General Cabbage information
If you want a garden food supply you can depend
on, cabbage is a must. Easy to grow and much sweeter than those bought in the
grocery store, Territorial's selection of cabbages are harvestable almost 12
months of the year.
Cabbages can be grown as transplants or direct sown, although
early sowings may fail in cold rainy Springs. Cabbage is a hardy, cool-season
crop that does best under uniform cool, moist conditions. Sow early cabbage types
March through June. Later maturing types should be sown late May to early June to
allow for the heads to form during the relative cool of the Fall. Although it
will withstand wide temperature variations, the optimum soil temperature range
for growth is between 60-65F.
Fertility requirements for cabbages are
relatively high. 1-1/2 to 2 cups of complete organic fertilizer worked into the
soil around each plant will provide the nutrition necessary for best production.
The preferred pH is 6.5 and 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water per week is required for
When direct sown, plant the seed 1/2 inch deep, 5 seeds
per foot; thinned or transplanted plant spacings should be 18 inches for
small-framed types, and 24 inches for large-framed varieties, in rows 2 - 4 feet
The first sign of cabbage worms will be white
diamond-back moths fluttering close to the ground and over the plants. They will
lay eggs in the soil around the plants, which hatch into worms that can cause
severe root and head damage. To control light infestations simply spray plants
with BT. For heavy infestations fill a water can with 1 tablespoon per gallon of
BT solution, and drench the soil around the plants. Root maggots can be
controlled by placing a physical barrier around each plant, such as a Reemay
tent. This will prevent the fly from laying her eggs on the stem. Also see
Chinese Cabbage. To bait cabbage worms, mix wheat bran into the above BT water
solution until all water is absorbed by the bran. Hand sprinkle or broadcast bran
mixture in and around the base of plants. Reapply as necessary. To control flea
beetles, aphids, and symphylans see broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and
The home gardener growing cabbage can prevent
many cole crop diseases by practicing crop rotations, using sterile starting
mixes, and adopting strict garden sanitation methods.
types mature fast and burst quickly so they must be harvested promptly. Later
types, maturing in late Summer or Autumn when growth rates are slow, will hold in
the field for much longer, often several months. When cutting the heads from the
stems, leave two or three of the wrapper leaves to protect against bruising.
Over-mature heads are subject to splitting, especially if they are exposed to
moisture fluctuations. Successful storage starts with a good cultivar, free of
diseases or injuries. Late storage types will keep for up to 6 months when kept
at 32F and at 98-100% relative humidity, while early types will store for 1 - 2
Early Cabbage Types
These cabbages grow quickly and mature quickly, so they must be harvested
quickly. These are the standard sort of cabbage grown.
- 55 days from planting to harvest. From the Far East comes this exceptional
early green cabbage.
Two pounds in size,
this mild, small-cored variety has enough variability to offer the home gardener
a longer window of harvest. Top notch quality for slaw or kraut.
Derby Day (Golden Acre)
- 58 days from planting to harvest. Dark-green heads have attractive
pale hearts. The flavor, especially of the heart, is extremely sweet and tender.
The uniform, round light
green heads run 3 - 5 pounds and about 5 - 7 inches in diameter depending on
spacing. English seed.
- 66 days from planting to harvest. Medium green with yellowish-white interior. Forms dense heads of 3 -
4 pounds. Stands for weeks without splitting and is suited to close spacings.
Matures its head one to two weeks after Derby Day and eight to nine weeks before
Danish Ballhead. Eating quality is excellent, with a full rich flavor.
- Ruby Ball
- 88 days from planting to harvest. Ruby Ball is clearly the best early Red Cabbage. The attractive firm
red heads have a mild sweet flavor, and weigh in at 3 - 4 pounds. Ruby
Ball also holds in the field a long time, for extended fresh harvests. Japanese
- 90 days from planting to harvest.
Very attractive, blue-green color
with a fine, highly-savoyed head. The firm, well-packed cabbage heads average 3 -
5 pounds and will hold for weeks without bursting. Sweet and mild-flavored.
Autumn Cabbage Types
For Late Cabbage Salad Succession
salad is the primary purpose of most gardeners' cabbage patches. And the finest
cabbage salads of all are made from the savoy types; very thin-leaved, very
tender, very mild and tasty.
