of the largest English
seed houses, a few years since, laughed at my "wastefulness," as he
termed it, in raising seed from solid heads. In our country, cabbage
seed is mostly raised from soft, half-formed heads, which are grown as a
late crop, few, if any of them, being hard enough to be of any value in
the market. Seedsmen practise selecting a few fine, hard heads, from
which to raise their seed stock. It has been my practice to grow seed
from none but extra fine heads, better than the average of those carried
to market. I do this on the theory that no cabbage can be too good for a
seedhead, if the design is to keep the stock first-class. Perhaps such
strictness may not be necessary; but I had rather err in setting out too
good heads than too poor ones; besides, the great hardness obtained by
the heads of the Stone Mason, makes it possible, at least, that I am
right. Cabbage raised from seed grown from stumps are apt to be
unreliable for heading, and to grow long-stumped, though under
unfavorable conditions, long-stumped and poor-headed cabbage may grow
from the best of seed. To have the best of seed, all shoots that start
below the head should be broken off. To prevent the plants falling over
after the seed-stalks are grown, dig deep holes, and plant the entire
stump in the ground. Scarecrows should be set up, or some like
precaution be taken, to keep away the little seed-birds, that begin to
crack the pods as soon as they commence to ripen. A plaster cat is a
very good scarecrow to frighten away birds from seed and small fruits,
if its location is changed every few days.

I find that the pods of cabbage seed grown South are tough, and not
brittle, like those grown North, and hence that they are injured but
little, if any, by seed birds. When the seed-pods have passed what
seedsmen call their "red" stage, they begin to harden; as soon as a
third of them are brown, the entire stalk may be cut and hung up in a
dry, airy place, for a few days, when the seed will be ready for rubbing
or threshing out. Different varieties should be raised far apart to
insure purity; and cabbage seed had better not be raised in the vicinity
of turnip seed. There is some difference of opinion as to the effect of
growing these near each other; where the two vegetables blossom at the
same time, I should fear an admixture. When the care requisite to select
good seed stock, and the trouble, and, often, great loss, in keeping it
over winter, planting it in isolated locations, protecting it from wind
and weather, guarding it from injury from birds and other enemies,
gathering it, cleaning it, are all considered, few men will find that
they can afford to raise their own seed, provided they can buy it from
reliable seedsmen.


Cabbage when boiled with salt pork, as it is mostly used, is the food
for strong and healthy digestive powers; but when eaten in its raw
state, served with vinegar and pepper, it is considered one of the most
easily digested articles of diet. In the process of cooking, even with
the greatest care, a large portion of the sweetness is lost. The length
of time required to cook cabbage by boiling varies with the quality,
those of the best quality requiring about twenty minutes, while others
require an hour. In cooking put it into boiling water in which a little
salt and soda has been sprinkled, which will tend to preserve the
natural green color. It will be well to change the water once. The
peculiar aroma given out by cabbage when cooking is thought to depend
somewhat on the manner in which it is grown; those having been raised
with the least rank manure having the least. I think this is one of the
whims of the community. By using some varieties of boilers all steam is
carried into the fire, and there is no smell in the house.

To _Pickle_, select hard heads, quarter them, soak in salt and water
four or five days, then drain and treat as for other pickles, with
vinegar spiced to suit.

For _Cold Slaw_, select hard heads, halve and then slice up these halves
exceedingly fine. Lay these in a deep dish, and pour over vinegar that
has been raised to the boiling point in which has been mixed a little
pepper and salt.

_Sour-Krout._ Take large, hard-headed drumheads, halve, and cut very
fine; then pack in a clean, tight barrel, beginning with a sprinkling of
salt, and following with a layer of cabbage, and thus alternating until
the barrel is filled. Now compact the mass as much as possible by
pounding, after which put on a well-fitting cover resting on the
cabbage, and lay heavy weights or a stone on this. When fermented it is
ready for use. To prepare for the table fry in butter or fat.

