The following information is about Growing Cabbage In Pots.
Cabbage is a rich, nutritious vegetable, it is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamins and is very low in calories. Cabbage can be easily grown in container with minimum effort, it has many benefits, this is the best vegetable to grow in containers for the gardener who don’t have sunnier locations. Growing Cabbage In Pots just needs little digging or stooping. It is a cool-season vegetable like Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Kale, and Broccoli, and Cabbage is sensitive to hot weather. So, the ideal time to grow Cabbage is in early spring or early autumn that keep plants away from hot sun.
Cabbage is a leafy vegetable comes many colors like in green, red, white. The heads of the Cabbage can be green, purple or in white color. Green headed Cabbage with smooth leaves are more common, than the purple headed Cabbages. Cabbages are generally grown for their heavy heads, the leaf headed Cabbages produced in the first crop are used for culinary purpose. For growing Cabbages in containers, they just need rich, fertile potting soil, along with adequate irrigations and fertilization.
Cabbages are the rich in Vitamins K, C and B6 and dietary fiber. Cabbages have an amazing flavor and are used in all types of cuisines. Cabbages are temperature sensitive crop, grow only in cooler climates. They also need full sun and moisture to thrive. Cabbages are easily affected by diseases, cure the diseases with home remedies or organic pesticides instead of chemical pesticides.
- Scientific Name for Cabbage: Brassica Oleracea.
- Common Name of Cabbage: Cabbage.
- Family of Cabbage: Cabbage belongs to the family of Brassicaceae.
Varieties of Cabbage for growing In Containers:
There are many varieties of Cabbages are available for container gardening. They are mainly based on the time of planting and spacing. To grow Cabbages in containers, choose some compact varieties, compact varieties grow well in containers. Basically, Cabbage is categorized into three types: they are Savoy, Purple, white, spring green and green Cabbage.
- Savoy Cabbage: these Cabbages are also called curly Cabbages, Savoy Cabbages have curly leaves, with a mild flavor and tender texture. These Cabbages have ruffled, lacy, deeply ridged leaves, Savoy Cabbages are most beautiful Cabbages among all the varieties. The leaves of these Cabbages are more loosely tailored and packed very loose when compared to green or red Cabbage and uses of Savoy Cabbage is similar to other Cabbage varieties. Although its uses are similar. Early spring is the ideal time to start these Cabbages in containers, so that they can mature before the summer. And the harvesting period is around 70 days.
- Spring green Cabbages: Spring Green Cabbages are also called loose headed Cabbages. The Ideal time for sowing seeds of Spring Cabbages is July and August, and moved to outdoors in September and October and it grows over the winter and can be harvested from late February or March.
- Green Cabbages: Green Cabbages have pointed heads in dark green color. These are most commonly used Cabbages. The heads of green Cabbages are very heavy and the size ranges from softball to basketball. The leaves of this Cabbage are tightly packed and are moist. The green Cabbage seeds can sow anytime from mid-February to mid-April. Harvesting period will be 3 to 4 months.
- Red Cabbages: Red Cabbages have purple, red colored heads surrounded with smooth leaves. these Cabbages are very rarely grown, these red Cabbages looks similar to green Cabbage except its color. And the heads of red Cabbage are a bit smaller than compared to heads of green Cabbages. Red Cabbage has tightly packed, moist leaves. Red Cabbage turns an odd blue color when cooked. The Sowing period for Red Cabbages is from February to mid-April and for transplanting from April to early June and the harvest can be done between August and November.
- White Cabbages: These are also called Dutch Cabbages, have smooth pale green leaves. Early spring is the ideal time to start these Cabbages in containers, so that they can mature before the summer. And the harvesting period is around 70 days.
- Napa Cabbage: Napa Cabbage is also called Chinese Cabbage or Celery Cabbage. Napa Cabbage doesn’t have a head like normal Cabbages; these Cabbages have long, light green leaves that form flower with white stalks. It looks similar to romaine lettuce and pale Swiss chard. These Chinese Cabbages have a mild flavor. Napa Cabbage harvesting period is 70 – 80 days. Idea time for sowing seeds is fall.
- Compact varieties of savoy Cabbages for container gardening are: Savoy Express, Savoy Queen and Savoy King.
- Compact variety green Cabbages for container gardening are: King Cole, Cheers, Gonzales, Rubicon and Kaitlin.
- Compact variety red Cabbages for container gardening are: Rub Ball, Red Meteor and Red Express.
Steps for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
Suitable Containers for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- Cabbage plants grow well in container, if you choose a compact variety. Generally, a Cabbage grows up to 4 feet wide and height. Select the containers that can hold 5 gallons of soil, this gives enough space for plants to grow.
