Village Life: When 179 cabbages isn’t enough

Post author Mate

Written by our local expert Mate

Mate is Croatian and owns a transport company in the Balkans. He is an expert on all things transportation (& food). He has visited over 30 countries and writes about the best way to get between two places.

Village Life: When 179 cabbages aren’t enough

Do you like cabbage? Luckily we do, as 180 are currently making themselves comfortable in the garden, RIGHT NOW!

We are blessed to eat fresh fruit and vegetables from our extended family’s gardens. Everything is grown in our little village and primarily grown in the same place you might have your front lawn or deck chair. We’ve noticed an interesting cultural difference between Australia/USA and our village: nobody has a lawn. All available land around your house is used for fruit & veggies and other practical purposes.

We are now into the last couple of weeks of summer, and this is the time to plant the local cabbage seedlings. Fortunately for us, Cousin Snjega potted some seeds several weeks back, and now the seedlings are ready to be transplanted into their new home.

So what happens in our family when it’s time for a mass seedling planting? Firstly, we have a glass of homemade wine to raise our spirits. Then we each have a role to play. It went a little something like this:

Person 1 – Digs the holes for the cabbages. This must be done by an expert, given how hard you have to swing the hoe.

Person 2 – Fills the holes with water to soften the ground. This was my job as I couldn’t yet be trusted with hole digging and seedling removal. This expat is safest here; for now, next year, I am to move up the ranks!

Person 3 – Removing seedlings & placing them into holes. This is a tricky activity, as you have to select the best seedlings and minimize the damage to them as you remove them. Because if they get too stressed, they won’t recover. This is the best job for the actual family expert. Cousin Snejga.

That’s me watering… No need for safety boots here


cabbages summer green gardening
The expat is not allowed to touch the seedlings.

After the seedlings are planted, you again have to water them in.

On this particular summer evening, it was a real family affair. We had relatives from New York visiting and our German friends who holiday in Privlaka every summer.  As such,  everyone pitched in, enjoyed a few glasses of homemade wine, and had great conversations in 3 languages long into the night.

Several seedlings were leftover, so they were given to my Uncle for his garden – it’s a real community.

cabbages summer green gardening
It’s fun for the entire family
cabbages summer green gardening
I’m in my glory, can you tell?
vladimir cabbage gardening summer autumn
Vladimir wasn’t so sure at first but then loved getting dirty.

When we were planning to move to Croatia and become the expats in the village, this is exactly what we wanted to experience, and we look forward to many more days like this one.

How to grow a cabbage;

Step 1: Clear the area for planting. In this case, it was the space that the 300kg of potatoes had been harvested six weeks ago.

Step 2: Prepare the space for each plant by digging out a hole 20cm round and 10cm deep.

Step 3: Fill each hole with water.

Step 4: Dig a smaller hole with your hands deep into the mud, and drop in the seedling.

Step 5: Cover the area back in with the dirt, and push down very firmly all of the way around the seedling.

Step 6: Water in again

cabbages summer green gardening

cabbages summer green gardening

Tips from our garden to yours:

  • Choose a day that is overcast or really cloudy as the day to plant your seedlings. This will help reduce the shock of being uprooted.
  • Choose a site in full sun or with a bit of shade.
  • Space each cabbage at least 30cm apart when planting – this will ensure adequate space for each to grow up big and strong.
  • It is best to grow cabbage in full sun, but the plants can deal with partial sun.
  • You must water the seedlings regularly, and when the weather is warm, they’ll need extra water.

If you decide to grow cabbages, we can’t be held responsible for extra personal gas that you may notice upon consuming too many cabbages.

Chasing the Donkey - Balkan travel blog includes affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission without any additional cost to you. We appreciate your support helping to keep this site free. Find our disclaimer & privacy policy here.

Comments (13)

  1. I love your gardening space (and your ability to garden) – I don’t think I could appropriately handle either – everything looks great! What do you plan with 180 cabbages – do you preserve them somehow?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.