Ornamental Cabbages Over Winter Zone 4/5?

I have around 8 very pretty, frilly medium sized ornamental cabbages in the front yard, in front of some cedar bushes, and though we've had frost (and snow) for a few weeks now, the cabbages are a bit larger and more colourful than ever. What I'm wondering, since this is the first time I've had these lovely purple centered green cabbages (bought at a nursery and planted late summer), is how best to keep them going.
I'm in Eastern Ontario zone 4/5 and we often get wickedly cold, bitter winters with lots of snow. I'd like to know if I should dig these plants up, or just leave them overwinter and cover them with lots of straw. Maybe it's too late to dig them up, though the roots seem rather close to the surface. Right now the ground is frozen, so I would imagine no digging would be possible, but it's supposed to warm up a bit in the coming days. (Rain, and wet snow). If they were dug up at some point, when should that be (as in, what's the point of no return when the cabbage would be damaged by the cold?), and would they be stored in a cold, dark shed, covered, and/or pruned? Or would they be potted and put in a window like Geraniums? Thanks for any input.
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weft2 wrote:

Eat them now, they are not going to get any better. They are the best tasting cabbage,with an alomst delicate flavor and texture, even though on cooking they usually acquire a purplish hue that reminds one of zombies. (to minimize this, dip into lemon juice and water prior to cooking).
If you can not eat them all, you can dig them up with some roots (not all are needed) and put them in an unheated basement planted in moist sand. They wil last quite a bit and you can eat them over two months.
Do not try to keep them for next year. They will go to seed as soon as the weather warms again.
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simy1 wrote:

Whjy would you want to eat ornamental cabbage?
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis wrote: [...]

Because it is a real cabbage. It just has a few vagrant genes that make it look prettier (in some eys) than the regular cabbage.
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Ornamental Cabbages are delicious. What better use for them after several frosts than to eat them? Beauty AND usefulness - now that's an admirable combination in a plant. The same thing holds true for plants like scarlet runner beans.
eat ornamental cabbage?

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True. I never grew the scarlet ones, but last year I had some purple pole beans (with purple leaves) and that trellis looked very good. Chard and cardoon also compete in beauty+taste. The one time I convinced a cardoon plant to get to five feet it was a spectacular sight. Everyone asked what that plant was. But ornamental cabbage is special, because it truly tastes much better than the other cabbages, it flowers so late, and you can eat it when there is little else available in the garden.
Oakleaf lettuces and carrots are also pretty when used as border plants.
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weft2 wrote:

They are an annual plant enjoy them and plant new ones next fall.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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They only last until about the first of the year here in zone 6. After several hard frosts they are dead. They are used as transitional plants here - something to plant after the annuals have become ratty or zapped by frost. The kale, cabbage, pansies, and snapdragons will last until Christmas or a bit longer depending on the weather. The pansies can be left and the snapdragons will seed themselves, but the cabbage had given it's all and needs to be removed.
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