Growing Cabbage

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
April 12, 2006
Cabbage Head

Botanical Name:

Brassica oleracea (Capitata group)


Cabbage is a low growing vegetable in the Cruciferae family with a large head made up of many layers of thick, succulent leaves.

Planting Time:

Cabbage should be planted early in the season so it grows and matures before the arrival of warm weather. Plant a variety of cultivars with different maturity rates to extend the season.


full sun


fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8


Sow early cabbage directly outdoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost, mid-season cabbage after the last frost and late season cabbage in early to mid-July. Sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in traditional rows spaced 2 to 3 feet apart or in mounds set 18 inches apart. Zones with shorter seasons may want to start seeds indoors or purchase transplants. Transplants should be set in the ground 2 to 3 inches deeper than they were grown in flats and spaced 12 to 18 inches apart.


Keep soil evenly moist (not wet).


Seedlings of early cultivars should be thinned to15 to 18 inches apart and late cultivars to 2 feet apart, once they form two true leaves. To avoid damaging the roots of remaining plants, snip extra plants off instead of pulling them out of the ground. Apply an organic fertilizer when plants are half grown.

Harvesting & Storage:

No matter what size the heads are, cabbage should be harvested when heads are firm and glossy in appearance. Cultivars bred for storage will keep for several weeks in an outdoor covered pit or in a root cellar with temperatures just above freezing and 90% humidity.

Diseases and Pests:

All members of the cabbage family are subject to a variety of diseases that can persist in the soil, including cabbage worms, club root, slugs, blackleg, powdery mildew, etc. Watch for signs of trouble and act quickly to resolve any problems. Damaged and diseased plants should be removed and disposed of quickly. The best defense against trouble is to practice good cultivation techniques like crop rotation.

More Solutions

This page contains the following solutions.

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 239 Posts
August 10, 2015

Cabbage white butterflies are a menace. They lay numerous eggs on the underside of the leaves of cabbage, cauliflowers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and other brassicas. The caterpillars that subsequently hatch can easily eat their way through your whole crop.

Protecting Cabbages from White Butterflies


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 239 Posts
September 7, 2015

When harvesting your brassicas, leave the root in the ground with a few leaves still attached. In a few weeks time you will find you have tiny cabbages sprouting out from the stump which can be used as spring greens in late summer!


Also baby cauliflowers and broccoli sprouts.

cooking tiny cauliflowers


8 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

March 10, 2007

Can you grow cabbage in a pot?

Hardiness Zone: 7a


March 15, 20070 found this helpful

I am, but they haven't turned into a head yet. Last year the ants ate them, and the leaf borers got in. This year I surrounded them with marigolds and the leaf borers got them instead. Mine are in separate pots which I made from old wastebaskets.


Cantate in Japan

Answer this Question

October 11, 2013

How do I deal with green fly and cabbage butterflies?

By H.Hanson

Answer this Question


Check out these photos.

October 19, 2010

My husband and I live in extreme northern California. We live off grid and our home is powered by solar panels and a wind generator. We have recently erected a large green house to grow our garden in since the growing season here is so short and harsh.

Photo of a woman holding a huge cabbage.


August 13, 2008

A photo of my son Joseph with a "cabbage as big as his head" grown in our last year's garden.

A picture of a boy holding a large head of cabbage.


October 3, 2015

This is a page about growing brassicas. The plants in this genus are members of the mustard family and include, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

closeup of a cabbage

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