Keep a Cool Head – This is Easy!
Cabbage Growing Guide
One of the easiest vegetables to grow, cabbage is a great crop for any garden, be it on the land of a first-timer or someone with quite the green thumb. Along with being so easygoing, and easy-growing, it adds a lot of lush beauty to your garden scape. And let's not forget, it's super delicious and healthy too! Its love of cooler weather gives it a longer growing season than other veggies, allowing you to plant a crop in the spring for summer eating and another later in the season for fall and winter storage.
Cabbages must have cool weather to form good heads. Early varieties will produce mature heads approximately 8 weeks after transplanting. Late varieties will require as much as 16 weeks to produce mature heads. For early and midseason varieties, seed should be started indoors, 4-6 weeks before transplanting to the garden and 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Before transplanting, harden off seedlings for at least a week. ("Hardening off" is a process that involves introducing your seedlings to the outside elements for short periods of time to better condition them for transplant.)
Prepare the garden soil by adding compost or dried manure and bone meal. Transplant seedlings setting them 15-18 inches apart in rows 24-30 inches apart. Cabbage can also be direct seeded, however, this is most successful with fall crops. Cabbages require consistent moisture. A heavy period of rain after a prolonged dry spell will cause cabbage heads to split. Cabbages can tolerate mild frosts, but will not survive a hard frost or snow fall.
Plant your cabbage crop separately from similar varieties like broccoli and cauliflower as these all require similar nutrients from the soil and could deprive one another. Change the crop location every year for the same reason. The plants will tolerate some shade, but prefer full sun exposure.
Did you know? Cabbage is a great food for weight loss. Containing only 15 calories a cup, it's a fantastic way to fill out salads or other foods to help satisfy hunger without a huge caloric impact.