Growing Cabbage

growing cabbage

Growing Cabbage:

Cabbage is quite easy to grow. Cabbage is a cold weather vegetable that likes full sun and a slightly alkaline soil pH (7.0-7.3). Growing cabbage also requires a good amount of added nutrients as it grows, particularly when you first transplant it into the garden. A good dose of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is helpful when your cabbage is first planted. Then a side dressing of nitrogen will be needed about a month later to sustain good growth. There are a lot of choices that you will encounter when you are picking out your cabbage varieties. There are different shapes and colors you can grow but the biggest thing to be mindful of is the growing season. You will need to know how many days you have before the summer heat sets in. Early and mid-season cabbages can be grown in the spring and late cabbages will be grown in the fall. The only thing you will really need to be careful of when growing cabbage is the pests. There are plenty of critters that love to eat cabbage.


When growing cabbage in your square foot garden you can plant them 1 plant per-square. Cabbage plants tend to get quite large so if they start to take over another square you can remove the bottom leaves without hurting the head.

growing cabbage


Cabbage plants will need to be started inside. They take a long time to mature and most places in the country don’t have enough time before it gets to hot for growing cabbage. Start cabbage seeds 6 weeks before you plant them outside. Cabbage can be planted 3-4 weeks before the last frost. A fall cabbage crop can be started mid-June giving seeds 6 weeks before you put them in the ground. When you transplant them outside you will want to plant your little starts deep in the ground right up to the leaves. Planting your cabbage deep in the ground will give your cabbage plants more stability.


When growing cabbage you can harvest them anytime you see a head and it feels firm. Early cabbages mature in about 50-60 days, mid-season is about 70-85 days, and late season cabbages take 85-200 days. Use a serrated knife or clippers to cut the head and it is possible to get side shoots after you cut the main head off. You can eat the heads that split.


Cabbage plants need to have extra nutrition given to them particularly when they are transplanted. Also try and give them a little nutritional boost about halfway through as well. When watering growing cabbages it’s important to give them a lot of water to get started and then all but stop watering them after that. Once you can see a head start to form you will want to slow down on watering your cabbages. If the cabbage receives too much water it will split the head and you could lose your crop. Now let's talk about the pests. Cabbages are very prone to several little bugs. If you cover your crop and keep and eye on them you be able to head off any problems. Jerry Baker’s books have some great remedies that don’t involve pesticides. I highly recommend getting his books if for nothing else but the tonics and remedies.

Quick Tips

  • Cabbage is a cold weather veggie that likes full sun.
  • Start Cabbage 6 weeks before you plant it.
  • Plant Cabbage in your garden 3-4 weeks before the last frost date.
  • For a fall crop start seeds in mid-June, letting seeds grow 6 weeks before planting.
  • Cabbage is planted 1 per-square.
  • Keep Cabbage well watered when is starts but slow down once the head forms.
  • Fertilize Cabbage well when you first plant it with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and boron.
  • Plant Cabbage 12 inch apart.
  • Harvest early cabbage about 50-60 days after it’s planted.
  • Harvest mid-season Cabbage 70-85 days after it’s planted.
  • Harvest late season cabbage 85-200 days after it’s planted.
  • Use a serrated knife or clippers to cut Cabbage. Do not try to break it off.
  • If Cabbage heads split then it’s past its maturity.
  • Remove Cabbage plants from the garden after its done producing.

growing cabbage More nutritional information

  • Very high in calcium
  • Very high in manganese
  • Very high in potassium
  • Very high in vitamin B6
  • Very high in vitamin C
  • High in phosphorus
  • High in magnesium
  • High in thiamin
  • High in Vitamin K
  • High in folate
  • High in Vitamin A
  • High in Iron
Cabbage has many health benefits that make it a wonderful part of anyone diet. Cabbage, like most vegetables, has cancer fighting agents and regular consumption will help produce cancer fighting antibodies. Cabbage also has said to help with pain relief. Use a rolling pin to bruise and flatten the cabbage leaf and but it over the hurt area. Also cabbage is great for the digestive system, It provides pain relief from ulcers, it cleanses the intestinal tact and it can provide constipation relief by increasing bowl movement. The best thing about cabbage is helps in weight loss. It can block sugars and other carbohydrates from turning into fat.

How to use Cabbage:

I like cabbage. I really just like it plain and uncooked so growing cabbage is really easy for me. Cabbage gets bad press sometimes because it’s kind of “one of those vegetables”, everyone seems to turn their nose up at it. I think it’s partly because it smells like dirty gym socks when it’s cooking but fresh cabbage is really yummy. I also like to make a chicken cabbage salad.


1/2 head cabbage, sliced sm.

1 pkg. uncooked Ramen noodles, broken

1 sm. onion, diced

1/4 sunflower seeds or almond slivers

1 c. chicken


Combine and pour over above ingredients:

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

3 tbsp. vinegar

Chicken noodle seasoning

Toss Salad before eating.

Go Back to all Fruits and Vegetables from Growing Cabbage
Learn To Square Foot Garden
Return to Homepage