Planting and Growing Cabbage

by David Schulze

Purple cabbage - isn't it stunning? Read about planting and growing cabbage below.

This page talks about planting and growing cabbage.It is based on David's experiences. I am just touching on the high points. 

These are directions for direct sowing the seeds into the ground.

Who does not enjoy eating some fresh cole slaw?  It is very refreshing. Or you can make kimchi. Kimchi would be one way to store your cabbage since it ferments. Generally, cabbage kept in cool conditions will last for several months on the shelf.

Cabbage does not like the heat so plant in early spring or late summer for a fall harvest. It come in green or purple. You harvest the head when it is mature. If you just take the head, you can get smaller shoots from the leaves that are left.

As far as insects go, I pre-treat the plant with Safer Soap each time I fertilize. I use the Safer that also has a fungicide included.  I have little insect problems. A good tip for keeping caterpillars away is to plant marigolds with your cabbage. Put a row of marigold seeds in right next to your cabbage seeds.

I would plant two seeds, per hole, 12 to 18 inches apart. And no deeper than 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch in the soil.

One thing to keep in mind when gardening as Bob Webster, who is the local garden guru, likes to say, "Gardening is a lot like gambling only the odds are worse."  If you approach it like this, then when things do not go as as planned, you will not get frustrated. Just dig it up and try again.

The first thing you should is read our page on germination tips. There is a lot of good information found on this page.

Choose your seeds. Good seeds are expensive. We recommend that you buy them for us but there are many good seed sellers out there. Even though they are cheaper, I would avoid buying any from China. Many times when they ship seeds, they commit fraud by saying that the package contains jewelry or a gift because if they say seeds, they are confiscated by Customs.

More on Planting and Growing Cabbage

Purple Coleslaw made with cabbage.

Plant according to instructions. Most seeds are planted at a depth of 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. This needs to be measured because 1/4 inch is less than you think. When I first got into gardening, I planted green beans. The pack said to plant them at one inch. I thought that if one inch is good two is even better. We explain why this thinking is wrong on our page on germination tips.

Water gently with a hose or drip irrigation. Be careful! If the water pressure is too high, you can dislodge the seed and it will die. If the temperature is right, the depth is right, and the moisture is right, the cucumber seeds should emerge from the dirt in about 7 to 14 days.

Once they emerge and have grown to about six inches tall, fertilize with a weakened down solution of some organic fertilizer. Anything from Medina Agriculture will work. They are located about 40 miles from us so we have the advantage of buying directly from them. I like their products. You can google and find out where to buy them locally. 

When the plants are eight inches long, hit them with the full strength fertilizer. Also, I would add some Safer Soap and a fungicide just to be proactive against any insects. Of course, if like us, you have cutter ants, Safer Soap will not work. You will have to use something stronger. We had over 100 cucumber plants growing beautifully and the cutter ants wiped them out in just a few days.

From here just follow the manufacturer's instructions on when to harvest.

If you are only growing one type of cabbage and it is open pollinated, you can save the seeds. There are many online articles that give instructions on how to do this.

Happy plantings.