Red cabbage

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Red cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. Capitata), also red cabbage, called in southern Germany red cabbage, belongs to the cabbage species and comes from the family of cruciferous vegetables (Brassicaceae). Its smooth, tight-fitting and wax-coated leaves are reddish on both the outside and the inside, violet to bluish in color. This is due to anthocyanins, ie stored plant substances. Because of these plant substances red cabbage can be used as a simple acid-base indicator: the more acidic the addition (for example, vinegar), the more red the cabbage, whereas a soda addition leads to a blue coloration.

Red cabbage contains valuable B and C vitamins, folic acid, potassium, calcium, magnesium and mustard oils, which have a detoxifying effect. There are early, mid-early and late varieties. Unlike white cabbage, red cabbage grows slightly slower. Therefore, the heads remain smaller than those of his bright relative.

Location and ground

The heavy-nutrient red cabbage prefers a heavy, humus-rich and evenly moist soil that is slightly calcareous and rich in nutrients. The cabbage thrives in sunny to partially shaded spots.

Red cabbage

The cabbage should be supplied with compost and organic fertilizer as early as this autumn, so that the starvationist gets enough nutrients

Sowing and planting

Red cabbage can either be brought forward or sown directly into the bed. The timing depends on the variety and the desired harvest periods. Early varieties can already be sown under glass in seed boxes with potting soil at the beginning of February. The ideal germination temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius. Once the true leaves are formed, lift out the seedlings with a spatula and plant the plantlets individually in pots of lightly fertilized seedling soil. Then place the plants in a bright place with temperatures between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius. From March, the young plants are allowed to move outdoors - the optimum planting distance is 50 x 50 centimeters. Keep the generous planting distance, because planting too closely promotes diseases and results in small heads. Mid-early and late varieties can be sown directly from April on outdoors. To prepare the cabbage, you should already work in the autumn some compost and organic fertilizer.

Plant red cabbage

Red cabbage young plants can be planted outdoors in March / April


The heavy-nutrient red cabbage needs to be watered permanently enough and needs many nutrients - especially during the formation of the head. Therefore, it is then to supply the red cabbage two to three times with Pflanzjauchen. In order to suppress the weeds and promote (root) growth, you should regularly chop the head cabbage, mulch and if necessary accumulate.

Harvest and recovery

As a rule, the heads of red cabbage are ready for harvest 14 to 21 weeks after sowing. Above all, mature varieties should be cut off wedge-shaped at the stalk and processed within two weeks. Storage locations can be pulled out of the ground before the first frosts, including stings. This allows them to be stored longer - for example, hanging upside down in cool and damp cellars. On shelves, they should control their heads and turn them on and on so they do not develop lazy spots.

After being halved, quartered and cut into strips, the red cabbage is raw or to be enjoyed in the salad. Also steamed, processed to cabbage rolls or as a classic side dish to meat dishes tastes the cabbage.

Coleslaw with red cabbage

Freshly harvested and chopped, red cabbage is a colorful salad ingredient

Crop rotation and mixed culture

Red cabbage, like all cabbage species, should be grown together after three to four years on the same bed and at least not with other cruciferous vegetables such as oilseed rape and mustard, nor with other types of cabbage. Celery, onions and tomatoes are good neighbors.


Generally, early red cabbage varieties have softer leaves and are less dark than late ripening, robust varieties. Early red cabbage varieties: 'Amarant' is an early variety with a short stem, which is already ripe in June. It has round, small to medium sized heads. This variety is more suitable for fresh consumption than for a long storage.

'Granaat' grows just as fast and is still storable. The flat round heads weigh up to two kilograms. Furthermore, 'Fr├╝hrot' and 'Marner Fr├╝hrotkohl' are early red cabbage varieties.
'Rodynda' is a biodynamic breed with a firm, high-oval head. Their inner leaves are very mild and delicate. You can eat this variety well as finely grated raw food.
Mid-early red cabbage varieties include 'Allrot', 'Autoro' and 'Vitessa'.

A good storage location is 'Marner Lagerrot', a late and the only known spicy red cabbage variety is 'Vysoke' from the Czech Republic with violet-red color and an expansive binder.

Red cabbage harvest

'Vysoke' is a spicy red cabbage variety with many spreading cladding

Diseases and pests

The cabbage fly is a pest whose maggots can cause lasting damage to the cabbage. One can stop the uninvited guest as well as the Kohlgallenr├╝ssler by attaching a cultural protection net over the young plants. The regular chopping and loosening of the soil helps to keep earth fleas away.

In addition, red cabbage can be attacked by the disease, a fungus. He shows up in black spots on the stems. As a countermeasure, it is necessary to comply with the crop rotation on the acreage. In addition, carbon hernia can occur: it is caused by a slime mold, which stimulates the root system to proliferate. As a precaution, you can lime the area. Afflicted areas should no longer be planted with cabbage for seven years.

Video Board: Braised Red Cabbage Recipe - Sweet & Sour Braised Red Cabbage Side Dish.

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