Cabbage prefers cool weather to grow. Plant in the early spring for summer or early fall harvest and early summer for late fall harvesting. Small heads will develop on the stem after the large head is harvested. These can be cut and used to extend your harvest. These vegetables are best transplanted as they get more growth before the heat of summer.

Botanical Family - Brassicaeae/Mustard Family

Location - Cool, moist, well drained, open.

Soil - Rich, moist loam with neutral pH.

Soil Preparation - Grows well after a green manure crop. Dig in a few inches of compost or aged manure, shredded leaves and lime (5 pounds per 50 foot bed) before planting. Use compost or manure tea at bud formation time. These vegetable plants benefit by a sprinkling of salt water before they form heads. The salt water hinders the growth of caterpillars.

Planting your cabbage:

Seed Info -

  • Seed spacing - 18 inches apart
  • Germinate in soil temperature of 10 – 30 C
  • Days to Maturity - 45 days to several months

Planting times - Sow April to mid July; transplants at 6-8 weeks. Set out before they reach 6-8 leaf stage. Succession plant every 2 weeks.

Planting Instruction - Seeds need to be covered when seeded in propagating mix (use large cells). Add a handful of compost in the hole when transplanting. After planting water well.

Companion Planting

  • Positive affect: bean, beet, dill nasturtium, onion, potato, oregano
  • Negative affect: tomato, strawberry
Watering - Water regularly once a week at the base of the plants.

Weeding - Keep weeded while plants are small.

Disease & Insects -

  • Root maggot - to prevention grow after green manure.
  • Cabbage worm – pick off, cover with remay or mulch with sawdust around the plant.
  • Club root – to prevent use rotation


Harvest - Heads are ready when they are firm to the touch. Heads may split after reaching maturity. Pick before a hard frost.

Storage - Cut individual heads and keep in your refrigerator up to 2 weeks, if you have a large amount pull up the plant roots included. Wrap in newspaper and place in a box and keep at 0 degree. Can be frozen for future use.


Red Cabbage with Apples 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1 small head red cabbage, cut into shreds

2 apples, chopped (they do not need to be peeled)

½ cup red wine

¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoon salt

½ cup red currant jelly

In a very large pot heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until softened.  Add the cabbage and cook, over medium-low heat, for 10 to 15 minutes – until the cabbage is softened.  Now add the apples, wine, vinegar, sugar and salt, lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered for 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Stir in red currant jelly, cover and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.  Makes 8 servings.


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