Growing Cabbage

Cabbage is one of the vegetable staples included with corned beef in a St. Patrick’s Day meal, but cabbage is a nutritious addition to meals all year round. Growing cabbage in a home garden opens the door to the enjoyment of lesser-known cabbage varieties.

Cabbage is one of the vegetable staples included with corned beef in a St. Patrick’s Day meal, but cabbage is a nutritious addition to meals all year round. Growing cabbage in a home garden opens the door to the enjoyment of lesser-known cabbage varieties.

Cabbage should be planted early enough so it matures before summer heat. Plant it from seed or transplant after the last hard frost of the season. Cabbage is frost hardy, so if another light frost comes after it is planted, the plant should outlast the cold without damage. You can also start late-season cabbage varieties at the end of summer so they are ready for harvest in late fall. Most cabbages average 75 days to maturity.

Plant seeds or transplants 12 to 24 inches apart in rows. The closer the plants, the smaller the heads will become. Cabbage does best in fertile soil with nitrogen fertilizer side dressing. Keep soil evenly moist throughout the growing season and provide shade from direct sunlight as temperatures increase. Cabbage is related to broccoli and cauliflower; if you are growing these veggies at the same time, keep them spaced apart so they can not transfer pests or disease.

Harvest cabbage anytime after heads form. Green cabbage varieties, such as Cheers and King Cole, will give you the large cabbage heads like you find in grocery stores. For more exciting cabbage harvests, try growing red cabbage or Savoy cabbage varieties.

 

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