All About Sowing and Harvesting Cabbage


There are several different types of cabbages, which are grouped according to when they’re harvested: spring, summer, fall, or winter. They are all hungry feeders, and need rich, firm soil improved with compost or well-rotted manure, plus a further boost of organic general-purpose fertilizer raked into the ground at planting time. Unless your soil is alkaline, add garden lime at planting time too. Winter cabbages will easily tolerate below-freezing temperatures.

In your crop rotation plan, follow cabbages on from peas or beans, which naturally lock nitrogen away at their roots. Leave these roots in the ground after harvesting to rot down and help to feed your cabbages.

Photo by Getty Images/Alexlukin

Sowing Cabbage

Sow cabbages in a nursery bed, or in plug trays or pots for an earlier start to the season.

Sow summer cabbages in mid spring, then fall and winter types later on in spring, followed by spring cabbages from the second half of summer to harvest the following year.

If sowing in a nursery bed, mark out drills about half an inch deep and six inches apart. Sow the seeds thinly along the row. Cover over with soil and water. Keep the soil moist. Thin the seedlings once they’ve germinated to one every two inches.

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