Growing cabbage in the spring or fall #436527 - Ask Extension


Growing cabbage in the spring or fall #436527

Asked December 15, 2017, 4:53 PM EST

Hello, last summer I grew cabbages in my raised bed garden. I sowed seeds indoors in June and then transplanted mid July. I had a hard time hardening the seedlings since sometimes the 90 degree days seemed to nuke the plants. The ones that survived did well under a floating row cover under hoops. The problem was that somehow cabbage loopers still got in around October even with the floating row cover (maybe there were openings I wasn't aware of). And the cabbages were all really small (no bigger than a fist). Is it possible to grow grocery size cabbages here. Is it better to grow in the spring or fall? Should I have transplanted earlier? How do I better my chances next year.

Montgomery County Maryland

Expert Response

You can plant cabbage in the spring or fall.  You may want to experiment to see what works best for you.  See our vegetable website for more information and the planting calendar for more information.
If you plant in the fall, select early maturing varieties after 7/1.  Small heads can be due to variety, spacing, and not enough moisture.  They are also medium feeders.  
Next time you plant be prepared to cover the plants with row cover, handpick, or spray with Bt to control cabbage loopers.

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