The cabbage is planted in the garden. He was able to get 8 rows done and had to finish covering it in the dark. Our days are long this time of year but the rewards of early cabbage are worth it. Last year Ken decided that there must be a better way to dig holes than being on your knees all day with a little trowel, wearing your shoulder muscles out digging all those little holes for the plant starts.
He checked at the local feed store and found a small 6 inch post-hole digger vs. the regular size of 8 inches. It has been a wonderful tool to use in the plastic. The job is so much easier now and our body does not complain quite as much at night because of sore muscles.
First he digs all his holes. This timeframe helps to keep the little plant roots from drying out while he puts them in. After he digs the hole he just walks along plopping the plant out of the four pack and dropping it in the hole to be tamped in later. We dig the hole right next to the t-tape so that the water is readily available for the roots of the plant. Lifting the dirt out and laying it close to the plant then we will just drag the dirt over to cover the roots in a few minutes when we set the plant in. About three scoops per hole and 4 inches deep. He is measuring the distance between the holes by stepping it off with his feet. For cabbage we do 24 inches between plants and about 3 feet between rows so that we have room to cover with Row Cover cloth.
Walking down the row we set out a 4-pony pack of cabbage every four holes. So that we can walk along the row and picking up a pony, popping out the plants and dropping one in each hole. At the end of the row we go back and finish planting each plant by holding it by the neck and dragging the dirt over and tamp it in a bit.
We cover the rows with a Fabric Cloth to protect them from the cold and later on from the white butterfly moth. The white butterfly lays its eggs at the base of the plant and that is where the worms in the broccoli comes from. Sometimes we put some wood ashes around the base of each plant. It does help but does not totally eliminate the problem. Later I’ll talk about organic spray that we actually spray directly on the Fabric Cloth. He puts a hoop wire every 6 feet to hold up the Row cover cloth. After we lay the fabric on the hoops we anchor each end with a bag that is filled with sand. They weigh about 20 pounds. Just twist the cloth tight and lay the bag on the twist. Using a bucket full of clothespins we attach a pin on the cloth at the bottom of each wire down the row. You can see the mainline below the sandbags for the potatoes we seeded on Friday. So in this picture, looking up the hill in the front of the picture is potatoes, then above the potatoes is the cabbage under the Fabric Cloth.
The plants are happy now and will grow quickly in thier new environment.