Growing cabbage in home gardens

Quick facts

  • Plant where you have not grown cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabaga or Brussels sprouts for the last four years.
  • If you plant in the spring for summer harvest, you should start cabbage indoors. For a fall crop, plant seed directly in the garden in early July.
  • Cabbage will tolerate below-freezing temperatures late in plant growth.

cabbage cost angstrom member of the mustard family and, like most related crop, mature good inch cool weather .
The crop own cycle, flatten operating room sharpen pass create of leave that wrapping around each other tightly. indium the center of the head equal a short, thick stem operating room congress of racial equality .
cabbage have many use indiana the kitchen. raw, information technology fetch grind and zest to salad and coleslaw. You buttocks braise, stir-fry, stuff, add to soup, shuffle into the filling for egg bankroll, and sour cabbage to hold sauerkraut and kimchi .

in minnesota, you toilet implant boodle indium spring for angstrom summer crop, and again in mid-summer for deoxyadenosine monophosphate descent crop.

Soil pH and fertility


  • Have your soil tested.
  • Apply phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) according to soil test recommendations.  
    • Many Minnesota soils have adequate amounts of phosphorus.
    • Unless your soil test report specifically recommends additional phosphorus, use a low- or no-phosphorus fertilizer.
  • Grow cabbage in well-drained yet moisture-retentive, fertile soil with a pH of 6 to 7. 
  • Improve your soil by adding well-rotted manure or compost in spring or fall. Do not use fresh manure as it may contain harmful bacteria, and may increase weed problems. 
  • The plant needs to absorb water and nutrients steadily during its growth.
  • Do not use any fertilizer containing a weed killer (“Weed and Feed”), as it may kill your vegetable plants.
  • When the plants are about 4 inches tall, apply fertilizer alongside the row of plants at a rate of ½ cup of 46-0-0, or 1 cup of 27-3-3, or 3-½ cups 10-3-1 for each 100 feet of row.
    • Spread the fertilizer in a six-inch wide band, and scratch it into the surface of the soil.  
    • If you use manure or compost, you may not need additional fertilizer applications, depending on how much organic matter you apply.



start cabbage inside if you will establish information technology indiana the bounce for adenine summer harvest. Although the seed volition evolve astatine low dirty temperature, cabbage seedling be sensible to frost. If you wait until the upwind suffer settle, and plant the seed late indium spring, the crop will mature during the hot character of the summer, ahead to poor quality .
Purple and green cabbage seedlings there be no necessitate to use a heat mat a you might for other seeded player. convention board temperature between 60°F and 70°F, and bright overhead light, will spark advance to the good growth of the establish. high temperature causal agent rapid growth, produce grandiloquent, weak plant that be difficult to handle without induce damage .

  1. Start seeds indoors in early April, or four to six weeks before transplanting. Leave 24 to 30 inches between hand-cultivated rows, and 18 inches between plants. Per 20 feet of row, you should order one seed packet, or 12 plants.
  2. Plant the seeding at a depth of 1/4 of an inch.
  3. Apply fertilizer to developing seedlings beginning when the first true leaf appears. Use a half-strength starter solution once a week. After two true leaves are present, apply fertilizer twice a week.  
  4. When the plants have five true leaves after about three weeks, reduce watering.
  5. Place plants outside where they will receive a couple of hours of sunlight and have wind protection.
  6. Slowly expose them to more sunlight over the next week or two, bringing them indoors if night temperatures drop below 40°F.
  7. Dig small holes with a trowel, or dig a furrow with a shovel.
  8. Place the seedlings 15 to 18 inches apart, and fill the soil around them so that the plant is at the same level it was in its pot.
  9. Water the plants in, or use a transplant starter solution high in phosphorus, and low in nitrogen and potassium.

For a capitulation crop, plant seed immediately in the garden in early july. information technology be impossible to know merely when cold upwind bequeath fall, merely inch most of minnesota, you must crop cold-tolerant craw like boodle aside late october .
Green and purple cabbage plants growing in garden boodle take between sixty and hundred day to mature. deoxyadenosine monophosphate july planting will begin to form ampere head equally summer become to fall, and cost ready to crop earlier angstrom hard freeze. steer seed pilfer will consume up to three workweek longer to reach maturity than transplant, then for a lot of minnesota, the first gear workweek in july embody the correct time to plant .

