Yesterday afternoon, I transplanted my kale, Asian cabbage, and cauliflower seedlings into garden bed number one, in the same way as I transplanted cabbages last year. I had planted them on April 8th and moved them to the cold frame on May 5th.
There are 4 peat pots each of kale ‘starbor,’ Asian heading (“napa”) cabbages ‘optiko’ and ‘one kilo,’ pak choi ‘purple’ and ‘brisk green,’ and cauliflower ‘snow crown.’ I had planted two seeds in each peat pot and almost all of them germinated; after they have grown in the garden and seem well established, I will remove the smaller plant of each pair. We’ll eat the young cabbage plants. In the photo below, the kale seedling on the right is the “mutant kale” with three cotyledons.
I planted the 24 peat pots directly into the garden, in a six by four grid with about a foot (30 cm) spacing. Because peat pots wick moisture readily and can cause the soil around the seedlings to dry rapidly, I removed the tops of the pots before planting them. I use the peat pots because I don’t have to remove the seedlings from the pots which could damage the roots. Below, you can see the kale seedlings’ roots have grown through the peat pot.
After transplanting the seedlings, I watered them well. I added one tablespoon (15 ml) of 18-24-16 “Rose Plant Food” soluble fertilizer per two gallons (8 l) of water. In this photo, the newly transplanted seedlings are at the bottom, and the cabbage greens and roots are growing at the other end of the raised bed. There is a crosswise row of radish ‘cherry belle’ growing between the kale (closest to the bottom of the photo) and the first cabbage plants.
This evening, I sprinkled slug bait around and in the garden bed. Then, I added my supports made from semi-rigid, black plastic pipe and covered the bed with garden fabric, also known as floating row cover. This fabric is very light, so it wouldn’t need a support — the plants would just push it up as they grow. I covered this bed to help regulate temperature, reduce the sunlight on the newly transplanted seedlings, and especially to keep cabbage butterflies from laying eggs on the cabbages.
The edges of the fabric are held down with an assortment of rocks, logs, and small metal fence posts. The plastic clips near the far end are holding the ends of two pieces of garden fabric together; one piece wasn’t long enough for my longest garden bed.