Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow under glass
Sow outside
Plant outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type
  • Ideal Ph range 6.5 to 7.5
  • Site Full Sun
Cabbage is a Brassica so try to avoid planting where Brassicas have been grown in the previous two seasons. Try to pick a sunny spot, they will tolerate a little shade.

Cabbages have a shallow root system so make sure your soil has plenty of moisture retaining organic matter, dig in some well rotted manure or compost several months before sowing and planting.

Note if your soil is acidic your crop will benefit from digging in a little lime. Apply some general purpose fertilizer a week before sowing or planting.

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 7 to 12 days
  • Sow 10mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 50mm
  • Rows 500mm apart
If you plan to have fresh Cabbage throughout the year and live in a temperate area of the world, you need to source seeds of early, mid and late varieties.

You can either sow seed directly in the spot chosen for this years cabbages or start in small pots indoors or in the green house. Note Cabbage seed will germinate at relatively low temperature.

When direct sowing sow seeds thinly in rows gradually thinning to a final spacing of 30cm, earlier, smaller varieties will require smaller spacing and late larger varieties will need more room (check seed packet for exact spacings).

Plant out seedlings started inside or under glass 4 to six weeks after germination. Harden off early varieties before planting

Growing a bumper crop

Your Cabbage plants are likely to require some protection from pests from the outset. Protect with some fleece or fine mesh.

Keep soil at an even moisture level, Cabbage heads are prone to splitting when soil is returned to moist after a dry period. Applying mulch around the plant will aid the preservation of moisture in the soil.

Pour water over the heads at in the morning or evening to wash off small pests.

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 2000g per plant
Cut the Cabbage head from the stalk with a sharp knife and remove the outer leaves to expose the lush unblemished outer head.

After harvesting early varieties cut a cross in the top of the stalk approximately 1cm deep ensuring there are enough leaves for the plant to survive, you may get 4 more small cabbages later in the season.

Note early and mid season varieties tend not to store and preserve as well as later varieties.

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Cabbage varieties

January King

An heirloom variety of cabbage that was originally introduced in France in the 19th century but was adopted by British growers many years ago. January King is a Savoy type winter cabbage that is able to cope well with the harshest of weather. It produces dense heads of blue-green leaves that develop purple markings in cold weather. An easy to grow variety that is crisp, crunchy and with a good deep flavor, the recommended variety for those new to growing cabbages.


A red cabbage, Kalibos is a pointed summer variety with dense heads that is particularly suited to being eaten raw as it's colour fades when cooked. Its sweet flavor from its high sugar content and its crunchiness make it ideal for use in coleslaw and salads, grate or finely shred. Note this is not a winter variety so harvest before the first frost date.