- Choose the container with a 12 inches depth and 18 inches diameter, this container will be enough for growing one Cabbage plant.
- Go for the wide containers made of plastic or wood. And the Container should have a good draining system. Make sure that the container has 2 to 3 draining holes.
- Sterilize the container with antiseptic soap and warm water and dry it completely.
- Cover the bottom of the container with small pebbles or gravels covering all the draining holes. This avoids water blocking and dripping of soil.
Best Soil for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- Cabbage needs well-drained, rich fertile soil with organic matter.
- The pH levels of soil should be 6.5 to 7.5.
- Use good quality commercial potting mix with plant based organic soil. If growing in winter season, potting soil with animal based organic soil is recommended.
- Using garden soil is not recommended, as the soil may have fungus and bacteria which can cause diseases. so, it is recommended to use commercial potting mix.
Best Season for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- The ideal temperature for growing cabbage in pots should range from is 4-22 ºC.
- Spring and fall are the ideal seasons for Growing Cabbage In Pots.
- Early Autumn season can also be a good time to grow Cabbages.
- Cabbages grow well in moderate climates, to protect the plants from summer temperatures, add a thick layer of mulch and increase the watering intervals to control the soil temperatures.
Propagation of Cabbage for Pot Growing:
- You can grow Cabbage from both seeds and seedlings.
- The seeds of Cabbage look similar to Mustard seeds, they will be in a dark red or brown color. You can purchase seeds for online stores or nurseries or garden stores. Choose the varieties that are suitable for your climate.
- You can grow seedling at home in seed trays or can buy them from garden centers or nurseries.
- While buying seedling or seeds, make a note of variety and growing requirements.
Growing Cabbage In Pots from Seeds:
- For sowing Cabbage seeds, choose a wide tray. Now fill the tray with seed starting mix or potting soil enriched with compost in 2:3 ration or commercial potting mix rich in organic matter. Fill tray with 2 to 3 layers of potting mix loosely, don’t tap the soil. Using a seed starting mix is recommended as it fastens the germination process.
- Now sprinkle the seeds on the soil and cover it very thin layer of potting soil.
- Water the seeds firmly using watercans with fine hose, make the soil moist, not soggy or not too wet.
- And cover tray with mulching sheet or platen cover, to maintain moisture levels and adequate temperature levels which fasten seed germination.
- Move the tray to a location where it receives 2 or 3 hours of sunlight in a day.
- Germination period of Cabbage seeds is up to 7 to 15 days. Germination period, mainly depends upon the climate and moisture levels, ideal temperature for seed germination should be around 20°C.
- The seedling should be transplanted after 4 to 6 weeks of germination. For transplant the height of the seedling should be 3 to 4 inches with 3 to 4 sets of leaves.
Growing Cabbage In Pots from Transplants:
- If planning to grow Cabbage from transplants from nurseries or seedlings grown at home in trays.
- Select a suitable container that holes 4 to 5 gallons of potting soil, Fill the pot with potting mix loosely, don’t tap soil.
- Dig 2 inches holes in the middle of the container and plant the seedling very carefully with harming young roots. And tap the soil around the stem so that the young plant stands firm.
- Now water the plant with fine hose water can. Maintain the constant moisture levels in the soil.
- Move the container to outdoors, where it gets at least six hours of sunlight. Cabbage plant thrives well in a good amount of sunlight, complete shade or partial shade will slow the growth of the plant.
- After planting, Add a mild granular slow release organic fertilizer of N: P: K ration 12:12:12.
- And cover the seedlings with horticultural fleece for a few weeks to save from diseases and pests.
- The Container should be checked regularly to maintain moisture levels in potting soil. As the potting soil tends to dry out more quickly than the normal soil.
- Just poke your finger 2 to 3 inches check moisture levels in the soil, water the plant if the soil is dry. Water the plants deeply, till water drains out of the draining holes once in a week.
- Feed the plants with a liquid organic fertilizer once it starts forming heads.
- Cabbage heads take 75-160 days to mature completely.
Water requirement for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- Cabbage is a warm season crop, and it requires moderate watering levels.
- Water the plants only in early hours. Cabbage plants should water regularly.
- A Cabbage plant needs 2-4 cm of water per week.
- Don’t water Cabbage directly use water can or sprinkler to water the plants.
Sunlight requirement Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- A Cabbage plant needs good amount of sunlight for 5 to 6 hours.
- Growing the Cabbage plants under partial sun or complete shade can reduce the growth of the plant.
- Place the container in a location where it receives at least 5 to 6 hours or even more amount of sunlight per day.
Best location for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- A healthy growth of Cabbage plants needs direct sun, air and water resource.
- Don’t place container in partial sun or shade, it can reduce the yield of the plant.
