By Kathee Mierzejewski
It is not hard to learn how to grow cabbage. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) is a fairly easy plant to grow because it is a hardy vegetable. It grows quite well in fertile soil. Cabbage comes in a variety of green shades, as well as purple or red. The shape of the head varies as well. Most cabbage varieties have smooth leaves but the Savoy cabbage leaves are crinkly.
Growing cabbage is easy so long as you pick suitable varieties to your area. Practicing proper culture and managing insects will help your crop do well.
When to Plant Cabbage Plants
The planting season for cabbage is quite long. Early cabbage should be transplanted as soon as possible so that it can mature before summertime heat. If you have been wondering when to plant cabbage plants, you should know that several varieties are available at different maturity times so you can have a harvest all summer long.
When thinking about when to plant cabbage plants, you should remember that hardened plants can be very tolerant of frosts. Therefore, you can plant these early in the spring with other cool season vegetables. Late cabbage can be started during mid-summer, but remember that they won’t develop a head until fall.
How to Grow Cabbage
When growing cabbage, be sure to space the plants 12 to 24 inches apart. The closer you space your cabbage plants, the smaller the head of the cabbage will be. Early varieties of cabbage can be planted 12 inches apart and will grow one to three pound heads. The later varieties can produce heads upwards of eight pounds.
Once you learn how to grow cabbage, you will have a great cabbage crop. Make sure to sow the cabbage seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep. After you sow them, keep them moist and thin them out to desired spacing once they grow.
Make sure you fertilize your plants when growing cabbage, especially after transplanting. Then add nitrogen as well when the cabbage is half grown. This helps them mature better. Make sure the soil is moist throughout the growing season so your cabbage produces better heads.
When to Harvest Cabbage
Anytime you see cabbage heads, the cabbage is ready to harvest. When growing cabbage, the highest yield can be had if you remember to cut the cabbage heads before they start to split. You can still harvest the cabbage after the head has split, but do so quickly as the damage to the cabbage plant attracts disease and pests.