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How to Grow Cabbage

Growing cabbage in your home garden Growing cabbage in your home garden

How to grow cabbage: cabbage is a cool season crop that can very easily be transplanted. You can either start growing inside before the growing season and then transplant outside or sow directly outside in the ground when proper temperatures exist. This will depend on the length of your growing season and the variety you choose.

Growing cabbage could take up to 4 months to grow from seed, depending on the variety selected, so make sure your growing season is long enough for planting directly outside. The results and success rates listed above are adjusted for your local growing season and conditions.

Sow cabbage seeds 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) deep. Optimal soil temperature for germination is between 62.3°F (16.8°C) and 80.6°F (27.0°C). Seeds usually germinate in about 5-11 days, most likely in 7 days.

Cabbage requires 90-120 days to be ready for harvest from seed, depending on the cabbage variety selected and the weather during the growing season. There are also cabbage varieties that mature in 60-90 days.

Optimal day air temperature for growing cabbage is between 57.4°F (14.1°C) and 67.4°F (19.6°C). Optimal night temperatures are between 48.4°F (9.1°C) and 56.6°F (13.7°C). Cabbage can endure air temperatures as low as 40.3°F (4°C) during the night and up to 75°F (23.8°C) during the day – If temperatures go to 80°F (26.6°C) the cabbage will bolt and begin to flower!

Soil temperature during cabbage growth should be between 60.1°F (15.6°C) and 65.1°F (18.4°C) in optimal conditions, but can withstand soil temperatures as low as 58.4°F (14.7°C).

Required soil pH for Cabbage growth is 6.0-7.5 but the optimal pH is 6.6-7.1.

Optimal sunlight for Cabbage is 6-12 hours per day. Cabbage should be watered between 1.0-1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm) of water per week, adjusting for weather conditions and type of soil.

Cabbage spacing: cabbage seeds sown directly into the ground should be sown at a depth of 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) deep spaced 7.9 inches (20.2 cm) apart with rows spaced 28.8 inches (73.3 cm) apart. If you do not ensure enough space between the cabbage plants then they will fight over water and soil resources resulting in smaller cabbage head growth.

How to grow cabbage in your garden: make you sure you space the plants accordingly so that cabbage plants have enough space to grow and they do not fight over resources. If you decide to start growing inside, move the transplants outside about 4-7 weeks later or when the seedlings are about 4 inches tall.

Many gardeners use protective net around the cabbage plants to protect against cabbage worms, a common problem associated with growing cabbage plants. The cabbage fly is a common predator that lays its eggs inside the cabbage plant which results in cabbage worms that eat the cabbage plant. The easiest way to solve that is by using a net to prevent the fly from reaching the plant.

If cabbage worms are eating up your cabbage plant you can use natural neem oil, which is a vegetable oil produced from the evergreen tree. But before spraying we recommend using nets.

It could take up to 4 months for cabbage heads to form. For knowing when to harvest feel the head – if it is firm it ready for harvest.  If head not firm than head is not formed yet and not ready for harvest.

Cabbage requires 6-12 hours of sunlight but also do well with 6-8 hours of sun. If cabbage heads are not growing it could mean that the temperatures in your area have warmed up and are too high – remember cabbage needs cool temperatures, and do not do well under hot temperatures.