- Best location for containers are the sunniest areas like balcony/backyards/terraces/window shelves/front yards.
Fertilizer for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- Cabbages are heavy feeders. They need constant fertilizing.
- Feed the plants every week with a balanced organic fertilizer. Buy the fertilizer composed of boron, calcium and magnesium, which promotes the growth of heads.
- During the Cabbage head formation period, fertilize the plants with water soluble or liquid organic fertilizer in N: P: K ration of 20:20:20. Apply the fertilizer as per the labeled instructions.
- You also fertilize the plants with fish emulsion and natural composts or tea composts will increase the nutrient levels in the soil and fastens the growth of the plants.
Winter care for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- Cabbages are moderate crops, but they tolerate frost for some short periods. Cabbage can resist to temperatures up to 4 degrees.
- When the temperature goes below 4 degrees, cover the plants with garden cloches or plastic covers with some holes that provides air circulation and light penetration. And move the containers to indoors at night time when the temperature is too low.
- During the day, move them to direct sun removing the covers.
- During winter, the plants may not need much water, water them checking the moisture levels in the soil.
Splitting and Mulching In Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- The major problems that occur while growing Cabbage is splitting.
- The heads of Cabbage split, before they mature completely. Splitting can be a big issue when head splits before it grows completely.
- Cabbage with splits will have low taste and they are not good for storage.
- The main reasons for splitting in Cabbage can be, over watering, heavy rains, drought, etc. this problem is very high in quick growing varieties and early season varieties.
- To protect the Cabbage heads from splitting, provide mulch which controls splitting to some extent.
- Mulch will retain moisture levels in the soil and controls the stress on the plants. And a proper irrigation will avoid head splits in Cabbage.
- Head splitting in Cabbages will attract diseases or pests, so harvest them as soon as possible
- In rainy season, cover the plants with garden cloches or plastic covers, which can reduce split heads to some extent during heavy rains.
Pests and Diseases of Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- Cabbages are more affected with diseases and pests, so select some disease resistant varieties to grow in containers.
- If you observe any damage on foliage, it indicates the attack of pests.
- Common pests that affect Cabbage are aphids, Cabbage worms, Cabbage Loopers, aphids and root maggots
- To protect plants from these common pests, cover them with floating covers.
- To control Aphids, just washed them out with a strong stream of water.
- You can hand pick the pests like Cabbage worms and lopper.
- To protect the plants from cutworms, wrap the plant stalks with a cardboard or tin foil.
- Club root disease can be treated by Increasing the pH levels in the soil. You can adjust pH levels in the soil by adding lime.
- Avoid foliage wetting to control purple blotch.
- To control fungal, bacterial and viral diseases, use commercial potting soil can reduce fungal diseases.
- Cold temperatures for long periods can cause Black speck disease, Increasing the potassium levels in the soil will control this disease.
- Use horticultural, garlic or neem oil sprays to protect the plants from common pests.
Harvesting and Storing Methods for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- Harvesting period of Cabbage is 95-150days. Heads of Cabbage take 7 to 8 weeks to mature.
- Heads of container grown Cabbages will have small size compared to ground grown Cabbages
- Cabbage can be harvested when heads matures, Cabbages sown in Spring are harvested in November month.
- To check the maturity of Cabbage heads, just squeeze them, it they are hard and firm they are ready to harvest, if they are loose and weak, it shows they are not mature.
- Harvest the Cabbage heads before they split or if you see any splitting.
- Harvest the Cabbages using g sharp knife to harvest Cabbage head, sharp knife without damaging the plant.
- While harvesting, cut the heads with 2 to 3 wrapper leaves to protect Cabbage from damage.
- Cabbage can be stored fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature.
- Cabbage when stored in the refrigerator stays fresh more two weeks.
Tips for Growing Cabbage In Pots:
- Cabbage plant required more water and more feeds for a healthy growth.
- Mulching is the process to retain moisture in the soil, and mulching can control head splitting.
- The Cabbage plant container should not be placed near cauliflower, broccoli, kale plants.
- To protect the Cabbage from diseases, use good quality commercial potting mix rich in organic matter.
- Cabbage is best companion to celery, dill, mint, garlic, potatoes, peas, onions etc.
- Feed the Cabbage plants with fertilizers rich in nitrogen during head formation.
- Feed the Cabbage plants with fertilizers rich phosphorous and potassium for good foliage and leaf growth.
- Temperature fluctuations can cause premature bolting in Cabbage plants.
- Over watering and under watering can cause head splitting in Cabbages. Water the plant at moderate levels.
- Mid- February to mid-April are ideal months to sow the seeds.
- Stream of watering during the day, will flush out the insects or larva eggs.