P2P Masthead 

             Home Getting Started Resources Search this site Vegetables Fruit Herbs Edible Flowers


 Visit our New Gardening Blog

Growing Cabbage

How to grow Cabbage in containers garden beds and allotments includes Red, White & Green Cabbage, Spring Summer & Winter Cabbages



Family/Latin Name

Brassicaceae - Brassica oleracea var. capitata

Brassica oleracea var. sabauda (savoy)

Type of Plant

Brassica - Crop Rotation Group = Brassicas

Suitable for

Garden Beds, Allotments, Large Containers

Pests & Diseases    Companion Plants    In the Kitchen

See also:-  Vegetable Growing Glossary  |    Container Growing  | Buying Seeds & Plants


Plant Dimensions

Height  up to 30cm/12"  - Spread up to 60cm/2ft

Yield per plant  

Time between sowing and harvesting


Spring Cabbage - about 36 weeks

Summer and Red Cabbage -  about 20 weeks

Winter Cabbage - about 32 weeks

Savoy Cabbage - about 28 weeks

Where to Sow

Outdoors in a seed bed

Sowing time

Spring Cabbage - July - August

Summer and Red Cabbage -  March-May ( temp  +10C/50F)

Winter Cabbage - April - May

Savoy Cabbage - April - May

How to Sow

12mm/1/2" deep - very thinly - in rows 15cm/6" apart or in groups/ blocks

After Germination

Start thinning plants as soon as they can be easily handled to prevent them becoming weak and spindly. Finally thin to 7.5cm/3" apart. 

Growing on -  in Pots

Once the plants have 5-6 leaves, transplant to final growing positions planting them firmly slightly deeper than they were in the seed bed allowing 1 plant per 30cm/12-inch pot.

Growing on - in open ground

Once the plants have 5-6 leaves, transplant to final growing positions planting them firmly slightly deeper than they were in the seed bed and spacing the plants 50cm/20" apart in rows or in groups/ blocks.


Water in dry weather and feed  with liquid fertiliser once the heads start to mature. 


Cut off heads close to the ground. Most crop over a period of about 8 weeks. Winter Cabbages for around 16 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

Companion Plants

Club Root
Indications Discoloured leaves which wilt in warm weather, swollen, solid galls on roots
Treatment None - lift and burn diseased plants
Prevention Organic
1. Lime plot where you intend growing brassicas
2. Do not grow brassicas in the same place for 2-3 years (crop rotation)
3. Make sure the site is well drained
Indications Holes in leaves or much of the leaf eaten away in severe cases
Treatment Organic
Inspect plants regularly and pick off eggs or caterpillars. The caterpillars like to lie right next to the veins of leaves, sometimes making them difficult to find
Spray with a pesticide containing Fenitrothion
Prevention Try growing crops under a net which will prevent the butterflies/moths getting to the plant to lay their eggs
Pick off and destroy eggs as soon as you see them to prevent them from hatching
Cabbage Root Fly
Indications Stunted growth especially seedlings. Discoloured wilted leaves. Roots are black and rotted with maggot damage and tunnelling and white maggots present
Treatment Organic
Prevention 1. Place a 15cm/6" diameter collar around each plant stem as early as possible which will prevent the fly laying eggs on the soil near the plant.
2. Grow crops under a tent of fleece
3. Dispose of affected plants and practice crop rotation in future years


Companion Flower Graphic


Celery, Beetroot, Onion, Shallots, Garlic, Chamomile, Spinach, Chard, Geraniums,   Rosemary, Nasturtium, Borage

Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies".  To learn more about companion planting click here.

In the Kitchen

Storage:  In the refrigerator for 5 days. Up to 10 days if still attached to the stalk. Excess amounts can be frozen. Prepare as below then blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain well and allow to cool before freezing 

Preparing:  Remove whole leaves which can then be cooked whole, chopped or shredded. Wash in cold water. Alternatively, cut into quarters or wedges depending on the size of the head. The heads of firm cabbages such as red and white varieties and the hearts of other types can be shredded directly.



Wedges  =  35-45  minutes. Drizzle with oil and seasoning


Green & Savoy  =  4 - 8 minutes

Red & White  =  7 - 12 minutes

Spring Greens  =  3 - 5  minutes


Green & Savoy  =  Stir Fry  5 - 7 minutes

Red & White  =  Stir Fry  7 - 9 minutes

Spring Greens  =  Stir Fry  3 - 4  minutes


2-3 minutes


Green & Savoy  =  6 - 10 minutes

Red & White  =  10 - 13 minutes

Spring Greens  =  4 -8  minutes


Depends on recipe

For more preparation and cooking information about cabbage plus lots of  recipes visit our sister site www.recipes4us.co.uk.

Private Privacy  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Links 


This Web Site was designed and created by Pots2Plots. Copyright © 2009 to date [Pots2plots] All rights reserved.

 Some Photos ©  www.fotolia.co.uk