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Cabbage Stat Summary

Plant Spacing: 18-24" (457-609 mm)
Row Spacing: 18-36" (457-914 mm)
Planting Depth: 1/4" (6 mm)
Plants Per Person: 3
Soil Temperature: 55-75°F (13-24°C)
Days to Emergence: 5-17
Recommended Soil PH: 6.0-6.8
Seed Indoors: 6-8 weeks before transplanting
Earliest Outdoor Planting: Before Last Frost
Tick Can direct seed outdoors
Tick Can seed indoors

Planting Cabbage

Cabbage grows best in cool, moist climates; it can be planted directly from seed or transplanted. Due to an intolerance to heat, starting cabbage indoors or in the greenhouse in February for transplanting in mid-March to June gives the cabbage a good foothold before warmer weather hits.

Sow the seed 1/4 inch deep in an individual pot of sterile seedling mix with a soil temperate between 55 to 75 degrees F. Keep the seedlings moist and nourished. Prior to transplanting in the garden, harden off seedlings in a cold frame. When the seedlings are 4 to 6 weeks old (or about 4 to 5 inches tall), transplant them a little deeper than indoors at about 1 to 2 feet apart in rows 18 to 36 inches apart.

A liquid starter fertilizer applied to the seedlings at the time of transplanting will help get them off to a good start. For direct planting, sow seeds 4 to 6 inches apart in rows 2 to 4 feet apart at 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. When plants are young, thin plants to 18 to 24 inches apart. Even though cabbage tolerates an acidic environment, it grows best in garden soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8. For fall cabbage crops, you can plant seeds directly into the garden in mid-summer.

Growing Cabbage

Mulch around transplanted seedlings or directly seeded plants to protect shallow roots, reduce weed competition, and maintain cool and moisture soil.

Harvesting and Storing Cabbage

Harvest cabbage heads when they reach the size you prefer, but prior to cracking or splitting. Ripe heads should be solid or firm to hand pressure. Removing the central head will stimulate production at the remaining axillary buds in and around the remaining cabbage leaves.

Cabbage Insect and Disease Information

Cabbage worms are small green larva of the cabbage white butterfly. You can use row covers to keep them from eating small plants; hand pick and destroy on older plants. Aphids can be periodically sprayed off with a stream of water. Keeping the soil pH at or above 7.2 will help suppress club-root; if needed, adding lime will raise your soil pH.

Cabbage Yield Information

You may want to grow more cabbage if you are planning on making large amounts of slaw or sauerkraut.
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