The cabbages started in the January hotbed are now ready for transplantation.
We wait only for the proper conditions for their removal or what the ancient gardeners refer to as “dripping weather.”
It is fool hardy to attempt the operation in hot or windy weather as the transplants are sure to suffer and if once allowed to wilt often never recover their former vigor.
They are removed from the frame by plunging a trowel into the soil on all four sides of the transplant, gently rocking it back and forth to form a compact root ball. Then using the trowel as a lever the plant may be prized from the bed and carried to the garden.
Place them 2 feet asunder in rows 3 feet apart.
We may then observe the wisdom recorded by Mr. Randolph in his estimable Treatise, “Three things are necessary to Cabbages as well as other vegetables, to be watered in a dry season, hilled up if they grow long shanked, and kept clear of weeds, which draw the shanked, and kept clear of weeds, which draw the nourishment from the plants and make them spindle;” sage advice indeed.
The most temperamental of the cabbage tribe, as well as the most prized, particularly in gentlemen’s gardens, is the cauliflower.
Every little inconvenience visited upon them will cause them to “button,” that is, form tiny curds to the ruination of the crop.
To prevent this malady they must be transplanted while still small, five or, at the most, six leaves being the proper stage.
They must not be allowed to wilt and precautions must be taken against a late frost which would certainly destroy them.
We have found that keeping them sheltered under bell glass for the first week or two does wonderfully expedite their progress.
If it should turn hot, place a tile or shard under the lip of the bell to vent.