Although they are coming to an end now and are really summer and autumn cabbages, there are still a few ‘Kalibos’ cabbages left in the garden. This Eastern European cabbage is rather special. It is a red cabbage but is ready well before most red cabbages and is pointed rather than round. Also the heads of red leaves are similar in texture to a summer, green pointed cabbage than a hard red cabbage and I think they are the perfect red cabbage for coleslaw. I never exactly drool with pleasure when I get some salad served to me with ‘normal’ red cabbage in it – usually sliced a week before and turning brown on the cut edges and hard as wood anyway. But ‘Kalibos’ is softer, though still crunchy, but brightly coloured.
It is easy to grow – just like any summer cabbage – and can be sown from March to May. The only downside is that the plants are big and leafy, with large ‘guard’ leaves so it is not ideal for pots or small gardens. There is an improved version – unimaginatively called ‘Kalibos Improved’ which is available now*. It is smaller and easier to fit into raised beds but I have not tried it yet.
Whether you go for the traditional or the new slant on it, this is a great cabbage.
* Seeds of Distinction http://www.seedsofdistinction.co.uk