Growing Cabbage

Brassica sp. : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S S         S S      
      T T         T T  

(Best months for growing Cabbage in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 5°C and 18°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 50 - 75 cm apart
  • Harvest in 11-15 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile, thyme)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chili, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard, parsnip
  • Cabbage
  • Winter cabbage

There are many varieties of cabbage.

Those which stand winter weather usually have darker leaves and a stronger flavour, e.g. Savoy.

Red cabbage is grown in a similar way to green varieties.

In temperate climates ff you plant a selection of types you can have cabbage growing all year round.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Cabbage

Young spring cabbage can be chopped and added to salad greens.
Steaming preserves the goodness and flavour of cabbage.
Can also be used in stir-fry.
Red cabbage chopped and cooked with brown sugar, red wine, onions, vinegar and stock is served with boiled bacon or pork.

Your comments and tips

26 Nov 23, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Are there recommendations for sowing cabbage seeds that are tolerant of hot days (17 to 21 deg C and cooler nights 6 to 10 deg C as experienced in the central N.I. I do OK with shop bought punnets in early spring and mid to late autumn, but have no luck with sucessional planting in late spring through summer and early autumn.
14 Dec 23, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Cabbage are a cool weather crop not a hot weather crop.
06 Jan 20, Ian (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have used, for the first time, garden domes from the ware house. At last I don't have to spray for white butterfly. The domes let nothing in due to the mesh size. Bees can get in but find it hard to get out. So I now have four of these domes. Snails, birds, you name it. Nothing can get in.
04 Apr 19, danny (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
to keep pests off my cabbage or other vegs. I cut long strips off old spouting bend over to make cover and then cover with strawberry netting , works real good cheers Danny
02 May 19, Glen (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Danny, can you explain in a bit more detail please? Cabbages and Broccoli I planted last year were a total disaster, I would love to find a good method to grow them Cheers Glen
03 May 19, Greeb thumb (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Look on the internet on ways to protect crops with netting.
08 Jan 18, JT (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I've planted few veggies first time, but my cabbage are growing well with dark green leaves but unfortunately the leaves , most of the plants are eaten out , thought it must be snails or whiteflies etc and had checked leaves inside and out but can't find any culprit. I know am missing something here ?
28 Dec 16, tom green (New Zealand - temperate climate)
what is the best way to protect our cabbages from caterpillars that leave holes all over the leaves.we have tried derris dust but to no avail.
09 Jan 17, Alan (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Cheap environmental way is mix Baking soda and flour 50/50 and sprinkle on. They die within 48 hrs. If it rains you need to repeat but the solution is cheap enough and won't poison you?
02 Jan 17, Richard (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
The best way to protect from white butterfly caterpillar on brassicas is to cover with insect netting available form your hardware/garden store - I use a cloche system - very effective - no sprays no worries...
Showing 1 - 10 of 13 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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