Growing cabbage from seed can be a difficult process, and often times the results are not what you expect.
When most people think of growing their own vegetables, cabbage is not one of the first things that comes to mind. This may be because many people do not know how to grow cabbage from seed successfully.
Our guide will show you how to plant cabbage seeds, care for them as they grow, and harvest them for the best results.
Growing cabbage from seed
Here are the steps you need to take in growing cabbage from seed:
1. Right plantation
Choose a suitable location for your cabbage plants. They will need full sun and well-drained soil.
2. Prepare the soil
Prepare the soil by digging it over and removing any weeds. The soil should be well drained and have plenty of organic matter. You can improve the drainage and fertility of the soil by adding compost or manure.
3. Sow the seeds
Sow the cabbage seeds directly into the soil, spacing them a few inches apart. Make sure to sow the seeds at the recommended depth and in rows that are about 12 inches apart, and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
Water your plants regularly and keep the soil moist at all times.
5. Thinning the plants
As the plants grow, thin them out to leave only the strongest and healthiest specimens. When thinning out your cabbage plants, you will need to decide which ones to keep and which ones to remove.
The best way to do this is to look for healthy, vigorous plants with dark green leaves. In general, you should aim to leave only one plant per every 12 – 18 inches.
6. Harvest cabbage
Once the plants have reached a suitable size, you can begin to harvest them. Cabbage is usually ready to harvest around 60 days after planting.
Transplanting cabbage seedlings
When you are ready to transplant your cabbage seedlings, just follow these simple steps:
1. Select a site in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight each day (1).
2. Amend the soil with compost or other organic matter to create a rich, fertile growing bed.
3. Dig shallow furrows 2-3 inches apart, and space the seedlings 8-10 inches apart within the furrows.
4. Gently remove each seedling from its container, being careful not to disturb the roots.
5. Plant the seedlings at the correct depth, so that the leaves are just above the soil line.
6. Water the seedlings well, and keep the soil moist until they are established. (Learn how to water your plant)
7. After transplanting, apply a layer of mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
With proper care, your cabbage seedlings will quickly adjust to their new home in the garden and begin to grow into healthy plants. Soon you’ll be harvesting delicious, home-grown cabbage!
Growing cabbage from scraps
If you have some leftover cabbage from a previous meal, you can plant the scraps in your garden to grow more cabbage. Cabbage grows well in cool weather, so it is a good choice for spring or fall planting.
To grow cabbage from scraps, simply bury the cabbage piece in moist soil, making sure that the base of the cabbage is buried and that the leaves stick out above the surface.
Once your cabbage starts to grow, you will need to thin it out so that the plants have room to mature. You can either transplant the seedlings to other areas of your garden, or simply cut away the smaller cabbage plants so that the larger ones have more space.
As your cabbage continues to grow, be sure to keep it well watered and fertilized. You can either use compost or commercial fertilizer, depending on your preferences.
To get the best results from your cabbage plants, you should harvest them when they are fully grown but still firm.
Planting cabbage in pots
When planting cabbage in pots, it is important to use a potting mix that will drain well. Additionally, be sure to place the pot in a location that receives plenty of sunlight, as cabbage requires ample light for proper growth.
1. Choose a right pot
To get started, select a pot that is at least 12 inches in diameter and has drainage holes. Fill the pot with the potting mix, then moisten the mix thoroughly.
2. Sow the seeds
Once the potting mix is moist, sow the cabbage seeds. Plant the seeds about ½ inch deep and space them about 2 inches apart. After planting, water the seeds gently.
3. Thin the seedlings
Once the cabbage seedlings have emerged, thin them so that only the strongest seedlings remain. Space the seedlings about 12 inches apart.
4. Fertilize the plants
About two weeks after sowing the seeds, fertilize your cabbage plants using a balanced fertilizer. Continue fertilizing once per month throughout the growing season.
5. Harvest your cabbage
Once the plants have reached a mature size, it is time to harvest your cabbage. Cut off the heads of the cabbage using a sharp knife, and enjoy your fresh, homegrown cabbage!
Planting cabbage spacing
Cabbage can be planted 12 to 24 inches apart, depending on the variety. For best results, plant cabbage in rich, well-drained soil. In general, cabbage prefers cooler weather and does not do well in hot, humid conditions.
Cabbage growing time
Cabbage take around 60-70 days to grow from seed to maturity (2). For Chinese cabbage, the time is a little shorter, taking around 50-60 days. However, red cabbage takes around 80-90 days to grow from seed to maturity.
Cabbage harvest time
Cabbage can be harvested anytime after the heads have formed. For most cabbages, the ideal time to harvest is when the heads are firm and feel heavy.
How long it takes to harvest cabbage will depend on the type of cabbage you are growing. Some cabbages, like Chinese cabbage, can be harvested as early as 50 days after planting. Other cabbages, like green cabbage, may take up to 80 days to mature.
How to harvest cabbage
Cabbage can be harvested when the heads are firm and compact. Cut the cabbage off at the base of the plant with a sharp knife. Be sure to leave a few inches of stem attached to each cabbage head.
If you are growing chinese cabbage, you can harvest the individual leaves as soon as they are large enough to use. To do this, simply cut the leaves away from the base of the plant and use them fresh in salads or cooked as greens.
You can also allow the chinese cabbage to mature and then harvest the entire head.
Whether you are growing conventional cabbage or chinese cabbage, timing is important for success. To get the most out of your garden harvest, plan to plant your cabbage seeds in early spring, when the soil is still cool.
You can also start your cabbage seedlings indoors a few weeks before the last frost, and transplant them into the garden when all danger of frost has passed.
