Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
Germination Soil Temp:
Days to Germinate
Date to sow Indoors:
Date to sow Outdoors:
Date to Transplant:
75 - 85 Degrees
5 - 8
4 - 6 weeks before last frost
February 20 - April 1 or
July 1 - July 30
Through late August
6.0 - 6.5
60 - 65 Degrees
12 - 18 inches
6 - 8 hours
High N, P and K
Avoid cole crops
Cabbage is a member of the mustard family and is a cool-season cole crop. It forms a firm, leafy head that can be stored most of the winter, but it can be grown in the spring or fall. However, if left until the temperatures rise, spring cabbage will taste bitter.
Cabbage tolerates a wide variety of soil types, but prefers well-drained soils.
Fertilize cabbage with 8 pounds of 13-13-13 per 100 feet of row. Side-dress at 2 to 3 week intervals with 1.5 cups of ammonium nitrate per 100 feet of row.
If planting transplants, they should be set in February or late August. Seeding should be done in late July. Plants should be fertilized with a side dressing of composted manure or a balanced fertilizer.
Cabbage plants should be planted at 12 to 18 inch spacings in 3 inch rows; tighter spacings will produce smaller heads. Later, during head formation, plants will need more water, and mulches should be used to keep the soil moist and to help reduce weeds. Gentle cultivation, especially around the shallow roots, should also help to keep weeds out of the cabbage patch.
Beet, bush bean, carrot, cucumber, dill, kale, lettuce, nasturtium, calendula, onion, sage, spinach and tomato plants.
Green: Charmont, Danish Roundhead, Early Jersey, Wakefield, King Cole, Round Dutch and Stonehead
Red: ruby Ball and Ruby Perfection
Cabbage should be harvested when it is ripe, which is when the head becomes firm. Firmness can be determined by pressing a thumb into the center of the head and measuring resistance. If cabbage is harvested past maturity, the taste and quality will be poor and it will feel tough. Cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked.
Cabbage provides an excellent source of fiber, folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, niacin, and vitamins C and A.
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Source: UT Extension, PB1578 - Tennessee Master Gardener Handbook