African Forage Cabbage is a cool-season cover crop that performs well when mixed with other brassica or legume cover crops. It has a different set of alkaloids than traditional brassica cover crops, so it works well when planted in conjunction with those. This is an “open-leaf” cabbage that is tall and fast-growing. The leaves are sturdy and retain their structure even after being killed from hard freezes. This is important in areas that receive snow, as the erect leaves help to capture snow and prevent runoff.
As the name suggests, African Forage Cabbage is a great cover crop to follow with grazing. Once the leaves have established a significant amount of biomass, allow chickens, goats, cows, etc., to feed on the cover crop to multiply the effects. The addition of the manure during the termination of the cover crop by the animals will result in some very healthy, nutrient-dense soil.
African Forage Cabbage does a great job at conditioning and aerating soils. Plants produce deep taproots that help to break up hardpans and soften soils over time. This cover crop also has some nutrient sequestration and “freeing” capabilities. It has the ability to sequester sulfur from deep so that it is available to the following vegetable crop. It also can free bound phosphorous so that is is more available to the following cash crop.
African Forage Cabbage can be grown in fall or early spring. We suggest planting in early/mid-fall with enough time for plants to establish before frost arrives. The seed can be broadcast and covered or planted with a precision planter like our Hoss Garden Seeder. As with all cover crops, it should be cut or mowed before going to seed to prevent any residual weed issues. Once cut, incorporate into the soil as green manure for best results.
African Forage Cabbage Planting Information:
Planting Depth: 1/4″
Seeding Rate: 0.5 lb per 1,000 sq. ft.
Cover Crop Recommendation Chart