Here is how to plant, grow and harvest cabbage Cabbage is a vegetable with botanical name Brassica oleracea var. capitata. It requires full sun, loamy/sandy soil with neutral soil.
The leafy vegetable prefers cool climate and susceptible to many pests and diseases. You can grow them commercially or in your garden. The plant requires intense labor and proper management to grow.
The geographical location determines the type of cabbage grown. Popular verities are Early jersey Wakefield, Blue vintage, Ruby perfection. Others are Lei-Choy, cheers, Stonehead, Primo and Golden acre.
Popular Cabbage Verities
• Early jersey Wakefield
• Blue vintage
• Ruby perfection
• Golden acre
How to Plant Cabbage
In cold regions start cabbage seeds 2 months early. The next step is to prepare the soil through tilling and apply compost. Transplant in cool weather 3 weeks before last frost.
Plant them in rows 20 inches apart, space appropriately and take into consideration the cabbage head you wish to achieve. Smaller cabbage heads depends on type, spacing and growing conditions.
Transplant when the plant reaches 5 inches tall, fertilizer 21 days after planting and water regularly to keep soil moist. Mulch extensively to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature
Reduces soil borne diseases and increase productivity of the land through crop rotation. Avoid growing competitive plants and heavy feeders like tomatoes, strawberry, cauliflower, broccoli with cabbage.
This is because they require same soil composition and attract disease and pest. Increase profitability by introducing cucumber or beans to the vegetable garden. There are many companion plants that thrive alongside cabbage.
• Start cabbage seeds in doors
• Prepare the soil
• Apply compost
• Transplant in cool weather 3 weeks before last frost.
• Plant them in rows 20 inches apart
• Transplant when the plant is 5 inches tall
• Fertilizer 21 days after planting
• Water regularly to keep soil moist
• Mulch extensively to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature
• Use crop rotation
• Avoid competitive plants and heavy feeders
• Introducing complimentary crops
Pest and Diseases
The vegetable is a magnet for pests and diseases. Common problems are cutworms, flea beetles and aphids. Others are cabbageworms, splitting and root maggots.
• Flea beetles
• Root maggots
Harvest and Storage
Harvest when the head is the desired size, firm, 1-3 pounds. Most cabbage verities are ready in three weeks then use a clean knife to cut cabbage head from base. Leave the roots and outer leaves to encourage new crop growth.
Remove new heads by pinching them off to encourage small heads to develop. After harvest remove the root system and stem to prepare soil for new plants. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for longer shelf life.