The outer green leaves of cabbages are sometimes used to line a brass or
copper kettle in which pickles are made in the belief that the vinegar
extracts the coloring substance (chlorophyl) in the leaves, and the
cucumbers absorbing this acquire a rich green color. Be not deceived by
this transparent cheat, O simple housewife! the coloring matter comes
almost wholly from the copper or brass behind those leaves; and, instead
of an innocent vegetable pigment, your green cucumbers are dyed with the
poisonous carbonate of copper.


The very early cabbages usually bringing high prices, the enterprising
market gardener either winters the young plants under glass or starts
them there, planting the seed under its protecting shelter long before
the cold of winter is passed. When the design is to winter over fall
grown plants, the seed are planted in the open ground about the middle
of September, and at about the last of October they are ready to go into
the cold frames, as such are called that depend wholly on the sun for
heat. Select those having short stumps and transplant into the frames,
about an inch and a half by two inches apart, setting them deep in the
soil up to the lower leaves, shading them with a straw mat, or the like,
for a few days, after which let them remain without any glass over them
until the frost is severe enough to begin to freeze the ground, then
place over the sashes; but bear in mind that the object is not to
promote growth, but, as nearly as possible, to keep them in a dormant
state, to keep them so cold that they will not grow, and just
sufficiently protected to prevent injury from freezing. With this object
in view the sashes must be raised whenever the temperature is above
freezing, and this process will so harden the plants that they will
receive no serious injury though the ground under the sash should freeze
two inches deep; cabbage plants will stand a temperature of fifteen to
twenty degrees below the freezing point. A covering of snow on the sash
will do no harm, if it does not last longer than a week or ten days, in
which case it must be removed. There is some danger to be feared from
ground mice, who, when everything else is locked up by the frost, will
instinctively take to the sash, and there cause much destruction among
the plants unless these are occasionally examined. When March opens
remove the sash when the temperature will allow, replacing it when the
weather is unseasonably cold, particularly at night. The plants may be
brought still farther forward by transferring them from the hot-bed when
two or three inches high to cold frames, having first somewhat hardened
them. When so transferred plant them about an inch apart, and shield
from the sun for two or three days. After this they may be treated as in
cold frames. The transfer tends to keep them stocky, increases the
fibrous roots and makes the plants hardier. As the month advances it may
be left entirely off, and about the first of April the plants may be set
out in the open field, pressing fine earth firmly around the roots.

When cabbages are raised in hot-beds the seed, in the latitude of
Boston, should be planted on the first of March; in that of New York,
about a fortnight earlier. When two or three inches high, which will be
in three or four weeks, they should be thinned to about four or less to
an inch in the row. They should now be well hardened by partly drawing
off the sashes in the warm part of the day, and covering at night; as
the season advances remove the sashes entirely by day, covering only at
night. By about the middle of April the plants will be ready for the
open ground.

When raised in cold frames in the spring, the seed should be planted
about the first of April, mats being used to retain by night the solar
heat accumulated during the day. As the season advances the same process
of hardening will be necessary as with those raised in hot-beds.


To carry on hot-beds on a large scale successfully is almost an art in
itself, and for fuller details I will refer my readers to works on
gardening. Early plants, in a small way, may be raised in flower pots or
boxes in a warm kitchen window. It is best, if practicable, to have but
one plant in each pot, that they may grow short and stocky. If the seed
are not planted earlier than April, for out-of-door cultivation, a cold
frame will answer.

