Cabbage 'Golden Acre'
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea Capitata Cultivar Group
Common Name: Cabbage 'Golden Acre'
Golden acre is an open-pollinated, heirloom cabbage variety that was bred in Denmark during the early 20th century.
Cabbage is an underrated vegetable that is fairly mild in flavour compared to most other cruciferous vegetables yet still provides similar health benefits. Golden acre is a delicious, sweet, pale-leaved variety that produces a dense head. It's ideal for making sauerkraut and coleslaws, but can also be cut in wedges and steamed briefly or added into soups and noodle dishes.
Golden acre cabbages will grow fastest when planting in a location that receives full sun, however gardeners in warmer climates may find that plants are less likely to suffer from heat stress if planting in a lightly shaded position instead. Golden acre is a slow bolting cabbage variety so is suitable for growing in warmer climates. Golden acre cabbage grows best in a free-draining, fertile soil rich in organic matter. If your soil is sandy, heavy with clay or pale and lacking in organic matter place down a layer of compost or well-rotted manure prior to planting cabbages. Worms and other soil organisms will help to incorporate the organic matter through your growing beds improving the structure and fertility of your soil. Cabbage is a heavy feeder and requires lots of nutrients to form a large, dense head full of leaves. Top dress around cabbage plants with a nitrogen-rich organic fertiliser such as blood and bone once your seedlings are established to give them an early boost. Apply a dilute organic liquid fertiliser, worm juice or compost tea every few weeks throughout the growing season to ensure continuous growth. Water golden acre cabbage plants regularly or the leaves may wilt and plants will be more likely to bolt to seed. Mulch around golden acre cabbage plants to help retain soil moisture and keep their root systems cool. Cabbages can suffer from brassica club root disease which causes their roots to deform inhibiting nutrient uptake. Club root disease is less likely to occur in soils that are compacted. The best way to reduce club root disease in your cabbage crop is to walk over your growing beds to compact the soil slightly before planting and firming down the soil around your cabbage seedlings once you have planted them. Cabbage white butterfly caterpillars are a major pest of cabbages and other brassica crops. The best way to control them is to spray a commercially available organic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) solution over all your cabbage leaves every few weeks according to the label. Bacillus thuringiensis is a selective bacterial bio-control agent that attacks the digestive system of caterpillars causing them to stop feeding and eventually killing them. Due to its compact growth habit golden acre is one of the best cabbage varieties for container growing, although head size will be greatly diminished compared to soil-grown cabbages.
When to Sow
In cold and mountainous regions of Australia sow golden acre cabbage seeds during Spring. In temperate regions of Australia sow golden acre cabbage seeds from early Autumn through to mid Spring. In subtropical regions of Australia sow golden acre cabbage seeds from mid Autumn through to early Spring. In tropical regions of Australia sow golden acre cabbage seeds from late Autumn through to late Winter.
How to Sow
Sow golden acre cabbage seeds 6mm deep directly where they are to grow or in punnets. To produce cabbage plants with maximum vigour sow a few seeds into each planting hole and snip off all but the healthiest seedlings a week or two after germination. Space golden acre cabbage plants 35cm apart, they can be planted a little closer together than other cabbage varieties because they have a compact growth habit and produce fewer large, loose outer leaves. When transplanting leggy cabbage seedlings plant them deeply to help support their stems and prevent them falling over in strong winds.
Golden acre cabbage seeds germinate quickly and consistently with most seedlings emerging 5 to 10 days after sowing.
Time to Harvest
Golden acre is one of the earliest cabbage varieties producing heads in as little as 11 to 13 weeks under optimal growing conditions.