Learning Download: How to Grow Cabbage
Cabbage is a fairly easy plant to grow, as it is a hardy vegetable, and also comes in different colors, such as red, green and white. Most cabbages will have smooth, tightly packed heads of leaves, but some varietals have crinkled leaves. Cabbage belongs to the Cole crop family, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts and has more vitamin C than oranges.
Before Planting: Cabbage require fertile soils in a pH range of 6.5-7.5, supplied with consistent irrigation throughout the growing period.
Planting: Use early and midseason varieties for Spring crop. Sow 2 seeds per cell 1/4″ deep. Seedlings should be ready to transplant in 4-6 weeks. If possible keep soil temperature over 75°F until germination, then reduce air temperature to about 60°F. Transplant outdoors, 12-18″ apart in rows 18-36″ apart. Cabbage prefers cooler growing temperatures, between 55-75°F, but will produce decent crops under warmer, summer conditions. Use midseason and storage varieties for Fall crop. Start seedlings late spring and transplant to the garden in early summer. To ensure mature heads, seed the crop early in areas where heavy freezes occur early in fall. Successful cabbage crops can be grown where winters are mild. Transplants can be set out from September to February in these regions. Sow 3-4 seeds 12″ apart, 1/2″ deep, rows 24-36″ apart, thinning to one plant in each group.
Watering: Be sure to water evenly, as uneven water can split the heads. Cut back on watering as cabbage reaches maturity, as this also can split the heads.
Fertilizer: Cabbage requires heavy fertilization. Fertilize plants with a high-nitrogen fertilizer
Days to Maturity: See each variety for maturity rate from transplanting.
Harvesting: Relatively young heads (still green and actively growing) store best. Ideal conditions are 32°F at 95% relative humidity, with good air circulation.
Tips: Cabbage plants do better when planted near herbs like dill and rosemary. Avoid planting cabbage near strawberries, tomatoes or pole beans.
AVG. Seeding Rate: 100 seeds/50′, 500 seeds/250′, 1M/500′, 29M/acre at 2 seeds/ft. with rows 36″ apart.
Learning Download: How to Grow Greens
Greens offer many micronutrients and taste profiles, with tastes ranging from the spicy bite of mustard greens and arugula to the sweet, delicate leaves of a spring mix.
Before Planting: Greens are a cool-weather crop, and are oftentimes easy to start from seed. Plant them outside three weeks before the last frost date. For a fall harvest, begin planting greens seeds mid-summer.
Planting: Plant each seed just under the soil, about ó inch apart. Once seedlings show, thin them to 3 inches apart. Plant new seeds every three weeks for a continuous harvest.
Watering: Greens require 2 inches of water per week.
Fertilizer: Leafy greens need nutrients available in 5-10-10 and 10-10-10 fertilizers, as well as organic options like bone meal, blood meal and dehydrated manure. Following the instructions on the container, spread the fertilizer evenly across the greens. Mix the fertilizer into the top 2 inches of soil prior to planting. Seeds are sensitive to fertilizer, so mixing it with the soil before planting will help prevent any problems.
Days to Maturity: Green are ready to harvest once their leaves reach full size.
Harvesting: Greens can be harvested by cutting down the entire plant or picking each leaf individually as they grow. Discard any yellow leaves, and pick the leaves when they are young and tender, as older and larger leaves taste more bitter.
Tips: Keep the area weed free, especially when the greens are young. Use row covers to keep pests away and to grow pristine leaves. Greens can be grown in a container or a pallet garden if a gardener is lacking space.