Brassica oleracea var. capitata
Cabbage, a cool-season crop, thrives in full sun and prefers fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.5. Enrich the soil with compost or well-rotted manure before planting. Cabbage is sensitive to temperature; extreme cold or heat can affect head formation.
For spring planting, start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. Transplant seedlings outdoors when they have 3-4 true leaves, typically 2-3 weeks before the last frost date. For a fall harvest, sow seeds in mid-summer.
Space plants 12-24 inches apart in rows 24-36 inches apart, depending on the variety and size of the cabbage heads you are growing. Water consistently to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Mulching helps retain soil moisture and control weeds.
Refer to our detailed cabbage grow guide for more specific planting instructions, variety recommendations, and care tips.
Diseases, Insects, and Weeds
Common pests include cabbage loopers, aphids, and flea beetles. Use row covers to protect young plants and apply organic or chemical pest controls if necessary. Diseases like clubroot and black rot can be prevented with crop rotation and proper spacing.
Harvest when the heads are firm and have reached the desired size. Cut the head from the stem at the base using a sharp knife. If the weather is warm, harvest in the morning when the heads are cool.
Storage and Preservation
Cabbage can be stored in a cool, humid place for several months. For longer storage, it can be fermented to make sauerkraut or kimchi, or it can be blanched and frozen for use in cooked dishes.