Learn Tips for Planting Cabbage
Planting cabbage in your vegetable garden is fairly easy if you know when to plant and how to care for your vegetables once they have sprouted. Cabbage is a great vegetable used in soups; salads and more, growing your own cabbage can be a great asset to your garden.
One thing to keep in mind when planting cabbage is that it will grow best in cool weather. Ideally you want to grow most of your cabbage crop during the cooler months, and not when it is sweltering hot.
If you plant cabbage in the early spring you should have some mature plants ready to harvest by early summer. For a second harvest you can plant more cabbage in late summer when it has started to cool, by fall your cabbage should reach maturity. Generally it will take about 80 to 120 days after planting before you can harvest cabbage.
Before planting cabbage you will have to decide what type of cabbage you want to grow. There is the common green cabbage, plus there is red cabbage; this type of cabbage is good for both salads and boiled and served as a vegetable. Either type of cabbage is easy to grow and often people will choose to grow both types, just take care that they are not planted right next to each other.
The first thing you will need to do is choose a place where you will be planting cabbage. Keep in mind that cabbage will grow best in full sunlight. Because cabbage is a hardy plant you will not have to worry too much about it freezing.
No matter if you plant in a soil that has a lot of clay content or soil that is sandy, it should be soil that drains well. If your cabbage plants should become waterlogged it damage them and prevent them from reaching maturity.
You will want to start your cabbage plants indoors, usually about two months before the last frost. When the seedlings are about 5 inches tall you can transplant them in your outdoor garden. You can start your cabbage plants directly in the garden but it can be more difficult to get them to grow. If you do sow the seeds directly in the garden you will want to do this about four weeks before the last frost. Protect the seedlings with a floating row covers. Also, when you plant in the garden you will place the seeds about ½ inch deep and about 1-inch apart.
Cabbage needs frequent watering, especially when the plants are young and before they have formed a head. To keep the soil moist around the plants you may have to use moss or some type of mulch. Once the plants have formed a head you can decrease the watering to a more moderate amount, but you will still need to be careful that you do not let the cabbage wilt.
To fertilize your cabbage you will need to add compost to the area about every three to four weeks. Tea compost is usually best.
When the heads reach about 10 inches in diameter, the cabbage is ready to harvest. You will need to cut the cabbage head with a knife from the base at ground level. The younger the cabbage head the better it will taste. Those heads of cabbage that are cracked and wilting will not be nearly as good us the smaller, younger heads.
Each season you should rotate the area that you are planting cabbage. This will ensure that plants get plenty of nutrients, plus it will help reduce the chance of your plants developing disease. Another option to help prevent disease is to choose variants that are resistant to disease.