Michihili Napa Cabbage
Seed Count: Approx. 300 seeds
Days to Maturity: 55-100 Days
Description: Michihili cabbage is a semi-heading Chinese heirloom ideal for pickling, stir fries, hot pots, and my absolute favorite, kimchi. The flavor is sweet, delicate, mild, tender, and best of all, delicious. It's my absolute favorite cabbage to eat. It grows upright, cylindrical, loose, 6-8 inch wide, tapering heads that can grow up to 18 inches tall! Its long, crisp leaves are creamy with well blanched centers, and light to dark green tips. Michihili has a crinkled savoyed texture, with white veins and a prominent rib that gets wider towards the base (about 3-4 inches). This cabbage is super easy to grow, and a must for any home gardener that enjoys cooking Asian cuisines.
Mint2Grow Tip: Cabbage thrives in cooler weather, but I have managed to get a small head from it in my zone 10b, by timing the planting just right. It doesn't make a tight head, and tends to be more of a loose leaf type, but I enjoy eating it so much that I still torture myself, and grow it anyway (I start mine indoors around October, and place it outside, partially shaded, around November, or whenever it starts to get cooler in West Palm. When that decides to happen isn't always the same though lol).
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. Late flat dutch tolerates heat well and resists splitting.
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. Small cabbages are more tender, However, larger heads store better 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.