Cabbage is a cool-weather crop. Grow cabbage in spring so that it comes to harvest before the summer heat or start cabbage in mid to late summer so that it comes to harvest during the cool days of autumn, winter, or early spring.
WHERE TO GROW CABBAGE
- Grow cabbage in soil rich in organic matter that is well-drained. Prepare planting beds ahead of planting by covering beds with 2 to 3 inches of aged compost or commercial organic planting mix and turning it under to 12 inches deep.
- Cabbage grows best where the soil pH is between 6.5 and 6.8.
- If clubroot disease has been a problem, adjust the soil pH to 7.0 or slightly higher by adding lime.
- Add plenty of well-aged compost to planting beds before planting. In regions where the soil is sandy or where there is heavy rain, supplement the soil with nitrogen.
- Adding a moderate amount of nitrogen-rich blood meal or cottonseed meal to the soil ahead of planting will enhance leafy growth.
CABBAGE PLANTING AND SPACING
- Set leggy or crooked stemmed plants deeply; you can bury 1 to 2 inches of the main stem even up to just below the top two sets of leaves.
- Space seedlings 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. You can space plants closer but the heads will be smaller at maturity.
- In early spring plant cabbage through black plastic or garden fabric set in
CONTAINER GROWING CABBAGE
- A cabbage will grow easily in a container at least 8 inches deep and wide.
- In large containers grow cabbage on 12-inch centers.
- Keep the soil evenly moist, do not let the soil go dry and do not overwater.
- Feed cabbage growing in containers with compost tea or a dilute solution of fish emulsion every two weeks.
WATERING AND FEEDING CABBAGE
- Cabbage requires regular, even watering. Uneven watering can result in stunted or cracked heads. Give cabbage 1 to 1½ inches of water every week; 1 inch equal 16 gallons.
- As plants reach maturity, cut back on watering to avoid splitting heads.
- Fertilize cabbage at midseason when plants are established with a high nitrogen fertilizer such as 10-5-5 or feed plants a dilute solution of fish emulsion every two weeks.
Bravo cabbage, a rugged hybrid, has performed well from the Deep South in winter to the North in summer. The large, round cabbage heads are uniform and a beautiful blue-green color. Use close spacing (10-12 in.) for market and wide spacing (18-24") for sauerkraut.
Ruby Perfection red cabbage is a mid to late season, medium-sized variety of hybrid cabbage. Ruby Perfection plants produce firm 4- to 6-pound (1.8 to 2.7 kg.) heads in a rich, deep red color. They have good storage potential and can often last well into late winter or early spring when stored in a root cellar. Ruby Perfection matures 80 days after transplanting.