Tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers are the favorites of many home gardeners. But cabbage is another to consider, too. Often an underrated vegetable, many cooks only boil cabbage to a limp soggy mess or serve it as coleslaw. But cabbage can be used raw in salads, in stir fry dishes, roasted or slow cooked. Cabbage deserves a place in your garden, as well the more popular tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Grow these versatile veggies together in your garden.
Dig the garden soil. Add soil amendments and slow-release fertilizer. Turn the soil over again to mix the materials well. Rake smooth. Water the area to note where puddles form and even them out with a rake.
Plant the cabbage seeds or transplants as soon as heavy frosts are past. Cabbage will withstand light frosts. Plant seeds 6 inches apart and thin to 10 inches when the seedlings are 6 inches high. Thin again to 18 inches apart when small heads begin to form. Plant seedlings 18 inches apart. And remember, thinnings are edible.
Cover the seedlings with plastic glasses if a heavy frost threatens. Use gallon plastic jugs with the tops cut off for larger plants. Remove during the day.
Fertilize with a food high in nitrogen once a month. Water 1 1/2 inches per week if there isn't enough rainfall. Cabbages are ready to harvest as soon as the head forms. The heads will keep getting larger as the plant grows.
Start tomato, cucumber and green peppers seeds inside about four weeks before the average last frost in spring. Fill paper cups with holes poked in the bottom with new potting soil. Place the seeds on top of the soil. Cover the tomato and pepper seeds with 1/4 inch of soil and the cucumber seeds with 1/2 inch of soil. Water until it runs out the bottom. Place in a warm sunny window.
Harvest the cabbages before it gets hot; cabbage does not like the heat. It causes heads to crack and the cabbage to bolt or flower and produce seeds. As you harvest a cabbage, plant a tomato or green pepper seedling in its place. Dig a hole 12 inches deep and wide. Add a few handfuls of compost to the hole and a teaspoon of slow-acting fertilizer. Mix well. Plant the seedling. Eventually you will replace the row of cabbages with tomatoes and green peppers.
Plant the cucumber seedlings at the edge of the rows.