For a cold frame select the locality in the fall, choosing a warm
location on a southern slope, protected by a fence or building on the
north and north-west. Set posts in the ground, nail two boards to these
parallel to each other, one about a foot in height, and the other
towards the south about four inches narrower; this will give the sashes
resting on them the right slope to shed the rain and receive as much
heat as possible from the sun. Have these boards at a distance apart
equal to the length of the sash, which may be any common window sash for
a small bed, while three and a half feet is the length of a common
gardener's sash. If common window sash is used cut channels in the
cross-bars to let the water run off. Dig the ground thoroughly (it is
best to cover it in the fall with litter, to keep the frost out) and
rake out all stones or clods; then slide in the sash and let it remain
closed for three or four days, that the soil may be warmed by the sun's
rays. The two end boards and the bottom board should rise as high as the
sash, to prevent the heat escaping, and the bottom board of a small
frame should have a strip nailed inside to rest the sash on. Next rake
in, thoroughly, guano, or phosphate, or finely pulverized hen manure,
and plant in rows four to six inches apart. As the season advances raise
the sashes an inch or two, in the middle of the day, and water freely,
at evening, with water that is nearly of the temperature of the earth in
the frame. As the heat of the season increases whitewash the glass, and
keep them more and more open until just before the plants are set in
open ground, then allow the glass to remain entirely off, both day and
night, unless there should be a cold rain. This will harden them so that
they will not be apt to be injured by the cabbage beetle, as well as
chilled and put back by the change. Should the plants be getting too
large before the season for transplanting, they should be checked by
root pruning,--drawing a sharp knife within a couple of inches of the
stalk. If it is desirable still further to check their growth, or harden
them, transplant into another cold frame, allowing each plant double the
distance it before occupied.

The structure and management of a hot-bed is much the same as that of a
cold frame, with the exception that the sashes are usually longer and
the back and front somewhat higher; being started earlier the requisite
temperature has to be kept up by artificial means, fermenting manure
being relied upon for the purpose; and the loss of this heat has to be
checked more carefully by straw matting, and, in the far North, by
shutters also. In constructing it, horse-manure, with plenty of litter,
and about a quarter its bulk in leaves, if attainable, all having been
well mixed together, is thrown into a pile, and left for a few days
until steam escapes, when the mass is again thrown over and left for two
or three days more, after which it is thrown into the pit (or it may be
placed directly on the surface) which is lined with boards, from
eighteen inches to two feet in depth, when it is beaten down with a fork
and trodden well together. The sashes are now put on and kept there
until heat is developed. The first intense heat must be allowed to pass
off, which will be in about three days after the high temperature is
reached. Now throw on six or eight inches of fine soil, in which mix
well rotted manure, free from all straw, or rake in, thoroughly,
superphosphate, or guano, at the rate of two thousand pounds to the
acre, and plant the seed as in cold frame. Harden the plants as directed
in preceding paragraph.


My treatise on the cabbage would hardly be complete without some
allusion to such prominent members of the Brassica family as the
cauliflower, broccoli, brussels-sprouts, and kale.

~Cauliflower.~ Wrote the great Dr. Johnson: "Of all the flowers of the
garden, give me the cauliflower." Whether from this we are to infer the
surpassing excellence of this member of the Brassica family, or that the
distinguished lexicographer meant emphatically to state his preference
of utility to beauty (perhaps our own Ben. Franklin took a leaf from
him), each reader must be his own judge; but be that as it may, it
remains true, beyond all controversy, that the cauliflower, in toothsome
excellence, stands at the head of the great family of which it is a
member. To be successful, and raise choice cauliflowers, is the height
of the ambition of the market gardener; and, with all his experience,
and with every facility at hand, he does not expect full success oftener
than three years in four. The cauliflower, like the strawberry, is
exceedingly sensitive to the presence or absence of sufficient water,
and success or failure with the crop may turn on its having a full
supply from the time they are half grown. The finest specimens raised in
Europe are grown in beds, which are kept well watered from the supply
which runs between them; and the most successful growers in the country
irrigate their crops during periods of drouth. Cauliflowers do best on
deep, rich, rather moist soils. In the way of food, they want the very
best, and plenty of it at that. The successful competitor, who won the
first prize at the great Bay State Fair, to the disgusted surprise of a
grower justly famous for his almost uniform success in winning the
laurels, whispered in my ear his secret: "R. manures very heavily in the
spring for his crop. I manure very heavily both fall and spring." In
manuring, therefore, do as well by them as by your heaviest crop of
large drumhead cabbage, using rich and well-rotted manure, broadcast,
with dissolved bone or ashes, or both, in the drill. Plough deep, and
work the land very thoroughly, two ploughings, with a harrowing between,
are better than one. Give plenty of room; three by three for the smaller
sorts, and three by three and a half for the later and larger. They need
the same cultivation, and, being subject to the same diseases and injury
from insect enemies, need the same protection as their cousins of the
cabbage tribe. In raising for the summer market, start in the cold
frame, or plant as early as the ground can be worked, that the plants
may get well started before the dry season, or the crop will be likely
to make such small heads "buttons" as to be practically a failure. For
late crop, plant seed in the hills where they are to grow, from the 20th
of May to the middle of June. The crop ripens somewhat irregularly. When
there is danger from frost, the later heads should be pulled and stored,
with both roots and leaves, being crowded, standing as they grew, into a
cold cellar or cold pit, when they will continue growing. As soon as the
heads begin to form, they should be protected from sunlight by either
half breaking off the outer leaves and bending them over them, or by
gathering these leaves loosely together and confining them loosely by
rough pegs, or by tying them together with a wisp of rye-straw.

