Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage
Seed Count: Approx. 300 seeds
Days to Maturity: 100 Days
Description: The Mammoth Red Rock cabbage is a reliable old heirloom from the late 1800s that produces deep red-purple, flattened, large, round heads. These firms heads grow 8-10" across, and are red right down to their cores. In fact, each head can weigh 5-8 lbs each! The Mammoth Red Rocks has great flavor that is crisp, delicate, and subtly sweet, and is absolutely delightful for making salads, and slaws, cooking, and even pickling. It also adapts pretty well to different growing conditions, and hardiness zones. Plus, these solid heads have great storage capabilities too.
Mint2Grow Tip: If you wish to grow this cabbage in South Florida, like I did, you should start your seeds early November-December. My cabbages were able to grow and head before the temperatures got too hot again. I feed it with fish emulsion, once a month, and it sizes up pretty quickly. Cabbage worms bothered this variety less, which was an added bonus for me because they ended up decimating my Napa cabbages.
How To Grow
Sowing: For a summer crop, start your cabbage seeds 8-12 weeks before your last spring frost. Sow your seeds about a 1/2 inch deep, in rich soil 2 inches apart. 4 weeks before your last frost, plant your seedlings outside,12-18 inches apart in rows 3-4 feet apart. Make sure to bury the stems about half way up, in order to ensure that they have a strong base, while forming their heavy cabbage heads. For a fall crop, direct sow, or transplant your seedlings mid summer. This plant is ideal for raised bed,, but can be grown in containers and grow bags, if they are at least 12 inches wide and deep.
Growing: Cabbages need regular, even watering to avoid splitting. They also need a good composting or fertilizing routine, at least once a month, to form heads quickly. I feed mine fish emulsion at least once a month. Companion plant with dill, rosemary, sage, thyme, chamomile, potatoes, celery, beets, onions, mint, and nasturtiums. Aromatic herbs help to repel those destructive cabbage moths. Cabbages will over winter in most areas. In fact, plants in the brassica family are more tender, sweeter, and delicious after a frost. However, if you're expecting extreme temperatures, mulch may be needed.
Harvesting: As cabbages grow, you can harvest some of its outter leaves. Cabbage heads are ready to harvest once their heads feel firm, and reach their appropriate size. Red Acre cabbage heads stay very tender, even when stored for winter use. To save seeds, allow the plant to flower and go to seed (they will bolt once warmer temperatures approach). After the pods dry and the seeds inside are dark brown, remove them from the plant, and dry them completely indoors. Clean off as much chaff as possible, then store the seeds in a cool, dry place. Store seeds for up to 5 years.