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How to Grow Cabbage easily – Cabbage is a vegetable that can be produced virtually everywhere and has long been prized for its extended storage life and toughness. Having said that, cabbage can be difficult to cultivate for an inexperienced gardener. These ten cabbage-growing strategies will have you well on your road to success.
Plant cabbage at the appropriate time.
It’s vital to note that cabbage prefers cold conditions. If cabbage is subjected to excessive heat or frost, it will split or bolt instead of forming a head.
Cabbage is a spring and fall crop in chilly winter regions. For a spring harvest, sow cabbage seeds indoors 8 weeks before the final spring frost and 14 weeks before the first fall frost. Seeds germinate in 4 to 10 days. Cabbage seeds may be stored for up to four years.
Cabbage grows best during the winter season in locations with moderate winters, such as Arizona’s low desert. Plant cabbage seeds in Arizona’s low desert from the end of August to the end of December. Plant transplants when the temperature begins to drop down somewhat, which can happen as early as the end of September and last until the end of January.
Experiment with different varieties of cabbage.
If growing traditional-headed cabbage is problematic due to high temperatures, try Oriental and Savoy cabbage types. When cultivated in warm settings such as Arizona’s low desert, these varieties are generally more reliable producers.
The leaves of head cabbage are green or red and form a compact circular head. Early and mid-season cultivars are smaller and grow quicker. Late-season and long-season cultivars are bigger and store well. Early Jersey Wakefield, Emerald Cross, Red Acre, Mammoth Red, and Stonehead are among the varieties to try.
Savoy cabbage features lengthy, crinkled leaves and a looser head than other cabbage types. It’s also gentler and sweeter than regular cabbage, with a softer texture. Oriental cabbage forms an oblong shape as it matures. Napa, Bok Choy, and Tatsoi are among the varieties. The following dates are recommended for planting Bok Choy in Arizona’s low desert:
- Plant seeds between late August and February.
- The planting season is from October through February.
How to Care and Grow Cabbage at Home
Grow cabbage in the finest possible place.
Cabbage prefers rich, well-draining soil. To stimulate foliage development, amend the soil with compost and nitrogen-rich blood meal (I prefer this one from Amazon) or cottonseed meal (I use this one from Amazon) before planting. Select a location that receives direct sunlight. Although cabbage likes colder temperatures, it needs enough sunlight to thrive.
Allow adequate space for the cabbage.
Plant one cabbage per square foot if utilizing square-foot gardening. Otherwise, depending on the type, place plants 12-18 inches apart. For the finest cabbage, plant strong, healthy seedlings.
Choose tiny and tight transplants and avoid lanky or overgrown transplants to give cabbage a healthy start in life. Allow transplants to dry out or get pot-bound. Seedlings sown too late may fail to produce heads and instead bolt and bloom. Bury the stem up to just below the first set of leaves before planting.
Discover how to avoid and manage cabbage pests and illnesses.
Cabbage appears to attract certain common pests and illnesses. Young cabbage leaves can be ruined by insects such as cabbage worms, cutworms, snails, and slugs. Aphids indicate water or heat stress. Using a mix of strategies to prevent and cure pests is effective.
To help prevent pests, plant onions, radishes, and nasturtiums near cabbage. I enjoy growing I’itoi onions around all of my cabbage plants.
While the plants are young, cover them with row covers.
Wrap a protective collar around young plants to protect them from cutworms. Newspaper strips can be used for this.
Every morning and night, handpick caterpillars.
Spray Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis) (I use this kind from Amazon) on caterpillar-infested cabbage.
Spray aphids with water or use insecticidal soap to treat them.
Rotate where you sow cabbage each year to avoid the accumulation of soil-borne illnesses. Wait three years before replanting cabbage in the same location. Plants that have been damaged should be removed and destroyed.
To avoid illness, remove the entire plant after harvesting rather than just the roots.
Ensure that the cabbage receives equal watering.
Cabbage demands consistent, uniform watering. Inadequate watering might cause stunted, split, or cracked heads. Heavy mulch will assist in keeping the soil cool and wet.
Don’t let cabbage go to waste.
Cabbage is a strong feeder that quickly depletes the soil. 2 weeks after planting, feed young plants with a fish emulsion and seaweed solution. Feed again three weeks later, and then every month during the growth season.
Correct cabbage harvesting
Cabbage can withstand light freezes, and its flavor increases with cold weather. Harvest before the weather warms up. Cabbage is ready to harvest in 80 to 180 days when grown from seed, and in 65 to 105 days when grown from transplants (depending upon the variety).
Head cabbage should be harvested when the heads are well-formed and firm. Cut the base of the head cabbage with a sharp knife to harvest it. Do you want a second crop? Remove the plant’s head from the top, leaving as many outside leaves as possible. The plant will produce up to 6 new heads, which should be harvested when they are approximately the size of a tennis ball.
Harvest the outer leaves of the leaf cabbage about a month after planting, using the cut-and-come-again method. Harvest only the older outer leaves, and let the plant’s core send forth new leaves to accomplish this. Remove the roots and stem after harvesting to avoid soil-borne illness.
How to store and utilize homegrown cabbage
Remove any stray leaves and put them in a plastic veggie bag wrapped in a wet paper towel. Cabbage kept in this manner will stay in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. Use cabbage in salads, slaws, kimchi, soups, cabbage rolls, stir-fries, and other dishes. Ferment cabbage to preserve it and produce your own sauerkraut. Those are some tips on how to grow cabbage at home. Thanks for visiting.