~Varieties.~ These are almost as numerous as in the cabbage family. I
find notes on some thirty-five varieties, tested from year to year, in
my experimental grounds. Most of them prove themselves to be but a
lottery, in this country of dry seasons, though in the moister climate
of the European localities, where they are at home, they are a success.



The Half-Early Paris, or Demi-Dur, was for years the standard variety
raised in this country, and from this, by selection, favorite local
varieties were obtained; but, of late years, this has been, to a large
degree, superseded by several excellent sorts, of which the Extra-Early
Dwarf Erfurt was, doubtless the parent. Principal among these varieties
are the Snowball, the Sea-Foam, Vick's Ideal, and Berlin Dwarf. All of
these are early sorts and excellent strains. After testing them side by
side, I find that the best strain of the Snowball is not excelled by
either of them. Of the somewhat later ripening sorts, a variety which
originated in this country, called the "Long Island Beauty," gives me
great satisfaction, in its reliability for heading, and in the large
size of its heads; this, with the Algerian, as a larger late sort, will
give us a first-class series.


Cauliflower seed is not raised, as yet, to any large extent in this
country, though some successful efforts have recently been made in this
direction. I have found that there is a remarkable difference between
varieties in the quantity of seed they will yield. From one variety I
have raised as high as sixty pounds of seed from a given number of
plants, while from two others, equally early, having the same number of
plants in each instance, and raised in the same location (an island in
the ocean), with precisely the same treatment in every way, I got, in
each case, less than a tablespoonful of seed, though the heads of some
of them grew to the enormous size of sixteen inches in diameter.

A fine cauliflower is the pet achievement of the market gardener. The
great aim is not to produce size only, "but the fine, white, creamy
color, compactness, and what is technically called curdy appearance,
from its resemblance to the curd of milk in its preparation for cheese.
When the flower begins to open, or when it is of a warty or frost-like
appearance, it is less esteemed. It should not be cut in summer above a
day before it is used." The cauliflower is served with milk and butter,
or it may become a component of soups, or be used as a pickle.

The ~Broccoli~ are closely allied to the cauliflower, the white
varieties bearing so close a resemblance that one of them, the
Walcheren, is by some classed indiscriminately with each. The chief
distinction between the two is in hardiness, the broccoli being much the

Of Broccoli over forty varieties are named in foreign catalogues, of
which WALCHEREN is one of the very best. KNIGHT'S PROTECTING is an
exceedingly hardy dwarf sort. As a rule, the white varieties are
preferred to the purple kinds. Plant and treat as cauliflower.

