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How Long Does It Take Cabbage To Grow? If you are planning to grow cabbage one of the first question you might ask is how long does it take to grow. At first glance this might seem to be a simple question however, there is a very wide variety of species that are classified by harvest time which significantly affect how long cabbages take to grow.
The time a Cabbage takes to grow varies from 70 days to 150 days depending upon the type of Cabbage. Cabbages are grouped as Spring, Summer or Winter. Spring Cabbages, also known as Late Varieties, are the slowest growing taking 135 to 150 days. Whereas, Summer Cabbages are fast-growing varieties that only take 70 to 100 days and Winter Cabbages are midseason varieties that typically take 100 to 135 days.
The broad variation in growing times is advantageous as it allows a gardener to produce cabbages year-round provided that the winter weather is not too extreme. Cabbage can withstand temperatures of 10°F (-12°C).
In addition to harvest times, cabbages are also divided up based on their physical appearance. There are four main groupings, Green, Red, Savoy, and Napa (Chinese). The harvest times within these groupings varies, which allows for most types of Cabbage to be available throughout the year.
Green and Red Cabbages would be the most familiar forms for most people as they are commonly found in the grocery store. Green Cabbage generally have a size and form that is reminiscent of iceberg lettuce with smooth leaves. Red cabbages are normally similar in shape and texture to the green cabbage only red,
Napa Cabbage, which is more commonly referred to as Chinese cabbage are also commonly sold in grocery stores. These varieties are generally paler in colour and have an oblong shape rather than a round one. They tend to be used in Asian dishes such as spring rolls.
Savoy Cabbages are normally the least common variety of cabbage and a sold mainly in farmers markets. Savoy cabbages have a similar shape, size and color to green cabbages, except that they have a crinkled texture similar to Tuscan kale. A picture of a Savoy cabbage is shown below. To read more about the different types of Cabbages click here.
How And When To Grow The Different Types Of Cabbage
When growing cabbages most gardeners tend to focus on the type of cabbage they want to grow (Green, Red, Savoy or Napa) and they rely upon the information on the seed packet to determine when to plant. The trouble with this is that often the guidance on many seed packets is not reliable as seed companies often underestimate to time to harvest. To read more about this click here.
This makes it extremely difficult to identify whether you are planting an early, mid or late season variety to make sure that you have cabbage year round. To make this alittle easier to identify the timing of sowing for Summer, Winter and Spring Cabbages is given below along with a list of varieties by cabbage type (Green, Red, Savoy and Napa) sorted based on days to harvest. This appears at the end of the article for reference.
Summer Cabbages: The group of varieties known as ‘Summer” Cabbages, because of the time year they are harvested, are early varieties, ie the shortest maturing time. These varieties are usually sown in the spring and harvested in the latter part of summer though they can also be planted in Summer for an Autumn harvest.
Winter Cabbages: Winter Cabbages, also known as Mid-Season varieties show a moderate rate of growth and are typically allow sown in Spring for an Autumn to Winter harvest.
Spring Cabbages: Spring Cabbages unlike the other two categories of cabbages is generally sown in mid-summer at the latest. Due to their slow rate of growth they will generally grow through the Autumn and Winter before being harvested in Spring. This group of cabbages are particularly important in terms of filling the ‘hungry’ gap which occurs in mid to late spring.
How to Plant Seeds
Cabbage is generally considered a cool-weather crop though it is often grown in summer as well. It is a hardy plant and will tolerate frost. As mentioned above the time of year to plant seedlings will depend upon the type being grown.
Cabbage seeds can be sown directly into soil however, I generally recommend that you plant seeds into trays as it allows you to better control the growing conditions. For early and mid season varieties which are normally sown in spring it is best to start seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost.
Seeds should be planted at a depth of around 0.5 inch (1 cm) with two seeds per cell. If both seeds germinate the weakest seedling should be removed. The seedling will reach a size 3 to 4 inches tall after 4 to 6 weeks. After that period of time the seedlings will be large enough to plant out into the garden.
