Planting And Growing Cabbage
Seeding cabbage should commence approximately six to eight weeks before
the ideal planting-out date. Brassicas are a slow growing plant. It's a
idea to start your cabbage plants from seed, for various reasons. You can find a selection of seeds here.
If you are ready to plant in March, there may be few options available
yet; some nurseries don't even open for business until April. In
addition, you can get a much nicer variety when sowing cabbage from your
own seed selection.
While cabbage can take some cold and mild frost, you will still need to
be cautious to protect the plants once they are in the ground. A simple
or row cover can be enough to keep cabbage plants thriving.
Most extension offices publish frost calendars, along with suggested planting dates for
various crops. Always refer to those before making final planting decisions, even with cold-loving crops like cabbage.
Potential Cabbage Pests
There are many garden pests that you may have to deal with. However, the
ones that are usually an issue with cabbage are limited to a handful of
Cabbage pests also affect other members of the Brassica family of
plants, so avoid planting too many cole crops in the same location. By
the various types, the bugs will have a longer distance to travel to
infest the crops, making cabbage pests less likely to spread quickly.
The most common pests are cabbage worms or caterpillars.
Photo: Bob Small Photography
The cabbage worm can destroy your Brassica plants! Picking them off the plants is the most organic way to deal with them.
Not my favorite job but has to be done!
Cabbage and other brassicas can also attract aphids and root flies. The
best way to deter
cabbage worms is to protect the plants from infestation when they are
young. Providing a barrier, such as a floating row cover, can deter the
moth from laying eggs in cabbage plants.
Once the cabbage head starts to develop, do a visual check several times a week and pick off any worms that
are present. Keep an eye out for droppings, as they are a sure sign that these cabbage pests have been visiting.
Aphids can be an extremely frustrating problem for gardeners. Aphids
love Brassicas, though they are more likely to infest broccoli and kale
than cabbage. Pests like aphids can be controlled by using an organic soap
spray, either homemade or commercially produced.
Slugs can also be a problems sometimes. Check out this page on how to deal with slugs organically.
This works best if treatment is
started when only a few bugs are noticed. Also, if you spray daily once
the aphids are present, they have a lower chance of infesting the entire
potentially making your cabbage-family plants inedible.
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Cabbage Care and Feeding
Cabbage plants take a lot from your soil. The roots are thick
and deep. If you are growing cabbage next to delicate plants, such as
sure that you give each enough room.
If you neglect this step, your cabbage could easily starve the other
crops adjoining it. This is especially
problematic in square-foot garden arrangements and other methods of
intensive planting. In this planting arrangement, only one cabbage crop
be placed in each planting bed.
In addition, applying appropriate fertilizer to Brassica plants will ensure that they thrive.
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