However, these thin, tender, succulent leaves
are not very cold hardy, so for very late maturity in maritime climates, the
Europeans developed extra hardy types (January King and Wivoy) with thicker,
tougher leaves. Extra-vigorous, hybrid savoys are the easiest-to-grow type of
- Red Rodan
- 140 days from planting to harvest. Large-framed, round, red cabbages
average 8 - 10 inches in diameter. Very hard 2 3/4 pound heads are
surprisingly tender for a variety that often can stand until March without
rotting. Vigorous plants make Red Rodan one of the easier types of cabbage to
grow. Danish seed.
- Danish Ballhead
- 125 days from planting to harvest. 7 - 10 inch diameter, 3 1/2 pound,
well-protected, light green heads have good field-holding ability into the
Winter. Mild and tender, Danish Ballhead is a general-purpose cabbage for kraut,
slaw or cooking. Danish seed.
days from planting to harvest. Medium large 8 - 10 pound, blue-green heads with a very white,
crispy, tightly packed interior. This Summer-planted cabbage is perfect for
and resistant to black rot.
- 145 days from planting to harvest. A medium-sized 4 1/2 pound,
white cabbage with exceptional holding ability makes for extended harvest
time. Bently is a sweet, mild cabbage with a good head wrap and moderate-sized
core. In past Winter trials, Bently withstood a week of 19 degree weather with no
ill effects. Harvest January-March. Highly recommended as a cabbage for very
long storage. Dutch seed.
- 150 days from planting to harvest.
An exceptional red cabbage variety from France. The 2-1/2 pound heads are uniform
throughout with a firm wrap and medium core. Rougette's most distinctive
characteristic is its leaf and head color--a beautiful burgundy red with a
striking velvet glow. Its appearance, along with its clean yet robust
flavor, will surely be a favorite for gardener's fresh use or storage.
- January King
- 210 days from planting to harvest. This French heirloom is a most dependable Winter cabbage variety.
Flattened green heads with purplish markings on the veins and slightly savoyed
outer leaves. The heads are between 3 - 5 pounds and quite compact. Very cold
hardy with the ability to stand in the field until March. Best planted early in
July. English seed.
days from planting to harvest. Vigorously
growing, beautiful plants produce uniformly large 8 1/2 inch, light
green, flat-topped, white-cored, medium-dense heads that make the
finest-tasting cabbage salads. Long field-holding ability.
- 160 days from planting to harvest. Highly savoyed, medium-green,
vigorously-growing large plants develop a crinkly 3-pound head very late in Fall
and don't get hard until January. The heads are fairly tender and have a mild
flavor, resisting rain, frost and freezes until the end of March. This variety
has withstood freezing down to 7 degrees and showed no damage after being frozen
solid for weeks.
Overwinter Cabbage Types
(August sown) In England, spring cabbages are
called a gambler's crop, and the varieties available from their seed houses are
numerous--but most of them fail to work.
Sowing must be timed
so that they make some growth before Winter cold and low light levels check their
growth . . . enough that they'll head out well in spring, but not so much that
they bolt before heading out!
Culture Spring cabbages need
well-limed and well-manured soil at planting time. Sow the seeds outdoors late in
August and before mid-September; or mid-October if growing them under coldframes
to transplant out early in spring when they're 6 - 8 inches tall. If this is your
first attempt at spring cabbage, try several sowings 10 days apart. Doing this
will give you a feel for the plant. The plants should be spaced out about 18
inches in all directions. In late February, side dress the plants with bloodmeal
(one teaspoonful per plant) and again late March so that large heads are
- 230 days from planting to harvest. A hardy bolt-resistant ballhead type.
This introduction was developed for the earliest possible spring yields from an
early to mid-September sowing. The eating quality compares with the Golden Acre
types. The uniform 3 pound heads are quite solid and will hold for two weeks at
maturity. Seed from England.
- First Early Market
- 240 days from planting to harvest. Developed by the English
equivalent of the USDA for extreme reliability under a broad range of conditions.
First Early Market 218 is cold-hardy to below 10 degrees.
The heads are small, 1 - 1 1/2 pounds, pointed
and rather loose, and offer a pleasant improvement in the quality of garden
greens during early May when they head up. The seed is from England.