When planting them out into the garden seedlings should be spaced 15 inches apart at least. In terms of soil conditions Cabbages prefer a rich soil with plenty of organic matter, that is well drained and has a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.2 to 7.
The easiest way to achieve these conditions is to use the No-Dig method. To do this apply a thick layer, 2 to 4 inches thick, of compost on the surface of the bed. This layer will improve the soil over time and also act as a mulch minimizing the formation of weeds.
Once established Cabbages require regular watering to ensure that the soil does not dry out as this can lead the formation of stunted or cracked heads. Many traditional garden books recommended that Cabbages be fed with a High Nitrogen Fertilizer and a dilute solution of Fish Emulsion every two weeks. However, I have found that this is unnecessary, if the soil has been prepared adequately or the no-dig method has been applied.
How to Store Cabbage
Cabbages store best in winter however for those living in temperate climates, Winter and Spring Cabbages can be left in the ground to grow and be picked as required.
If the cabbage needs to be brought inside they can be left in a cardboard boxes in a cool location. Cabbages are best stored at a temperature of 0° to 4°C (32° to 40°F), in a relatively high humidity environment. The use of the straw or newspaper to insulate the cabbages will help to maintain the higher humidity.
For Summer Cabbages, they can be stored in a refrigerator by wrapping the head in a damp paper towel in the vegetable crisper section. The Cabbage will keep for three to four weeks, however, it is not uncommon to notice a strong cabbage odour in the refrigerator over time.
Green Cabbage Varieties
|Variety||Cabbage Type||Open Pollinated*||Days to Harvest||Description|
|Tropic Giant||Early Season (Summer)||No||80||Brassica oleracea. F1 hybrid. Vigorous plants produce flattish shaped heads with well packed pale green leaves can reach one foot across and 15 pounds. About 72 to 80 days to harvest from seed.|
|Gregorian||Early Season (Summer)||No||92||Hybrid. Early season, green, 3-4 lb, well wrapped heads averaging 7 inches in diameter grow on a medium plant. Resistance to Fusarium yellows. About 59 days to maturity from transplant.|
|Artost||Early Season (Summer)||No||95||Hybrid. Mid early season, green, cabbage forms dense 3-5 lb heads. Tolerant to splitting and tip burn. Resistance to Fusarium yellows. About 55 days to maturity from transplant.|
|Primax||Early Season (Summer)||Yes||96||Early strain of Golden Acre. Small to medium, 2- to 4-pound, light-green, round heads with short core and darker green wrapper leaves. Stands without splitting for 2 weeks.|
|Derby Day||Early Season (Summer)||Yes||97||Open pollinated. Heirloom. Early season, green, 3-5 lb round heads averaging 5-7 inches in diameter with few outer leaves. Resistant to bolting. Tolerant to heat and cold temperatures. About 60 days to maturity after transplanting.|
|Gonzales||Early Season (Summer)||No||99||Hybrid. Early-season, common European variety producing dense, uniform, spicy, 4 to 6 inch. mini-heads. Also known as ‘Gonzales Baby’.|
|Green Brier||Early Season (Summer)||No||100||Early hybrid for spring and summer sowing. Oblate dark green heads that weigh approx. 4.5 lbs. Tolerant to Black Rot and cabbage yellows. Hybrid.|
|Golden Acre||Early Season (Summer)||Yes||101||Open pollinated. Heirloom. Early season, green, 3-5 lb round heads averaging 5-7 inches in diameter with few outer leaves. Resistant to Fusarium yellows. About 55-65 days to maturity after transplanting.|
