Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Grow Cabbage

Cabbage is not only a great vegetable to grow in your home vegetable garden, but it has a wide variety of health benefits for you and your family. Cabbage is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and other essential vitamins your body needs. With such a wide array of cabbage choices to grow, you are bound to find a cabbage variety you can grow at home.

The first step in growing cabbage at home is to make sure your home vegetable garden’s soil is prepared. That means it needs to be rich in nutrients and have a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5. If you have been mixing in quality compost, your soil should be fine. Cabbage is susceptible to a disease called club root. Keeping your soil’s pH in the 7.2 to 7.5 range will inhibit club root.

Start your cabbage seeds indoors about 4 to 6 weeks prior to the final frost in your area. Cabbage seeds germinate best when they are planted in a soil that is 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 29 C), however, once germinated, cabbage grows nicely in cooler soil in the 60 to 65 (16 to 18 C) range.

When moving your cabbage starts from the indoors to the outdoors space out your cabbage at least 18 inches (30 cm). I have tried planting them 12 inches apart, but that is very tight in my opinion. Give your cabbage some room and they will reward you with a great harvest.

Choose a spot for your cabbage that receives full sun, although cabbage will still do well in light shade. Give your cabbage a heavy watering until you see the head begin to form, then scale back your watering to a moderate level.

Most varieties of cabbage are heavy feeders, therefore you will want to feed them weekly with a good fertilizer such as a compost or manure tea, or another quality fertilizer that is high with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous.

Follow the instructions on the back of your seed packet for proper harvesting as the variety of cabbage you are growing will determine when to harvest.

Avoid following other members in the cabbage family in a crop rotation plan.


  1. what are some reasons for cabbage not to form heads? environment was: raised beds (double dug), regular composting and drip irrigation in Zone 5b

  2. The trouble I always have with Cabbage is the moths. Once spring is underway, there are millions of moths and I lose my crop every year. How do I control them?