How to Grow Cabbage from Seed to Harvest: Check How this Guide Helps Beginners

Cabbage is a leafy green vegetable that comes with a densely packed head. Several Cabbage cultivars vary in shape, including curly leaves, purple in color, and decorative Cabbage varieties that are produced not for food but for their looks. Most gardeners grow it annually and harvest it within a growing season for peak quality. This cold-season vegetable should be grown in spring or autumn, and its growth rate is relatively fast. The trick to growing Cabbage is steady, continuous growth. This means rich soil, plenty of water, and good fertilization.

How to Grow Cabbage from Seed to Harvest
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How to grow Cabbage from seed to harvest

How long does it take to grow a Cabbage from seed to harvest?

  • Spring, summer, and winter varieties can provide Cabbage throughout the year. They usually take around four to six months to reach maturity, depending on the type. Once they reach what you want, harvest them, and form a strong head. 
  • Generally, the period from sowing to transplantation ranges from 18 to 38 days. In most varieties, Cabbage is ready to be harvested 75 to 88 days after transplant. There are very early types that can be harvested 55 days after transplantation. For harvesting, cut the head of each Cabbage at its base with a sharp knife.

How many Cabbages do you get from one seed?

  • Growing Cabbage is easy as it is a healthy vegetable that is not too fussy. Knowing when to plant Cabbage and conditions its likes will reward you with an amazing vegetable that is great for salads and countless other recipes.   
  • You’ll have not just one, but several, usually three or four, but sometimes even six small heads. They will grow around the edge of the stub of the original plant. Overall, the new sub-heads will provide as much food as the original Cabbage head, but with a delicious difference.

What is the best month to plant Cabbage?

  • Mid-March through May is an excellent time to start early and mid-season Cabbage seeds indoors. Transplant Cabbage begins early and mid-season, in May and June. Sow seeds for late varieties in May, and transplant them from June to July. 
  • Plant fall Cabbages 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost. Growing plants that have been exposed to cold weather become hard and are tolerant of frost. Cabbage that matures in cold weather is deliciously sweet. Cabbage, like most vegetables, requires at least 6 hours of full sun per day. Some gardeners may wonder when to plant winter Cabbage. As long as you wait until the middle of summer, you can sow anytime until the end of summer or even early fall in mild climates. The seeds will grow in low temperatures up to 5°C.

Does Cabbage regrow after cutting?

  • Cabbage won’t regrow a single central head, but the small baby sprouts that regrow are still delicious and harvestable. When the main head is harvested, it is necessary to leave the loose lower leaves on the stem. 
  • If you cut down most varieties of Cabbage to grow again, some fresh leaves will sprout. 
  • The most successful Cabbage harvesting technique is cutting. Cut at the minimum point possible, leaving the loose outer leaves attached to the stalk. This will later allow a crop of sprout Cabbage to grow on the stem after removing the Cabbage head.
  • Cabbage plants do not return year after year, as it is considered an annual plant; however, if treated properly, they can be two years old. When harvesting, leave only enough of the leaves below to keep the plant alive to help it grow further. 

How many Cabbage seeds are in a hole?

  • Generally, two to three seeds should be planted per hole. Seeds do not have a 100% growth rate, so not every seed planted will sprout. 
  • Do not exceed three seeds per hole. If more than one grows, cut the extra on the soil line. This prevents disruption of the seedling’s roots, which you will keep growing while thinning. 

Where are the seeds in a Cabbage?

  • They will produce seed stalks directly from the center of the plant. Cabbage seeds slowly ripen and fall off immediately when ripened. So, you’ll either want to harvest the entire plant because the beans turn yellow or pick dry beans when they turn brown.
  • Remove the dried pods from the plant and break them with your fingers in a bowl to catch the seeds. Dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Collect and store seeds. Cabbage seeds are viable for up to 5 years.

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Cabbage Farming
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How do you make Cabbage grow faster?

  • Two weeks after planting, side-dress the Cabbage with 20-10-10 fertilizer. It is a high nitrogen fertilizer that will give Cabbage the boost it needs for larger growth. To determine where to place the fertilizer, measure the Cabbage from the center to the outer leaves. 
  • When planting, give each seedling a large enough plot to grow heads of the size you want to cultivate. Fertilizing your Cabbage with phosphorus will promote root formation and help in head growth. Use 8-32-16 fertilizer to provide the minimum amount of nitrogen and potassium with a power punch of phosphorus. Water is essential for head growth in Cabbage.

Can you plant Cabbage seeds directly in the ground?

  • Broccoli and Cabbage can be sown directly, which means you can put the seeds directly into the ground instead of starting indoors and then transplanting them.
  • You can sow Cabbage directly on the ground or in a modular tray. If you want a few Cabbages or have limited space, it’s easiest to sow in a tray, then transplant outside later.
  • When your Cabbage seedlings produce four true leaves, you can transplant them into larger pots. If you plan for succession plantations, you can sow seeds directly in the ground from mid to late summer for the fall crop. Or planting seeds under lights, so they get a head start for the July planting. 

