DIY Network

How to Grow Cabbage

Cabbage is a delightfully crunchy vegetable that is easily grown in spring and fall.

More in Outdoors

spring is the primary time to grow cabbage
  • Time

    Several Months

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Purchase the Plants

Cabbage is a cool-season vegetable that comes in a multitude of colors and textures. The seedlings transplant very easily into the garden. Popular types include red, green and Savoy.

Step 2: Prepare the Site

Cabbage requires a rich spot that receives full sun to do well. Use a garden fork to work a healthy dose of compost and manure into the garden bed. These materials supply a good mix of the three main elements needed for cabbage growth: nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

Step 3: Plant the Cabbage

Cabbage is a cool weather crop, so it should be planted in early spring or late summer. Cabbage seedlings should be planted to a depth level with the first set of leaves, which means the hole needs to be dug deeper than the root ball. Add a tablespoon of slow-release 10-10-10 fertilizer to each planting hole and thoroughly mix it in. Space the plants 10" to 12" apart in rows. Water well.

be careful not to break tender roots of seedlings

Step 4: Cultivate the Cabbage

Water the seedlings every day for at least a few weeks, especially in warm weather. Mulch the cabbage plants to prevent weeds and keep the soil temperature cool. Every couple of weeks feed the plants with a liquid fertilizer. Keep a lookout for cabbage loopers, green inch-worm like caterpillars.

water and fertilize seedlings to get them started

Step 5: Harvest the Cabbage

Cabbage is ready to be harvested when the plant forms a compact head. Give it a gentle squeeze to test for maturity. To harvest the cabbage use a sharp knife to cut through the main stalk of the plant just below the head.

harvest chinese cabbage all at once