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Cabbage

Brassica oleracea (Capitata Group)

Cabbage is a plant which belongs to the Brassica (Mustard) genus. The origin of this plant's scientific name epithet (oleracea) means 'eaten as a vegetable'.

Cabbage is a hardy vegetable that is easy to grow if you select suitable varieties and practice proper culture and insect management 4. There are various shades of green available, as well as red or purple types. Head shape varies from the standard round to flattened or pointed. Most varieties have smooth leaves, but the Savoy types have crinkly textured leaves. 4

Regarded as a good source of vitamins4.

Cabbages grown late in autumn and in the beginning of winter are called coleworts.

It is an edible vegetable and is treated mainly as a biennial, so it grows best over the course of two years. Cabbage is known for its stemless habit and growing to a height of approximately 30.0 cm (11.7 inches). Popular varieties of Cabbage with home gardeners are Early Golden Acre, Copenhagen Market, Red, Early Jersey Wakefield and Savoy.

As Cabbage is a low maintanence plant, it is great for beginner gardeners and those that like gardens that don't need much overseeing.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Cabbage have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Cabbage

  • Full Sun

    +
  • High

Use starter fertilizer when transplanting and side-dress with nitrogen fertilizer when the plants are half grown. Cultivate shallowly to keep down weeds. 4

Water regularly during the growing season to produce a good crop 4.

Position in a full sun location and remember to water often. Ensure your soil has a ph of between 6.0 and 7.5 as Cabbage is a weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil loving plant. Keep in mind when planting that Cabbage is thought of as hardy, so this plant will survive close to or on freezing temperatures.

Growing Cabbage from seed

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 3.12 inches (8.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.47 inches (1.2 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 5°C / 41°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Cabbage about 45 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Cabbage

Do not plant too close together otherwise the plants will become leggy.

Transplant out at 6 weeks or when there are 6 – 8 true leaves and danger of frost has passed.

For “early cabbage”, make sure to transplant soon enough that it matures before the heat of summer 4. “Late cabbage” must be started during the heat of mid-summer, but develops its main head during the cooling weather of fall 4.

Exact row and plant spacing will depend on the variety – between 12 and 24 inches apart 4. The closer the plants are spaced, the smaller the heads will be 4.

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Cabbage is a hardy plant.

By our calculations*, you should look at planting out Cabbage about 21 days before your last frost date.

Harvesting Cabbage

Early types mature fast and burst quickly, so they must be harvested promptly. Types that mature in late summer or autumn, when growth rates are slow, hold in the field relatively longer.

Cabbage can be harvested anytime after the heads form. For highest yield, cut the cabbage heads when they are solid (firm to hand pressure) but before they crack or split. When heads are mature, a sudden heavy rain may cause heads to crack or split wide open. The exposed internal tissue soon becomes unusable. Harvest and salvage split heads as soon as possible after they are discovered. 4

In addition to harvesting the mature heads of the cabbage planted in the spring, you can harvest a later crop of small heads (cabbage sprouts). These sprouts develop on the stumps of the cut stems. Cut as close to the lower surface of the head as possible, leaving the loose outer leaves intact. Buds that grow in the axils of these leaves (the angle between the base of the leaf and the stem above it) later form sprouts. The sprouts develop to 2 to 4 inches in diameter and should be picked when firm. 4

Companion plants for Cabbage

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Cabbage so consider planting:

geraniums1, dill1 5, onions and other alliums1 5, dwarf (bush) beans5, beets5, celery5, cucumber5, marigold5, nasturtium5, rhubarb5, aromatic herbs (sage, chamomile, thyme)5

Rosemary repels cabbage flies, geraniums trap cabbage worms 1

Bittercress aka Landcress(Barbarea vulgaris):
According to Jerry Colby-Williams, "Cabbage White butterflies find Landcress irresistible, they always lay eggs on this plant in preference to other brassicas. Caterpillars feed on the leaves and are unable to detect that Landcress contains saponins, soap-like compounds which kill them. " He finds huauzontle(Chenopodium berlandieri), useful for similar reasons. 3

  • Cabbage loves Dutch clover

    fixes nitrogen, increases number of predatory ground beetles

  • Cabbage Beetroot

Repellent plants for Cabbage

These plants will not grow well with Cabbage so avoid planting these within close proximity:

mustards1 5, tomatoes1 5, peppers (chili, capsicum)1 5, strawberries1 5, pole/runner beans1 5, eggplant (aubergine) 5, parsnips 5

Common Cabbage problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Cabbage plants:

Yellow or fusarium wilt – causes the leaves of plants to wilt and die. The first sign of the disease is yellowing and browning of the lower leaves. The plants are stunted before wilting occurs. Grow yellows-resistant (YR) or yellows-tolerant varieties. Most modern hybrids have this tolerance or resistance bred into them. 4

Blackleg – black cankers on the stem. The taproot often rots away. 4

Blackrot – large, V-shaped, yellow-to-brown areas in the leaves, starting at the leaf edge. The veins turn black. Soft rot usually follows black-rot infection. 4

Bolting – when exposed to low temperatures for extended periods (eg, 35-45 F) 4

Clubroot 4

aphids, clubroot, root-knot nematodes and cabbage maggots

Cabbage Etymology

Normanno-Picard “caboche” (meaning “head”)

Cabbage Folklore & Trivia

When cooking cabbage it’s a good idea not to use aluminum utensils and cookware because it may alter the flavor and color of this vegetable.

The veins of a cabbage leaf can be gently crushed and applied to the skin to reduce swelling. 2

Other names for Cabbage

Common cabbage, Garden cabbage, Bowkail, Colewort, Savoy cabbage

Brassica oleracea, Brassica oleracea capitata, Brassica oleracea var. capitata, Brassica oleracea convar. capitata, Brassica oleracea convar. capitata var. alba

Misspellings: Cabage, Cabbagge, Head Cabbage, Heading Cabbage, Brassica olerasa

Latest Cabbage Reviews

Cabbage care instructions

How long does Cabbage take to grow?

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When should I plant Cabbage?

Our when to plant Cabbage estimates are relative to your last frost date. Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

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