What is a good fertilizer for Cabbage?

  • When planting seeds indoors, start fertilizing Cabbage plants with two to four true leaves. A diluted solution of balanced (10-10-10) liquid fertilizer, weak compost tea, or fish emulsion is recommended. You can repeat it every two weeks.
  • Once the Cabbage plants have been transplanted into the garden bed, continue fertilizing the Cabbage every three to four weeks until the heads begin to form.
  • Among the best fertilizers for Cabbage is NPK around 8-32-16 before planting. 1 to 1.3 kg per 100 square feet is the best.
  • Cabbage requires sunny space and firm soil. If possible, prepare the ground by adding well-decomposed manure or garden compost in the fall, then leave it to stabilize in the winter.
  • Measure 1/2 cup of fertilizer per 10 feet. Avoid using high nitrogen (N) after the head is formed. Cabbage grows best with a soil pH between 6.5 – 7.0 for the best nutrient content and yield.
  • Fertilize two weeks after transplantation with balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer. Add nitrogen-rich fertilizer after three weeks; Cabbage requires nitrogen in the early stages. Practice crop rotation with Cabbage to avoid soil-borne diseases. 

How do I know when Cabbage is ready to harvest?

  • About 82 days after planting, your Cabbage will be ready to be picked. Squeeze the head to make sure it’s ready for harvest and make sure it’s firm throughout. If the head presses easily and feels loose, it still needs more time to mature.
  • You may be able to eat immature Cabbage fresh about two weeks before the expected maturity date. If you want to cut Cabbage as it matures, it needs about 70 to 85 days of growth.
  • Harvest Cabbage to any size after the head is strong and before it explodes. Leave two to four wrapper leaves around the head to prevent it from drying. Heading Cabbage can be cut when the head is softball-shaped, 5 inches or more, and squeezed to test strength.

What can I plant next to Cabbage?

  • Chamomile, Wormwood, Chives, Summer Savory, Coriander, Tansy, Yarrow, Mint, Thyme, Chervil, Geranium, Sage, and Oregano are very beneficial companion plants for Cabbage.
  • A pest reserved for Cabbage and other brassica is the Cabbage moth. The celery’s aroma prevents these insects from chewing your crop. 
  • Marigolds will help get rid of mosquitoes, whiteflies, and nematodes. They can also help eliminate other garden insects such as aphids, squash bugs, Japanese beetles, cucumber beetles, and squash vine borers.
  • For best results, plant them close to Onions, Asparagus, Carrots, Parsley, or Cucumbers, but keep them away from Potato. 

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What are the growing stages of Cabbage?

The primary stages of Cabbage growth are usually four and include the germination stage, the seedling stage, the vegetative stage, and the flowering stage.

  • Germination stage – Germination is the initial; Cabbage seeds will be placed in containers or garden soil and sprout or grow between ten days and two weeks.
  • Seedlings stage – At this stage, the Cabbage plant produces young leaf-like structures (seed leaves), root-like, and juvenile stem-like structures. These structures are collectively called seedlings.
  • Vegetative stage – During the vegetative phase of Cabbage, leaves of new embryonic seeds turn into true leaves, young embryonic radicles develop into true roots, and shoots develop into stems.
  • Flowering stage – The life cycle of the Cabbage ends at this stage. The Cabbage plant will begin to bloom once the structure matures. This is their way of ensuring their survival by making seeds.

Why are my Cabbage leaves so big?

  • This may also be due to very hot temperatures or when growth resumes after a cold period. Also, consider the type you’ve applied. Some cultivars do not make heads, but some cultivars make heads. Instead, they are a loose-leaf type.

Why is my Cabbage not making a head?

  • A common reason for not making Cabbage heads is that proper water is not applied to them. Water is essential for all, but especially for Cabbage, which is 92% water in its makeup. As you can imagine, any cellular growth for a plant would require most of the water.
  • Fertilizing your Cabbage with phosphorus will promote root formation and help in head growth. Use 8-32-16 fertilizer to provide the minimum amount of nitrogen and potassium with a power punch of phosphorus. Water is very important for head growth in Cabbage.

How often do you water Cabbage?

  • Water plants in a prolonged dry spell; a thorough soaking every ten days should be enough. When the heads start to form, generous water will significantly improve the size. Feed the summer and winter Cabbages more nitrogen fertilizer before they become too large.
  • Cabbage requires about 1.5 inches of water per week to thrive. Plan to water daily if your plants have well-drained soil. Otherwise, add water frequently to keep the soil moist. Always water early in the morning and near the base of the plant. 
  • Cabbage requires consistently moist soil. While it won’t tolerate sitting in wet, soggy soil, it needs regular watering to prepare its leafy heads. Water your Cabbage once a week, and apply 1 1/2 inches of water to the ground. Water is more abundant if the soil is dry to 3 inches. Overly wet soil leaves plants struggling to survive. Yellow leaves are the first sign of the problem of excess water.

