Cabbage Growing Guide
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Cabbage Growing Guide

Growing Cabbage in Your Garden

Cabbage is a nutritious, leafy green that is great addition for your home garden! This vegetable is densely packed with fiber and rich with Vitamin C and Vitamin K. From coleslaw to Kimchi, cabbage is a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in many ways! Cabbage is part of the brassica genus, relating it to turnips, rutabaga, radish, wasabi, kale, broccoli, arugula, collard greens, and kohlrabi. It can vary in appearance, including curly leaves, purple coloring and oblong shapes. Being a hardy and versatile vegetable, it’s easy to grow for every type of gardener following a few simple growing tips.

When To Plant Cabbage

Cabbage is a cool season crop, so it should be started in early-spring for a summer crop, or in late summer for a fall crop. Temperatures above 80 degrees can cause your cabbage to wither or bolt, so it is important to get your cabbage to mature before or after high temperatures are expected. The optimal soil temperature for your cabbage is from 60 to 65 degrees. However, Cabbage can withstand cold temperatures as long as they are covered in temperatures below 25 degrees.

For spring planting, Cabbage may be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost. For fall planting, direct sow or transplant your plants 4-8 weeks before your first frost.

Did you know?

Micronutrients, such as calcium and boron, are essential to producing a healthy cabbage plant. This is why it is important to use micro-boost on your plants. Micro-boost is a fertilizer that provides the essential micronutrients that your plants need to thrive.

Our Favorite Cabbage To Grow

Cabbage Plant Spacing

In-Ground Planting

Row Spacing - 12 inches to 36 inches

Plant Spacing - 12 to 24 inches

Planting Depth - Transplant even with the soil line

Raised Bed Planting

Row Spacing - 2 to 3 feet

Plant Spacing - 12 to 24 inches

Planting Depth - Transplant even with the soil line.

The spacing of the plants will result in different head sizes. Closer together, smaller. Farther apart, larger.

Cabbage Soil, Irrigation & Fertilizer

Soil Requirements to Grow Cabbage

  • Loamy, well-drained soil
  • PH between 6.0 and 7.0
  • Rich in organic matter
  • Good quality compost added to the soil

If possible, plant where you have not grown related crops such as cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collards, kale, mustard, turnip, or rutabaga for the past four years.

Cabbage Irrigation Requirements

Cabbage plants require at least 2 inches of water per square foot per week. Using drip irrigation is always recommended to be sure that your cabbage plants are getting moisture directly to their root system. If you’re using conventional overhead watering techniques, try and use something like theDramm Watering Canand water and fertilize at the base of the plant to keep moisture off the leaves. You can also mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture.

Raised Bed Fertilizer Schedule

Step One: Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

Step Two: 1 Week Before Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 6.0 – 7.0, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

Step Three: 2 Weeks After Planting

Sidedress 2 cups of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer per 10 ft. of row.

Step Four: 3 Weeks After Planting

Mix 1 tablet each of Dr. Joe All Purpose and 1 tablet of Dr. Joe Nutri Bubble into 1 gallon of water. Apply as a drench per 4 plants.

Step Five: Alternate Between Steps Three and Four Every 7 Days.

Step One: Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

Step Two: 1 Week Before Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 6.0 – 7.0, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

Step Three: 2 Weeks After Planting

Using the Hoss Fertilizer Injector, Mix 1 cup of Hoss Premium 20-20-20 Fertilizer -AND -1-2 cups of Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement per 20 ft. of row.

Step Four: 3 Weeks After Planting

Mix 1 cup of Hoss Premium Calcium Nitrate -AND -1-2 cups of Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement per 20 ft. of row.

Step Five: Alternate Between Steps Three and Four Every 14 Days.

Cabbage Pest & Disease Protection

Insects

Organic Controls

Garden Insect Spray
Thrips, Horn Worms, Cabbage Looper

Horticulture Oil
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies

Bug Buster-O
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies

Monterey BT
Hornworms, Cabbage Looper

Take Down Garden Spray
Aphids, Horn Worms, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies

Diatomaceous Earth
Cutworms

Neem Oil
Whiteflies, Aphids

Non-Organic

Bug buster II
Aphids, Horn Worms, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies, Cabbage Looper

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Common Diseases

Organic Controls

Complete Disease Control (Drench)
Pythium Damping-Off

Liquid Copper Fungicide
Black rot, Alternaria, Downy Mildew

Garden Phos
Pythium Damping-Off, Downey Mildew, Powdery Mildew, Alternaria

Non-Organic

Vegetable, Flower, Fruit and Ornamental Fungicide
Alternaria, Ring Spot, Leaf spot, Downey Mildew

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Harvesting, Preserving & Storing Cabbage

When & How To Harvest Cabbage

The time it takes for cabbage to be ready to harvest depends on the variety. The average time to mautrity is 70 days. Once the heads are fully formed and firm to the touch, they are ready to be harvested. If you leave heads for too long, you risk them splitting. Be sure to leave some of the leaves around the head to keep it protected. You can pull up the entire plant or use a sharp knife to cut the head at its base.

Storing & Keeping Cabbage

Cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, wrapped lightly in plastic. Make sure it is dry before storing. It can be frozen and used for cooked dishes, soups, and casseroles. Sauerkraut or Kimchi are other popular options for storing cabbage.

Check Out Our Cabbage Varieties

Cabbage Growing Tips & Tricks

Not Too Much Water

Cabbage needs consistent soil moisture to produce crisp and juicy heads. Irregular watering can result in a bitter taste or misshapen heads. It is necessary to keep the soil lightly moist but never soggy. 

Companion Planting

Companion planting can help deter pest and even boost the growth of your crop! Planting flowers, such as nasturtiums, can help lure away caterpillars from your cabbages!

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