when to plant cabbage

When to Plant Cabbage – Tips for Growing Cabbage

Cabbage is a hearty, cool-weather crop that is easy to grow in many home gardens. If you’re thinking of adding it to your garden this year, here are a few tips to help you get started, including when to plant cabbage.
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When to Start Planting Cabbage Outside?

Cabbage can be started from seed indoors about 4-6 weeks before the last frost date in spring. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep in moistened seed-starting mix, and keep the soil temperature at 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. When the seedlings are 4-6 inches tall with 2-3 true leaves, they can be transplanted outdoors.

Cabbage can also be direct-seeded in the garden, although transplants will usually mature a week or two earlier. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep and about 12 inches apart in moistened soil, and thin the seedlings to 18-24 inches apart when they are 4-6 inches tall.

When to Plant Cabbage?

The best time to plant cabbage is in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. Cabbage can also be planted in late summer for a fall crop. In warm weather climates, it’s best to start seeds indoors and transplant them outdoors after the risk of frost has passed.

Cabbage prefers cool weather and will not tolerate heat well. The optimum temperature for cabbage growth is 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. In hot weather, the heads will be smaller and may split open.

How Do You Know When to Harvest Your Cabbage?

Cabbage is ready to harvest when the heads feel firm and solid when squeezed. The leaves will be tightly packed around the head, and the head should be at least 6 inches in diameter. To avoid damaging the plant, cut the heads from the plants with a sharp knife rather than pulling them off.

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How Much Water Does Cabbage Need?

After asking “when to plant cabbage”, you may wonder how much water cabbage needs. Cabbage needs about 1 inch of water per week, and it’s best to water the plants at the base rather than overhead to avoid wetting the leaves, which can promote fungal diseases.

Cabbage is a heavy feeder and benefits from regular applications of fertilizer. For best results, work organic compost or well-rotted manure into the soil before planting. Side-dress plants with additional compost or manure when they are 4-6 inches tall, and again when the heads begin to form. You can also use balanced fertilizer.

When to Plant Fall Cabbage?

Now we know when to plant cabbage in the spring, but what about fall cabbage? In most areas, fall cabbage can be planted in late summer, about 4-6 weeks before the first frost date in your area. Cabbage can also be direct-seeded in the garden, although transplants will usually mature a week or two earlier. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep and about 12 inches apart in moistened soil, and thin the seedlings to 18-24 inches apart when they are 4-6 inches tall.

In warm weather climates, it’s best to start seeds indoors and transplant them outdoors after the risk of frost has passed.

What Are Companion Plants for Cabbage?

Now that you know when to plant cabbage, you may be wondering what are good companion plants for cabbage. Some of the best companions for cabbage include:

  • beets;
  • brussels sprouts;
  • carrots;
  • cauliflower;
  • celery;
  • chicory;
  • garlic;
  • leeks;
  • lettuce;
  • onions;
  • radishes.
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How to Store and Preserve Cabbage?

The best way to store cabbage is in the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh and crisp. To extend its shelf life even further, cabbage can be shredded and frozen. This is a great option if you want to have cabbage on hand for salads or slaws throughout the year. Another way to preserve cabbage is to make sauerkraut. This fermented dish has a long shelf life and can be enjoyed as part of a meal or as a condiment. If you’re looking for ways to extend the life of your cabbage, shredding and freezing or making sauerkraut are both excellent options.

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