Of ~Brussels-Sprouts~ (or bud-bearing cabbage) there are but two
varieties, the dwarf and the tall; the tall kind produces more buds,
while the dwarf is the hardier. The "sprouts" form on the stalks, and
are miniature heads of cabbage from the size of a pea to that of a
pigeon's egg. They are raised to but a limited extent in this country,
but in Europe they are grown on a large scale. The sprouts may be
cooked and served like cabbage, though oftentimes they are treated more
as a delicacy and served with butter or some rich sauce. The FEATHER
STEM SAVOY and DALMENY SPROUTS are considered as hybrids,
the one between the brussels-sprouts and Savoy, the other between it and
Drumhead Savoy. The soil for brussels-sprouts should not be so rich as
for cabbage, as the object is to grow them small and solid. Give the
same distance apart as for early cabbage, and the same manner of
cultivation. Break off the leaves at the sides a few at a time when the
sprouts begin to form and when they are ready to use cut them off with a
sharp knife.

~Kale.~ Sea-kale, or sea-cabbage, is a native of the sea coast of
England, growing in the sand and pebbles of the sea-shore. It is a
perennial, perfectly hardy, withstanding the coldest winters of New
England. The blossoms, though bearing a general resemblance to those of
other members of the cabbage family, are yet quite unique in appearance,
and I think worthy of a place in the flower garden. It is propagated
both by seed and by cuttings of the roots, having the rows three feet
apart, and the plants three feet apart in the rows. It is difficult to
get the seeds to vegetate. Plant seed in April and May. The ground
should be richly manured, and deeply and thoroughly worked. It is
blanched before using. In cooking it it requires to be very thoroughly
boiled, after which it is served up in melted butter and toasted bread.
The sea-kale is highly prized in England; but thus far its cultivation
in this country has been very limited.

The ~Borecole~, or common kale, is of the cabbage family, but is
characterized by not heading like the cabbage or producing eatable
flowers like the cauliflower and broccoli. The varieties are very
numerous, some of them growing very large and coarse, suitable only as
food for stock; others are exceedingly finely curled, and excellent for
table use; while others in their color and structure are highly
ornamental. They are annual, biennial, and perennial. They do not
require so strong a soil or such high manuring as other varieties of the
cabbage family.

The varieties are almost endless; some of the best in cultivation for
TALL GREEN CURLED, PURPLE BORECOLE, and the variegated kales. The crown
of the plant is used as greens, or as an ingredient in soups. The kales
are very hardy, and the dwarf varieties, with but little protection, can
be kept in the North well into the winter in the open ground. Plant and
cultivate like Savoy cabbage.

The variegated sorts, with their fine curled leaves of a rich purple,
green, red, white, or yellow color, are very pleasing in their effects,
and form a striking and attractive feature when planted in clumps in the
flower garden, particularly is this so because their extreme hardiness
leaves them in full vigor after the cold has destroyed all other
plants--some of the richest colors are developed along the veins of the
uppermost leaves after the plant has nearly finished its growth for the
season. The JERSEY COW KALE grows to from three to six feet in
height and yields a great body of green food for stock; have the rows
about three feet apart, and the plants two to three feet distant in the
rows. In several instances my customers have written me that this kale
raised for stock feed has given them great satisfaction.

The THOUSAND-HEADED KALE is a tall variety sending out numerous
side shoots, whence the name.

       *       *       *       *       *




This treatise is amply illustrated, and gives full particulars on every
point, including keeping and marketing the crop.

       *       *       *       *       *



In this work there will be found many valuable tables, with many
suggestions, and much information on the purchase of materials, the
combining of them, and the use of the fertilizers made from them. I
believe it will give a good return to any of my customers, for his
outlay. The treatise makes a book of 116 pages.








       *       *       *       *       *





This work has been warmly recommended by some of the best authorities in
the country, and has gone through fourteen editions. It gives the
minutest details, from selecting the ground and preparing the soil, up
to gathering and marketing the crop. Illustrated with thirteen
engravings of Onions, Sowing Machines, and Weeding Machines.


       *       *       *       *       *






How to Grow Them


How to Feed Them.

This treatise presents, in minutest detail, every step of progress, from
planting the seed to the matured crop.




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