|Columbia||Early Season (Summer)||Yes||103||Early-season variety. Round, solid, 3- to 5-pound, well-wrapped blue-green heads. Good split resistance. Yellows resistant.|
|Copenhagen Market Early||Early Season (Summer)||Yes||105||Open-pollinated, early-seaon heirloom. Plants produce green, round, 6 to 8 inch, 3 to 4 pound heads. No yellows tolerance.|
|Tendersweet||Mid Season (Winter)||No||109||Hybrid. Mid-season, thin-leaved, mid-sized, flat heads stand for 5 to 7 weeks without splitting. Resistant to fusarium yellows. Splitting tolerant.|
|Cuor di Bue Grosso||Mid Season (Winter)||Yes||110||Early to mid-season Italian heirloom. Plants produce medium-sized, firm, conical heads. Spring or fall crops. Also known as ‘Large Oxheart’.|
|Little Rock||Mid Season (Winter)||No||115||Hybrid. Mid season blue green, 8 lb, round heads averaging 5 to 8 inches in diameter. Suitable for long term storage. Resistance to Fusarium yellows and black rot. About 78 to maturity from transplant.|
|Michihli||Mid Season (Winter)||Yes||115||Open-pollinated. Mid-season Michihli type. Cylindrical, 18 by 4 inch, dark-green heads. Blanches well but does not store long.|
|Winningstadt||Mid Season (Winter)||Yes||126||Mid to late-season heirloom. Compact, 28-30 inch plants with thick, wavy, dark bluish-green leaves produce extremely hard, pointed 7-9 inch-tall by 6-7 inch-wide heads. Excellent keeper|
|Bravo||Late Season (Spring)||No||130||Hybrid. Late-season, uniform, large, globe-shaped heads. Resistant to black rot and fusarium yellows.|
|Stein’s Late Flat Dutch||Late Season (Spring)||Yes||135||Late-season, open-pollinated green cabbage. Plants produce squat, 6-7 inch, 3-4 pound, green heads with large wrapper leaves. Good for fall harvest.|
|Glory of Enkhuizen||Late Season (Spring)||Yes||140||Mid to late season Dutch heirloom. Plants produce 8-10 pound, dark blue-green heads with few outer leaves.|
|King Slaw||Late Season (Spring)||No||145||Hybrid. Late season, dark green, firm heads that can reach 15 to 20 lbs. Space seedlings 24″ apart if aiming for largest heads though 18″ is sufficient for family friendlier sizes. Tolerant to splitting and cold temperatures. About 105 days to maturity from transplant. Also know as Cabbage King Slaw and King Slaw Hybrid.|
|Late Flat Dutch||Late Season (Spring)||Yes||146||Late-season, green heirloom. Plants produce flattened, oval 14-inch-wide heads with white interiors. Stores well.|
|Missouri||Late Season (Spring)||No||154||Hybrid. Late, blue-green heads on large framed plants for long term storage. Resistant to fusarium yellows. Thrips tolerant.|
Red Cabbage Varieties
|Variety||Cabbage Type||Open Pollinated||Days to Harvest from Seed||Description|
|Salad Delight||Early Season (Summer)||86||Extra early, 3-pound, red heads.|
|Red Express||Early Season (Summer)||Yes||95||Open Pollinated. Early, compact plants produce 2-3 lb, dense, oval, dark red color heads. Bred for Canada & Northern US. About 53 days to maturity.|
|Sombrero||Early Season (Summer)||No||102||Hybrid. Early, Dutch type with compact, red heads. High disease resistance.|
|Kalibos||Early Season (Summer)||Yes||104||Eastern European heirloom. Plants produce red pointed hearts with few outer leaves. Best grown for late summer and autumn use|
|Red Dynasty||Mid Season (Winter)||No||112||Hybrid. Mid-season, red 3 to 5 pound, oval-to-round heads for fresh market. Very uniform plants. Resistant to black rot. Tip burn tolerant.|
|Royale||Mid Season (Winter)||No||112||Hybrid. Mid-season, red, 2 pound, round, uniform heads with good wrapper leaves for fresh market. Excellent bright red interiors. Resistant to fusarium yellows. Tip burn tolerant.|