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Cabbage Plant
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Should I start Cabbage indoors?

  • Cabbage seeds can be sown directly or started indoors. Getting a head start indoors is the preferred method in areas with a short growing season. Start seeding about four to six weeks before planning to transplant seedlings in your garden.
  • You should start Cabbage indoors if you plan for a summer crop in the spring. Plant seeds directly in the garden in early July for the fallen crop. Cabbage will tolerate low freezing temperatures late in plant growth. 

How do you control pests in Cabbage?

  • Crop spray with malathion (0.1%) or Profenofos gives excellent larvae control. The intercropping mustard in the Cabbage crop 15 days before sowing and 25 days after planting Cabbage.   
  • Bacillus thuringiensis and moderately selective pesticides (such as chlorantraniliprole and spinetoram) are very effective against Cabbage loopers and imported Cabbage worms, mainly when applied to early instar (young) caterpillars. 

Can you grow Cabbage in containers?

  • It’s easy to grow Cabbage in containers, as long as you don’t crowd them. Cabbage plants can be very large, growing as high as 4 feet and nearly as wide. Limit your plants to a per 5-gallon container. 
  • Your container should be 12 inches deep and 18 inches wide, with good drainage holes at the bottom. Fill the container with premium quality potting soil. Using your hands or troll, dig a hole for the Cabbage as deep as the pot Cabbage came in.

Does Cabbage need sun or shade?

  • Cabbage, like most vegetables, requires at least 6 hours of full sun per day; It also needs fertile, well-drained, moist soil with lots of rich organic matter. If possible, prepare the ground by adding well-decomposed manure or garden compost in the fall, then leave it to stabilize in the winter. Water the plants regularly so that the soil retains moisture. Once your Cabbage plants are settled in their new home, they will need about 6 hours of sunlight daily.

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Cabbage Farm
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Can you grow Cabbage in winter?

  • Winter Cabbages are very harsh but may require cold protection during freezing weather, such as a row cover tunnel or cloche. Growing Cabbage in a greenhouse or cold frame in very cold areas is a great way to guarantee a safe winter crop.
  • These are late-season varieties of Cabbage, but with little protection, most varieties can have Cabbage in winter. If you love Cabbage, varieties growing in winter will provide a fresh taste well in the winter season.

How do you prepare soil for Cabbage?

  • Prepare the soil for planting by mixing soil and compost in a ratio of 2:3. Sprinkle the seeds on the growing bed and cover it very lightly with a thin layer of soil. Cabbage needs regular watering. The best option for watering your Cabbage plants is a water can or sprinkler system.
  • It is essential to prepare the soil deep and well. Work in as much organic material as possible such as compost, manure, or plant residues of previous crops. This should be done at least two weeks to two months before planting. Adding 2:3:4 fertilizer will yield even better yields. 
  • Since Cabbage seeds are very small, keep the seeds in a small container with very fine soil. Pierce a small hole under the container and pour a mixer of soil and seeds on the shallow furrows. Lightly cover the seeds with soil and water the seed bed immediately with a watering can. 

Do I need to thin Cabbage seedlings?

  • When the seedlings become about 5 inches long, it becomes thin to leave the desired space between them. Transplant the thin seedlings elsewhere if you want. Thick mulch around the area to maintain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Water 2 inches per square foot per week. 
  • Keep the seeds moist, and thin the young seedlings to give them space to grow. The fertile soil provides the Cabbage with a good start. After the plants are well established, adding nitrogen to the soil will help them mature. 

What is eating holes in my Cabbage leaves?

  • These small holes are obvious signs of Cabbage worms. Several insects cause this damage and are commonly referred to as Cabbage worms. This includes imported Cabbage worms, diamondback caterpillars, and Cabbage looper.
  • The aroma of Garlic, Peppermint, Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary are all known to ward off butterflies, kites, and other Cabbage pests. Line up these herbs on either side of your Cabbage is a good idea. The scent of some plants protects against Cabbage-eating insects.

What is the yield of a Cabbage plant?

  • Cabbage production varies greatly depending on different types, maturity groups, and cultivation seasons. The average yield from the early varieties is 25 to 30 tons per hectare, and the yield of the late variety is 40 to 60 tons per hectare. 
  • The Cabbage crop can yield 14,000 to 15,000 kg of Cabbage heads per acre.

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Cabbage Seedlings
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Cabbage is a tricky leafy green that works best at the right time of year and when planted in good soil. It is relatively easy to take care of in appropriate circumstances. Once you know how to grow Cabbage, you’ll never look back. Cabbage comes in all shapes and sizes, and some varieties are ready for harvesting throughout the year. 


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