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Grow & Care - Cabbage

Fast Facts

Light Requirements Prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade
Temperature Adaptations Hardy - Transplants may be set out as soon as soil dries out in the springLate summer transplants can be set out July 1 to Aug 15 for a fall harvest.
Acidity (pH) Tolerance 6.8 to 6.0 pH
Salinity (Ec) Tolerance 1.8
How Pollinated Insects
Growth Habits Biennial grown as an annual

Additional Information

Fertilizer Requirements

Can be heavy feeders. Apply 1 to 2 pounds of an all-purpose fertilizer (20-20-20 per 100 feet of row. Side dress 3 weeks later with ammonium sulphate at rate of 1/2 cup per 10 feet of row.

Water Utilization

Need to supply sufficient water to plants without creating waterlogged soil. Too much water is harmful. Stress from lack of water will decrease quality. Supplement sandy soils with organic matter to hold water.

Plant Development and Care

Most often, cabbage is grown as a seedling for about 4 to 6 weeks then transplanted into the garden. Hardened-off transplants can go out 2 to 4 weeks before average date of last frost. The young plants are fairly frost tolerant but will be damaged by hard freezes. They develop more quickly when they are protected after transplanting, with season extenders. Plants harvested earlier typically develop fewer problems with insect pests.

Although cabbage is a biennial, flowering the second year, 2 to 3 weeks of temperatures below 50 degrees will stimulate the plant to bolt into flower. High heat causes heads to split, so encourage it to mature in cool weather.

Cabbage plants are very prone to looper and aphid invasions. Watch for and treat before they become serious infestations. Start transplants 4 to 6 weeks before setting them out.

Assuming a mid-October average date of first frost, a fall crop may be transplanted between July 1st and August 15th for Fall harvest. Adjust date accordingly. Cabbage may also be directly seeded July 5th to 10th for Fall harvest.

Germination Time (Days)

15 days at 50 F

Seed Germination and Temperature Range

60 - 70 F

Common Fertilizer Deficiencies



Rotate planting location of this family of vegetables.