|Ruby Dynasty||Mid Season (Winter)||No||112||Hybrid. Mid-season, red, 3 to 5 pound, oval to round, 6-inch heads with nice wrapper leaves and excellent color throughout. For fresh market. CMS type. Resistant to fusarium yellows.|
|Red Acre||Mid Season (Winter)||Yes||112||Mid-season, red heirloom. Compact plants produce globe-shaped 2 to 4 pound heads.|
|Super Red 80||Mid Season (Winter)||No||115||Hybrid. Mid-season, tight, 3-5 pound, red head with peppery flavor. Tolerates tip burn, somewhat tolerant of black rot and resists splitting. Stores well. Splitting, tip burn and thrips tolerant.|
|Cardinal||Mid Season (Winter)||No||116||Hybrid. Mid-season, round, deep-red heads hold well without splitting. Resistant to fusarium yellows. Splitting tolerant.|
|Red Jewel||Mid Season (Winter)||No||116||Hybrid. Mid-season, purple-red, 2 to 3 pound, 6-inch heads for fresh market. Tip burn tolerant.|
|Ruby Ball||Mid Season (Winter)||No||116||Mid-season, hybrid red cabbage. Plants produce firm, 6 to 8 inch, 3 to 4 pound, round, purple. Splitting tolerant.|
|Integro||Mid Season (Winter)||No||120||Hybrid, mid- to late-season, red cabbage. Plants produce medium-sized round heads with very thick, crisp leaves and short core.|
|Ruby Perfection F1||Mid Season (Winter)||No||121||Hybrid. Mid-season, solid, deep-purple, 4-6 pound heads. Stores well. Slow to split. Thrips tolerant.|
|Cairo||Late Season (Spring)||No||130||Hybrid, late-season, red variety. Plants produce round, medium-large, 3 to 6 pound, dark red heads with good interior color. Resistant to black speck. Tip burn and thrips tolerant.|
|Red Danish||Late Season (Spring)||Yes||135||Late-season, red, heirloom. Plants produce 6-8 pound heads. Stores well.|
|Buscaro F1||Late Season (Spring)||No||136||Hybrid. Late-season, dark red, round to oval, well-wrapped heads for mid-term storage. Tip burn tolerant.|
|Red Drumhead||Late Season (Spring)||Yes||137||Late-season, red-leaved variety. Plants produce 3-5 pound, deep purple-red heads. Good keeper. Holds color well even when pickled. Widely adapted.|
|Rona Red||Late Season (Spring)||No||138||Hybrid. Late, red, round, thickly wrapped heads for long-term storage. Resistant to black rot and fusarium yellows. Tip burn and thrips tolerant.|
|Deadon||Late Season (Spring)||No||141||Late-season, red, semi-savoyed, January King-type hybrid. Plants produce medium to large heads of medium to fine savoyed leaves. Outermost leaves are pinkish-purplish-grayish and pale green toward the core. Resistant to fusarium yellows.|
Savoy Cabbage Varieties
|Variety||Cabbage Type||Open Pollinated||Days to Harvest from Seed||Description|
|Vertus||Mid Season (Winter)||80||Mid-season, green, savoy cabbage. 8-inch, 5-pound heads with attractive blue-green leaves.|
|Savoy Express||Early Season (Summer)||No||89||Hybrid. Very early, savoy type with small, not bitter heads. All American Selection.|
|Greenwich||Early Season (Summer)||No||96||Hybrid. Early Michihili type. Narrow, 14-inch heads with dark green savoyed leaves. Slow to bolt. Resistant to black rot and black speck. Bolting and tip burn tolerant.|
|Two Seasons Hybrid||Early Season (Summer)||No||98||Early, 7 inch heads with tightly savoyed leaves and thick succulent ribs. For both spring and fall harvest. Resistant to bacterial soft rot. Cold and bolting tolerant. Also known as ‘Two Seasons’.|
|Famosa||Early Season (Summer)||No||104||Early-season, hybrid savoy cabbage. Plants produce heads of finely crinkled leaves with a range of greens, from dark at the tips to golden lime-green in the hearts. Tip burn tolerant.|