Growing cabbage in summer
Cabbage is a cool weather crop that can be planted in late summer for a fall harvest. Choose a variety of cabbage seedlings, such as chinese cabbage or savoy cabbage, that is well suited to your climate and growing conditions.
To plant your cabbage seeds, select a sunny location in your garden with well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Loosen the top few inches of soil with a shovel or tiller, and spread a layer of compost or other organic material over the top.
Once you have prepared your garden bed, plant the cabbage seeds about ¼ inch deep and 18 inches apart. Water the seeds well, and keep the soil moist until they germinate.
Thin the seedlings to about 12 inches apart as they begin to grow, and continue to water your cabbage plants regularly. To encourage larger heads, remove any yellowing or stunted leaves, and use a light fertilizer or side-dress with compost as needed.
With proper care and attention, your cabbage plants should begin to yield delicious and nutrient-rich harvests in just a few months. Enjoy fresh, homegrown cabbage all summer long!
Growing cabbage in winter
Cabbages can be grown in winter, but they need to be started early. Seeds can be sown in late summer or early fall, and the plants will overwinter in the ground. In late winter or early spring, you can start to see new growth on the plants.
When growing cabbage in winter, there are a few things to be aware of.
1. First, the plants need to be started early so that they have time to overwinter in the ground.
2. Secondly, cabbages are a cool weather crop, so they will not do well if the temperatures get too hot.
3. Finally, you should choose an appropriate variety of cabbage that is suited to your climate. Some good options include Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts.
Best time to plant cabbage
The best time to plant cabbage is in the early spring, before the last frost. You can also plant cabbage in the late summer, after the first frost. Cabbage likes cool weather and will not do well in hot weather.
If you live in an area with a long growing season, you can try growing Chinese cabbage, which is more heat-tolerant than regular cabbage.
Cabbage planting guide
1. When to plant cabbage
Cabbage can be planted in the garden as early as 2-3 weeks before the last frost date in your area, or as late as 2 months before your first fall frost date. (What is the temperature frost point for plants)
To determine the best time to plant cabbage in your area, it is important to know your frost dates. The average last frost date is around April 15th and the average first fall frost date is around October 15th.
2. Choosing the variety
When choosing a variety of cabbage to grow, it is important to take into consideration the type of climate you live in.
Some popular varieties of cabbage that are well suited for growing in colder climates include Chinese cabbage, savoy cabbage, and Napa cabbage.
These varieties can be planted directly into the garden in early spring. In warmer climates, it is best to grow varieties such as red cabbage, green cabbage, or spring cabbage.
These varieties are typically started indoors, then transplanted into the garden once all danger of frost has passed.
3. Preparing the planting bed
Before planting your cabbage, it is important to prepare the planting bed by amending the soil with plenty of compost or manure.
When choosing a planting location, it is important to consider factors such as sun exposure and soil quality. Cabbage plants prefer full sun and well-draining, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5 (3).
4. Planting the cabbage seeds
Once your planting bed is prepared, you can begin planting your cabbage seeds.
Begin by scattering the seeds in a row and then covering them lightly with soil.
After planting, be sure to water the seeds well.
5. Caring for your cabbage plants
Once your cabbage seeds have germinated and the seedlings have emerged, it is important to thin them out so that they are spaced 12-18 inches apart.
As the plants grow, you will need to keep them well watered, especially during hot, dry weather.
Cabbage plants are also heavy feeders and will benefit from being fertilized every 2-3 weeks with a general purpose fertilizer.
With proper care, your cabbage plants should be ready to harvest in 60-90 days.
Cabbage companion plants
Cabbage is a cool-season crop that can be grown either as a spring or fall crop in most climates. In order to get the most out of your cabbage crop, it’s important to choose the right companion plants.
Good companions for cabbage include:
Potatoes: Potatoes can help improve soil fertility and prevent common cabbage pests, such as aphids.
Beans: Beans are a great source of nitrogen, which cabbage needs in order to grow. They also help protect cabbage from pests and disease.
Carrots: Carrots help improve the soil and attract beneficial insects, which help keep cabbage pests at bay.
While there are many great companion plants for cabbage, it’s important to avoid planting it with tomatoes. This is because cabbage and tomatoes are susceptible to the same pests and diseases. Planting them together can make these problems worse.
Pest & disease
Pests and diseases are a common issue when growing cabbage from seed. Flea beetles, cabbage loopers, and imported cabbageworms are all common pests that can cause significant damage to your cabbage plants.
Additionally, bacterial wilt and black rot are two common diseases that can affect cabbage plants.
Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent pests and diseases when growing cabbage from seed. To protect your plants from flea beetles and other pests, regularly inspect your plants for any signs of damage.
1. Row covers
You can also use row covers or floating row covers to keep pests from getting to your plants.
To use row covers, simply place the fabric over the plants and secure it with stakes or clips. Be sure to remove the covers when it’s time to pollinate the plants.
2. Remove from affected plant
If you see any signs of pests or disease, be sure to remove the affected plant from your garden to prevent the problem from spreading.
3. Way of watering
To prevent bacterial wilt, water your cabbage plants at the base of the plant rather than from overhead. This will help to prevent the spread of the disease.
4. Remove the leaves
If you see any signs of black rot, be sure to remove the affected leaves from your plant.
5. Use fungicide
You can also treat your plants with a fungicide to help prevent the disease from spreading.
After reading this post, you should have a good understanding of how to grow cabbage from seed. If you are eager to get started, be sure to follow the instructions closely and keep an eye on your plants as they grow. With a little bit of patience and care, you will soon be enjoying fresh, homegrown cabbage!