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  • Writer's pictureStronger Roots

Growing Cabbage

Updated: May 10, 2022


-Contains Vitamins C (eye health), A (help against heart disease and cancers), K (bone health), and B6 (mood regulation)

-Minerals like Manganese, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium and Iron

-contains powerful Antioxidants (protection from free radical damage), including polyphenols and sulfur compounds AND antioxidants that protect against chronic inflammation.

-The powerful PIGMENTS in the deep colored cultivars (like red cabbage) contain compounds shown to reduce risk to heart disease.

-When cabbage ferments (like Sauerkraut) it makes natural PROBIOTICS that nourish the bacteria in your gut. Those bacteria help your body fight germs, take in nutrients, digest food, and control anxiety.

-Contains Sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that helps fight and prevent cancers.

-The INSOLUBLE FIBERS contained within the cabbage help with regulating digestion


-Prepare the soil in advance by mixing in aged manure and/or compost

-Well drained soil

-Sow seeds 1/4” to 1/2” deep

-Plant in the Spring to harvest before the summer heat OR in mid to late Summer to harvest in the Fall.

-Start INDOORS 4-6 weeks before Last Frost

-When planting transplants bury 1 to 2” of the main stem


-Full sun (6+ hours)

-Best grown in a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.0

-Place cabbage transplants in the garden when they are 3” to 5” tall OR have 4 to 5 true leaves OR 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost

-THIN plants 18” to 24” apart / SET ROWS 24” to 36” apart

❗️Spacing closer will result in smaller heads

-Best grown in temps between 45° and 75°F

-Frost tolerant AND can handle temps as low as 20° for a short time

❗️Will BOLT in temps 80°+

-💦Cabbage requires regular, even watering. ❗️Uneven watering can result in stunted/cracked heads/ on the flip side, cut watering back when plants near maturity to prevent cracked heads/ the heads take up water faster than the moisture can transpire from tightly wrapped leaves

❗️ Splitting can also be caused by over fertilization of plants close to the end of the growing season.

-Root pruning is a technique that can help reduce the amount of moisture plants can absorb, preventing splitting. Twist plants gently or cut off a few roots using a sharp knife.

-Top dress/amend area around plants every 2 weeks with compost or nitrogen heavy fertilizers

-Mulch a few inches around plants to retain moisture, keep roots warm and help control weeds


As for a lot of cultivars of vegetables, Cabbage has short (like Golden Acre), mid, and longer season (like Wirosa ) varieties. In addition…

Head Cabbage - Grow on a thick stalk and form a ball-like head of densely packed leaves. Head cabbage comes in red and green varieties, the red generally sweeter in taste than the green.

Chinese Cabbage These are the looser leaf cabbages found most often in stir fries and other Chinese cuisine. Bok Choy & Napa cabbage are of the most common.

Savoy Cabbage similar to head cabbages, but their leaves are crinklier resulting in their heads being less tightly formed.


-Cabbage comes to harvest in 80 to 180 days from seed and in 60 to 105 days

-Harvest cabbage when heads are firm

-Cabbage is also SWEET when harvested in cool weather

-Cabbage harvest can survive and hold quality under a blanket of snow. Discard the spoiled outer leaves after harvest.

-For additional heads/harvest from the same plant, cut the head at the center of the stem and leave several leaves attached to the stem stump. Small heads will grow from the stalks


-Cabbage will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks or longer.

-Cabbage also can be dried and frozen or cured in brine as sauerkraut.

-In proper root cellar conditions, cabbage will keep for up to 3 months. temps of 32º to 40ºF w/ humidity level of 85% to 95% are ideal


-Cabbage suffer attacks from cutworms, cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, cabbage root maggots, slugs, and aphids ✅ Handpick, Insecticidal soap or Thuricide (BT)

-Can get a disease called Black rot, also OR clubroot ✅ plant resistant cultivars OR plant in well-drained soil AND rotate crops on a few years schedule

-Downey Mildew ✅ remove infected parts and provide optimal air circulation

-Flea Beetles ✅ Use row covers in your grow space


-Cabbage is actually a biennial

-belongs to the Brassica family which includes broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, and kale

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