|Kilosa||Mid Season (Winter)||No||108||Hybrid. Mid-season, round-headed Savoy weighing 2 to 4 pounds with short core and well-packed, thin yellow interior leaves. Can be harvested as single-serving mini heads when planted close together. Yellows resistant.|
|Savoy Blue||Mid Season (Winter)||No||116||Hybrid. Mid-season, very dark blue-green, 3- to 6-pound, heavily savoyed, round-to-flat heads with refined interior and short core. Excellent for fresh market. Resists bolting. Resistant to fusarium yellows.|
|Savoy King||Mid Season (Winter)||116||Mid-season, uniform 5-pound, flat to globe shaped heads with well-savoyed, crinkled surfaced leaves and creamy interior. All American Selection. Tip burn tolerant.|
|Verza Montovano||Mid Season (Winter)||116||Midseason, green savoy type. Plants produce very large, cold-resistant heads that store well. Better for fall crops than spring.|
|Savoy Ace||Mid Season (Winter)||No||120||Hybrid. Mid-season, medium blue-green, lightly savoyed, 3 1/2- to 4-pound, very firm heads|
|Chieftan||Mid Season (Winter)||Yes||121||Heirloom. Plants produce 4 to 5pound, dark olive-green heads with densely crinkled leaves. 1938 All American Selection. Also known as Savoy Chieftan or Chieftan Savory.|
|Verza di Verona (San Michelle).||Mid Season (Winter)||126||Mid- to late-season green savoy type. Plants produce large, firm, green heads with a tinge of red on top. Grow spring or fall. Cold resistant, stores well, and will hold well in ground in fall.|
|Taler||Late Season (Spring)||No||128||Hybrid. Late, dark blue-green, round, heavily savoyed heads for fresh market or storage. Some frost tolerance but no yellows tolerance. Resistant to fusarium yellows. Cold tolerant.|
|Wadenswiler Sauerkraut||Late Season (Spring)||132||Late-season, white variety that’s well-suited for sauerkraut. Plants produce large, flattened heads of finely-savoyed leaves.|
|Samantha||Late Season (Spring)||No||133||Late-season, hybrid savoy. Plants produce small, pointed, dark green heads with savoyed leaves.|
|Des Vertus||Late Season (Spring)||Yes||135||Open-pollinated. Late-season, savoyed, medium-green, 4-6 pound heads with mild semi-sweet flavor.|
|Perfection Drumhead Savoy||Late Season (Spring)||Yes||135||Large, savoyed, “drumhead” type heirloom. Compact short-stemmed plants produce heads with crinkled leaves.|
|Primavoy||Late Season (Spring)||No||136||Hybrid. Late, dark blue-green, 3 pound, well-savoyed heads. Good for storage. Resistant to fusarium yellows.|
|Winterfurst||Late Season (Spring)||146||Late savoy cabbage. Extremely cold-hardy plants produce 5-7 pound heads. Stores well and over-winters in milder climates for early spring harvest.|
|January King||Late Season (Spring)||153||Late-season, semi-savoyed type. Plants bear 4 to 6 pound, flat, light-green heads with blue-green wrapper leaves tinged with purple in cool weather. Frost resistant, yet can also be grown in summer.|
Napa (Chinese) Cabbage Varieties
|Variety||Cabbage Type||Open Pollinated||Days to Harvest from Seed||Description|
|Fun Jen||Early Season (Summer)||No||85||Early lettuce type/specialty pak choy hybrid. Plants produce 6- by 10-inch, very light green, semi-conical heads. Undulating leaves with slight wrinkled surface and thick white ribs. Good frost resistance. Stores well.|
|Tenderheart||Early Season (Summer)||No||86||Hybrid. Napa cabbage. Suitable for container gardening. Upright crinkly light green leaves growing from a smooth white base to form 2 lb compact heads. Resistance to bolting, downy mildew and turnip mosaic virus. About 50 days to maturity. Plant in late summer to early fall for late season harvest.|