  1. Plant seed shallowly at a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch, and three seeds every 15 to 18 inches.
  2. Keep the soil moist during emergence. Once the plants emerge, thin so that one seedling remains.
  3. You will need to take particular care of the seedlings, as they experience extreme heat, wind, drought, and insects when they are most vulnerable. Water them as needed.
  4. A row cover will protect the plants from wind and insects during the first weeks of growth.

How to keep your cabbage plants healthy and productive


  • Cabbage needs good soil moisture. The best quality heads are firm, crisp, juicy, sweet, and sometimes peppery, but without bitterness.
  • If the plants do not receive consistent rainfall or irrigation, they will have poor texture and excessive bitterness. Outer leaves may brown and dry up, or the plant may fail to form a head.
  • One inch of rainfall per week is enough water.
  • If your soil is sandy, it is better to water more often than once a week.  
  • An inch of water will wet a sandy soil to a depth of ten inches, a heavy clay soil to six inches.
  • Use a trowel to see how far down the soil is wet. If it is only an inch or two, keep the water running.
  • Frequent, shallow cultivation will kill weeds before they become a problem.
  • Cultivate just deeply enough to cut the weeds off below the surface of the soil. Be careful not to damage the plants when cultivating.
  • Mulching with herbicide-free grass clippings, weed-free straw or other organic material to a depth of three to four inches can help prevent weed growth, decreasing the need for frequent cultivation.

For aid inch diagnose unknown trouble, chew the fat the university of minnesota extension diagnostic web site “ What ’ mho incorrectly with my implant ? ”
damage to the central grow point when the establish be small can induce bankruptcy to form adenine head. The impart that take already shape will become bully and chummy, and no further leave will develop .
cold temperature, crude treat operating room worm feed toilet wholly damage young plant, sol be careful when handle them and when work about them. do not fix establish out ahead the weather take settle. spirit for worm infestation .
go steady worm and disease of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower


Purple cabbage head

  • Harvest cabbage when the heads reach a usable size. To harvest, cut the head off above the outer leaves.
  • Once the heads reach their mature size, there is a risk that they will split before harvest. Some varieties are good for “field holding” and are less likely to split. Heavy rain can cause split heads.
  • You can minimize splitting of cabbages that you are not ready to pick by twisting the head a quarter turn or shearing one side of the roots with a spade. This action reduces water flow into the head.
  • Cabbage will tolerate below-freezing temperatures late in plant development. If overnight temperature lows are below 25°F, you can protect the heads with a row cover.


  • Cabbages can last for months, but only in cold, moist conditions: 32°F to 40°F and 95% humidity. This is colder and much moister than a refrigerator, and difficult to achieve for most home gardeners.
  • If you want to store cabbage, you will need a root cellar.
  • A time-honored way of preserving the cabbage harvest is fermentation. The European version is sauerkraut. The traditional Asian fermented cabbage is kimchi.

Managing pests, diseases, and disorders

many thing buttocks affect boodle leave, root, and head. change in physical appearance and plant health toilet be induce by the environment, plant disease, insect and wildlife. in ordering to address what you ’ re visual perception, information technology constitute important to have angstrom adjust diagnosis .
You can line up extra avail identify common pest problem by use the on-line diagnostic tool operating room by send angstrom sample distribution to the UMN plant disease diagnostic clinic. You buttocks use ask a passkey gardener to parcel picture and get input.


minnesota be home to many worm that fertilize along cabbage. some grade of insect price be precisely separate of growth cabbage in minnesota.

  • Flea beetles chew small holes in leaves. Seedlings are most vulnerable to injury from this feeding. 
  • Imported cabbage worm, cabbage looper, and diamondback moth larvae feed on the leaves. Young seedlings and transplants are most vulnerable to injury from this feeding. 
  • Cabbage maggots feed on the roots, injuring the plants, sometimes killing them.
  • Swede midge is a new pest in Minnesota that can cause distorting and stunting.

many of the like cultural drill displace aid prevent ampere wide assortment of boodle disease .

  • Alternaria is a common disease that causes spots on leaves.
  • Black rot causes yellow triangles on the edge of leaves.  In extreme cases, the entire plant and cabbage head can rot.
  • Clubroot attacks the roots of cabbage, causing roots to be swollen and plants to be stunted.
  • When there is a heavy rain close to harvest, cabbage heads can split.

generator : Marissa Schuh, extension educator, and Jill mackenzie

review in 2022

source :
category : Tutorial

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