As a substitute for in-person programming, we’re offering a series of posts on starting a vegetable garden. This science-based information comes from the Seed to Supper program, developed by the Oregon Food Bank.
Along Oregon's North Coast, this week is a good time to plant radishes and cabbage. Radishes are best planted from seeds; cabbage can be planted from seed or as transplants. Cabbage makes a good companion plant for celery, onion, beets, spinach, and chard. Radish is a good companion for lettuce and cucumber.
"Suitable companions provide benefits such as nitrogen fixation, production of invigorating exudates, repelling or trapping of insect and other pests, and weed suppression among other benefits," says Leonard Githinji, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Sustainable and Urban Agriculture, Virginia State University.
Planted now, cabbage can be harvested July-November. If planted in summer, it can be harvested from November through April. Slugs and snails love cabbage, so make sure to use control methods for these pests. You can set out a board where they'll congregate and then flush them into salt water, or you can use a product like Sluggo.
Harvest cabbage when the heads are compact and firm, before they begin to open. The
size and shape can vary. Cut the stem close to the head. After cutting, edible "cabbage sprouts” may grow from the stump.
Wrapped in plastic, cabbage can be stored in the fridge three to six weeks. Cabbage can be sauteed, eaten raw in coleslaws, and fermented into sauerkraut.
Radishes grow quickly and do best in cool weather. They work well in succession plantings, meaning that you can plant a row every week or two in order to extend the harvest. The harvest season for spring plantings is April through June; for late summer plantings, harvest September through November.
Available in a variety of shapes and colors, radishes are ready within about a month of planting. Harvest when the roots are about ½”-1” wide. Hold greens at soil level and gently wiggle loose. Remove tops and store five to six days in a bag in the fridge. Radishes can be sliced into salads or sauteed in butter.
Here, a Food Hero recipe for Cabbage Stir Fry.