|Minuet||Early Season (Summer)||No||91||Hybrid. Early Napa/closed head type. Small, 9 by 7 inch, dark-green, well-packed, upright heads with yellow interior. Resistant to black rot, black speck and downy mildew. Bolting tolerant.|
|Rubicon F1||Early Season (Summer)||No||92||Hybrid. Early Napa/closed head. 11-12 inch tall, 6-pound, heads with blemish-free, deep-green leaves and broad white ribs around a creamy yellow, blanched interior. Slow to bolt and disease tolerant. Bolting tolerant.|
|Blues F1||Early Season (Summer)||No||95||Hybrid, early-season, Napa-type Chinese cabbage. Plants produce bluish-green, 10-inch, barrel-shaped, 3 to 4 pound heads. Slow bolting. Resistant to angular leaf spot, black speck, bacterial soft rot, downy mildew and virus. Bolting tolerant. Use for spring or fall harvest.|
|Bilko||Early Season (Summer)||No||96||Hybrid Chinese cabbage. Plants produce large, 20-inch-tall, densely packed heads with broad white midribs, pale green outer leaves and creamy yellow interior. Resistant to club root, black speck and fusarium yellows. Bolting tolerant.|
|Tropic Star||Early Season (Summer)||No||96||Hybrid napa-type Chinese cabbage. Plants produce well-wrapped heads with light green leaves. Heat-tolerant but can bolt prematurely in cool climates.|
|Nozaki Early||Early Season (Summer)||Yes||96||Early, open-pollinated Chinese cabbage. Plants produce barrel-shaped, 3- to 4-pound heads. Bolt resistant.|
|Kaboko||Early Season (Summer)||No||97||Early hybrid Chinese cabbage. Compact, bolt-resistant plants produce conical heads of ruffled leaves.|
|Qingdao 65||Early Season (Summer)||No||98||Hybrid napa-type Chinese cabbage. Plants produce 3-4 pound heads with green outer leaves and yellow inner leaves. Resistant to clubroot.|
|T-652 (Jazz)||Early Season (Summer)||No||100||Hybrid. Early Napa type. 6-pound, well-folded heads with improved yellow interior color. Stores up to 2 months. Slow to bolt. Resistant to angular leaf spot, clubroot and bacterial soft rot. Bolting tolerant.|
|Yellow King||Early Season (Summer)||No||100||Hybrid napa-type Chinese cabbage. Plants produce 4 to 6 pound heads of bright yellow inner leaves wrapped with deep-green, slightly overlapping, outer leaves. Grows best in mild and slightly cold weather.|
|Chorus||Early Season (Summer)||No||101||Early hybrid Chinese cabbage. Plants produce large, 5-pound, barrel-shaped heads. Resistant to clubroot and other diseases.|
|Lucky Star||Early Season (Summer)||No||101||Hybrid semi-heading Chinese cabbage. Upright, heat-resistant plants produce long, cylindrical, 4- to 5-pound heads with smooth, dark-green leaves.|
|Monument||Mid Season (Winter)||No||102||Hybrid, mid-season, Michihli-type Chinese cabbage. Slow-bolting plants produce 17-inch tall heads with glossy outer leaves. Leaves and ribs have some tolerance to specking.|
|Yuki||Early Season (Summer)||No||102||Hybrid. Early Napa type. Medium-sized, well-folded, bright green, barrel-shaped heads with prominent white ribs. Slow to bolt. Resistant to club root. Pepper spot tolerant.|
|China Pride||Early Season (Summer)||No||104||Hybrid. Early-season Napa type. 5 pound, barrel-shaped, dark green heads. Slow to bolt. Resistant to angular leaf spot, bacterial soft rot and downy mildew. Tip burn and bolting tolerant.|
|Green Rocket||Early Season (Summer)||No||106||Early-season, hybrid Michihili type Chinese cabbage. Plants produce 18-inch-tall, cylindrical heads with frilly green leaves.|
|Lucky No. 4||Mid Season (Winter)||No||110||Hybrid semi-heading Chinese cabbage developed for warm climates.|
|Wong Bok||Mid Season (Winter)||Yes||110||Napa type. Plants produce tight, cylindrical, 5-7 pound, 12-inch heads with broad, round, smooth leaves that overlap the top and large mid-ribs.|