Hamilton College Community Farm

Plant: Cabbage

Family: Brassica

Seed Varieties Dates to Maturity:
  • Supper Red 80 (F1) - A hybrid purple variety that produced beautifully in the 2010 season.
  • Early Jersey Wakefield - Standard green cabbage with small but nice heads.
Indoor Start Date and Cell Size:

Spring succession - 3/10 in open 200s

Fall succession - 7/1 in open 200s

Greenhouse Transplant Date and Cell Size:

Spring succession- 3/24 into 38s

Fall succession-7/15 into 38s

Outdoor Transplant Date and Bed Specifications:

Can be planted outside as soon as soil can be worked (early April), but at least one month after initial planting (4/13,8/4). Plant four feet within a row with three rows to a bed, or only two rows if the beds are tight. Spacing has a lot to do with how large the heads will get.

Planting Tips:

When transplanting outside bury plant up to first true leaves. This will cover the cotyledons, but will save the plant energy. If not planted deep enough, the weight of the leaves will cause the plant to fall over and while it will still grow, it wastes time and energy.

Plant Needs:

It is easy to let the weeds take over all the brassicas while busy with the rest of spring planting but try and stay on top of the weeds early on. When the plants get bigger they will shade out the weeds and will produce bigger heads without the competition.

Cultivation Techniques:

Cultivating with stirrup or collinear hoes works great early on, but at some point it will be necessary to switch to hand weeding when the plants are big enough.

Pests and Pest Control:

One problem is the imported cabbageworm moth. This is a white moth that lays eggs on the brassicas, which hatch small little green ‘loopers’ or caterpillars. Using row cover until the plants are too big is the best option but do not forget to check on the weeds under the row cover.

Harvest Techniques:

Use either the large blue-handled knives or the smaller red-handled serrated knives to cut off just below the head then peel the outer leaves to leave just those growing tight into the head. The best luck has been had with red cabbage so it may be necessary to look into different varieties of green.


As usual, harvest early and cool quickly. Wash and store in a perforated bag in a lug. Fall crop can be stored over the winter by drying heads wrapped in newspaper in a cool environment.


Sold as a head for $2.00 for retail and $1.00 per head for wholesale.

Companion Planting:

Cabbage can be planted with aromatic plants.