What to Plant and When
Here at Hook’s Greenhouse, we offer a wide variety of plants to suit all your cabbage-based needs.
If you are looking for a cabbage good for storing, we highly recommend the Late Flat Dutch variety. With 10-20lb heads, Late Flat Dutch Cabbage is
great for large batches of sauerkraut!
Our Red Cabbage variety is great for salads and slaws, as goes for Bravo Cabbage.
Slow splitting and disease resistant, AAS award winning varieties such as Savoy Ace, Savoy King, and Stonehead Cabbage plants might be just what you are looking for.
Different varieties have different periods of maturation. Planting varieties in the spring that reach maturity at different times like Stonehead (50-70 days) and Savoy King (⁓90 days) allow you to have more variety and time to pick. Most cabbage reach maturity between 50 and 100 days.
You can also plant two separate crops. Cabbage is a hardy plant and, when established, can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees. This makes it perfect for midsummer and fall planting and a cooler late fall harvest. Cabbage plants will bolt, or flower and produce seeds, rather than head out and fruit if the temperature gets too hot for a young plant. Take care to watch the weather before planting!
How to Grow
When planting cabbage it is always good to keep these things in mind: soil conditions, sunlight, and spacing.
Cabbage is a hardy plant, but it does require nutrient rich soil to flourish. It is recommended that you mix compost or fertilizer in with the soil that you plan on planting in. About three weeks after planting, it is in your cabbage’s best interest to feed again with a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Remember to water if your garden is not getting much rain. Cabbage grows best in moist soil. Just make sure that no water is sitting stagnant around your plants as it could promote rotting.
Just as important as watering, is making sure you plant your cabbage where it will get more than six hours of sunlight daily. To ensure that each plant is getting even sunlight and enough water, you will want to plant each cabbage 12”-24” apart and space the rows by at least 12”.
Unfortunately humans are not the only things that think cabbage is delicious, especially the ever-pesky Cabbage Worm. Though preventative measures can be taken, like putting row covers over your cabbage or companion planting with herbs like thyme, that repel the worms, it is not always a sure-fire way to keep them off your plants.
There are a few ways that have proven effective when trying to rid of the little green bugs. First is to go through and pick them off as you see them, and check the underside of leaves for eggs and larvae. The Old Farmer’s Almanac advises dampening the leaves of your plants and sprinkling cornmeal onto them for a chemical free route. Cabbage Worms will feed on it and expand to death. Other effective pesticides that stray away from harmful chemicals are Neem Oil or organic insecticidal soaps. Further assistance could be from the soil-dwelling bacteria-based insecticide Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), the Almanac also suggests this and recommends it is used every week or so to keep your cabbage safe.
Always check the labels of pesticides and insecticides to be sure they are made for edible plants and which plants might be harmed by the product.
Our Garden Helpers are always available here at the Greenhouse to answer questions.