Not all cabbages have the round shape that we usually find on the market, and not all grow to proportions that are big enough to feed a football team.
Cuor di Bue Grosso, literally translated means ‘Large Heart of the Ox’, a cultivar with a beautiful conical shape and sweet compact heart, and looking at its glorious shape ‘Ox Heart’ is the perfect name for it
Cabbage ‘Ox Heart’ is a famous European heirloom, Sweetheart type cabbage. An early variety that produces a mid-sized, conical head with large, firm, pointed hearts and ample wrapped leaves of light green and marked veins.
This very fine cabbage variety is suitable for a multitude of uses. The white hearts are crisp and sweet, excellent eaten fresh in salads or cooked.
Maturing in 65 to 75 days, it can be grown close together, spaced just 30cm (12in) apart and is a great addition to the smaller garden. It can be harvested early for smaller heads or left to grow. They will stand well in the field until needed or can be picked and stored for up to 10 weeks.
Prepare the site:
All brassica crops grow best in partial-shade, in firm, fertile, free-draining soil. Start digging over your soil as soon as you can brave the elements. Remove any stones you find and work in plenty of well-rotted manure or compost. Tread on the soil to remove air pockets and to make the surface firm. Brassicas will fail if the soil is too acidic; add lime to the soil if necessary, aiming for a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.
Sowing: Sow from February to March or directly outdoors from May to June
Nearly all brassicas should be planted in a seedbed or in modules under glass and then transferred. Seeds should be sown thinly, as this reduces the amount of future thinning necessary and potential risk from pests.Sow seeds 12mm (½in) deep and space 15 to 20cm (6 to 8in) between rows.
Once the seeds have germinated, thin the seedlings to 7.5cm (3in) between each plant. After germination, seedlings will often be ‘leggy’, so plant them as deep as possible to really anchor them into the soil.
Cabbage seedlings are ready for transplanting when they are between 6 and 8cm high (2½ to 3in). Water the day before moving, and keep well-watered until established. Plant firmly, close together for small heads and wider apart for larger cabbages, around 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) apart. Cabbage seedlings are ready for transplanting when they are between 6 and 8cm high (2½ to 3in). Water the day before moving, and keep well-watered until established. Plant firmly, close together for small heads and wider apart for larger cabbages, around 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) apart.
Clear away any yellow leaves. Feed the plants as they near maturity with a foliar feed.
Harvest: September to October.
Earliest heads can be cut, leaving the stump in the ground to produce a second crop of small leafy heads.
Brassicas are affected by a wide range of pests and diseases, especially the fungal disease, club root. The roots become stubby and swollen and can develop wet rot, while leaves become yellow and wilt, causing severe stunting of growth. Remove any infected plants from the ground and destroy. Make sure the soil is adequately limed and well drained.
Rotate your crops annually to avoid disease. Don't grow brassicas on the same plot more often than one year in three, as moving the crop helps avoid the build up of soil pests and diseases
Good Companions: Aromatic Herbs, Celery, Beetroot, Onion Family, Spinach, Chard
Mint: Effective against Cabbage White Butterflies, Aphids / Flea Beetles.
Thyme:To ward off that nasty Cabbage Worm.
Also useful: Sage, Oregano, Borage, Chamomile and Nasturtium.
Bad Companions: Dill, Strawberries, Runner Beans and Tomato.
In the wild, the Brassica oleracea plant is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, and is somewhat similar in appearance to a leafy canola plant.
Without detailed knowledge of plant breeding or genetics, simple selection by the people growing the plant over seven thousand years that had the features that they most desired, led to the development of six dramatically different vegetables. Although they appear very different, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts are all the same species, Brassica oleracea.
As time passed, some people began to express a preference for those plants with a tight cluster of tender young leaves in the centre of the plant at the top of the stem. Because of this preference for plants in which there were a large number of tender leaves closely packed into the terminal bud at the top of the stem, these plants were selected and propagated more frequently.
A continued favouritism of these plants for hundreds of successive generations resulted in the gradual formation of a more and more dense cluster of leaves at the top of the plant. Eventually, the cluster of leaves became so large, it tended to dominate the whole plant, and the cabbage "head" we know today was born. This progression is thought to have been complete in the 1st century A.D.
Cabbage is known botanically by the name Brassica oleracea variety capitata, which translates to "cabbage of the vegetable garden with a head." (Kale plants are named Brassica oleracea variety acephala which translates to mean "cabbage of the vegetable garden without a head.")
The Latin name Brassica derives from the Celtic ‘bresic’. The species oleracea refers to a vegetable garden herb that is used in cooking.
This type of pointed cabbage goes by various names.
In Ireland and the UK it is called a Sweetheart, York or Pointed Cabbage. In France it is referred to as Chou Pointu (pointed cabbage) or Cœur de Bœuf (beef heart) cabbage. In Italy it is called Cavolo Cappuccio (Long hood Cabbage), while in America it is called a Sugarloaf Cabbage.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 5 grams Average Seed Count 1,500 Seeds Seeds per gram 300 seeds per gram Common Name Early Autumn. Sweetheart Cabbage ‘Ox Heart’
Other Common Names Summer. Pointed, York or Sweetheart Cabbage Family Brassicaceae Genus Brassica Species olearacea var capitata Cultivar Cuor di Bue Grosso - ‘Ox Heart’ Spread 25cm (10in) in diameter Position Full sun Soil Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Dry Season Can be sown year round. Time to Sow Usually sown March to May Harvest 90 days Time to Harvest Usually August to October.