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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Gonzales

Growing & Harvesting Cabbage

Growing cabbage can be a tricky undertaking, especially for those of us who live in warmer climates due to this particular vegetable being a cool-season crop. There are five varieties of cabbage, however, the European types are less expensive to buy. I recommend mastering these before moving on to the more difficult types if you are a cabbage lover.

Photos by @colonial.farms. You can find more images located in 'The Gardeners Portfolio".

Growing Cabbage From Transplants

Make sure to set your transplants out several weeks before the last frost in the spring or eight to ten weeks before the first freeze. This can get confusing so I included a generalized guide for when to plant and when to harvest for zones 6-10.

Don't forget to protect your fall-planted transplants from excessive sun and insect damage. Caterpillars, slugs, and snails are going to be your biggest contributors to insect damage and can start at an early stage. Make sure to pick off the caterpillars in the early morning and evening. If you want to save yourself some time, you can also use row covers along with spraying or dusting against insects.

Make sure to space your transplants between 12 to 15 inches apart in rich garden soil. I recommend adding compost to your soil to help enrich your soil and provide your vegetables, especially cabbage, the nutrients it needs to grow and bolden their flavor. Making sure to mulch and water evenly will also aid in the success of your crops.

Zones 8-10 are going to benefit the most with fall planting only. Cabbage can tolerate light freezes and can even benefit from cool temperatures, improving the flavor of the leaves.

Photos by @colonial.farms. You can find more images located in 'The Gardeners Portfolio".

Harvesting Your Cabbage

When your cabbage is well-formed and firm, cut the cabbage away from its roots. It stores well in the refrigerator.

Cabbage Varieties

Green Varieties: Early Jersey Wakefield, Tender Heart, and Late Flat Dutch.

Deep Red Varieties: Red Acre and Ruby Ball.

When to Plant & Harvest by Zone

Zone 6 & 7 - Plant during the beginning of March through the beginning of April, as well as the beginning of July through the end of August. You will have two harvesting seasons at the beginning of May through the end of June and then again in September.

Zone 8 & 9 - Plant during the middle of January through February, as well as the middle of September through the middle of November. You will have two harvesting seasons starting the middle of March through the end of May, as well as the middle of November through the end of December.

Zone 10 - Plant during the month of January and November. You will have two harvesting seasons starting the month of January (depending on when you planted) through the end of May, as well as a brief window towards the end of December.

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