Cabbage Container Care: Tips For Growing Cabbage In Pots
By: Liz Baessler
Growing vegetables in containers is a great alternative to planting them in beds in the ground. Whether you’re short on space, have poor soil, or can’t or don’t want to bed all the way down to the ground, containers can be just the thing you need. Keep reading to learn how to grow cabbage in containers.
Growing Cabbage in Pots
Can you grow cabbage in a pot? Of course, you can! Growing cabbage in containers is easy, as long as you don’t crowd them. Cabbage plants can get huge, growing as high as 4 feet (1.2 m) and nearly as wide. Limit your plants to one per 5-gallon (19 l.) container. Your container grown cabbage will still grow planted closer together, but the heads will be noticeably smaller.
Cabbage grows best when the daytime temperature is around 60 F. (15 C.) and, in most places, it can be grown as both a spring and fall crop. Start your seeds indoors 4 weeks before your last frost date in spring or 6-8 weeks before your first frost date in autumn. Transplant your seedlings into your large outdoor containers when they’re about a month old.
Care for Cabbages in Pots
Cabbage container care can be tricky. Cabbage needs steady, frequent watering to encourage healthy growth. Don’t overwater, though, or the heads may split! Give your plants a good drink 2 to 3 times a week.
Pests can be a real problem with cabbage, and while growing cabbage in containers gives you the great advantage of being able to use fresh, uncontaminated soil, even container grown cabbage isn’t completely safe.
Put fabric around your young plants to prevent cabbage worms and cabbage root maggots from laying their eggs in the soil. Wrap the base of your plants’ stalks with cardboard or tin foil to thwart cutworms.
If your container grown cabbage gets infected in any way, discard the soil at the end of the season. Don’t reuse it!
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Growing Cabbage in pots: 5 essential tips
Cabbage is a popular veggie and it is widely used in different dishes around the world. It is used to make a salad and it is a healthy and delicious addition to a variety of dishes including meat dishes. Besides cooking, cabbage is also a healthy plant that contributes to lowering cholesterol. Growing cabbage in pots is very easy. In fact, Cabbage is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in pots. Just follow the below instructions and you will have a constant supply of this great plant.
Cabbage requires a wide and deep container to grow and thrive. It has a large root system thus it requires a room to expand its roots to grow. Small containers will hinder the growth of your plant and they will result in a poor yield. However, a large wide container will boost the growth of your cabbage and it will ameliorate its productivity in terms of quantity and quality.
There are several varieties of cabbage that you can grow in pots. Each variety has its own growth requirements. Therefore, the cabbage variety will determine when to plant and the space needed for planting. However, it is recommended that you choose a mini variety to grow. For example, Renee’s Garden Seeds are an excellent choice. Besides, they are widely available online.
Regular watering is essential for Cabbage to grow. Cabbage plants don’t tolerate drought. If they dry out they will slowly die. When they are grown in pots, they require more frequent watering. However, try not to overwater them because overwatering is harmful and it will cause several diseases. For best results, you should use one of these self-watering containers. Mulching is also advisable. It prevents dryness and it will keep your soil moist.
4. Pests and diseases
There are many pests and diseases that infect vegetables. Growing your veggie in pots will decrease the risks of getting them attacked and infected by pests and diseases. Nonetheless, your plants are still prone to many diseases such as black rot, clubroot fungus, and the yellow virus.
Although growing your plants in pots will keep them away from many pests, there are several other pests that may attack them. These pests include cabbage worms, cutworms, and cabbage loopers.
5. Companion Plants
I know that many of you are now wondering are companion plants really necessary for growing cabbage in pots? Well, yes they are. Companion plants are is the best way to control pests. Some plants such as onion and herbs are the best natural shield against pests. They have a strong scent that will keep pests away from your cabbage.
Growing cabbage in pots is an excellent idea. This great vegetable has versatile uses. Besides being very easy to grow, it is also extremely productive. Growing it in pots will ensure that you will have a constant fresh supply of this healthy delicious plant.
Enjoy growing your cabbage and we remain at your disposal for any further tips and information. Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Varieties of Napa Cabbage
There are many varieties of napa cabbage that are productive and can be grown without much difficulty. From those, we have selected the best ones. You can also check out other varieties on Cornell University Extension and pick the most suitable cultivar!
- Blues: Bluish-green and barrel-shaped and tolerant to bolting. You can grow it in spring or early summer. It matures in 55-60 days.
- China Pride: Dark green heads and shows tolerance to tip burn and bolting. You can expect a harvest in 65-70 days.
- Rubicon: Bolt resistant variety and matures pretty early in around 50-55 days.
- Wong Bok: Has broad and round leaves. Well suited for a cold climate and is a winter crop.
- Minuet: Produces dark green leaves and slow to bolt. Highly resistant to downy mildew. Matures in 45-50 days.
- Monument: Forms cylindrical heads and tolerant to cold temperatures. Matures in 70-80 days, good for fall growing.
This article on the University of Arkansas extension is also really informative, which includes information about Chinese Cabbage and some of its varieties.
Preparing your soil or potting mix
Your soil must be light and loamy mixed to allow moisture retention while effectively draining out excess moisture. A pH of 6.5-7.5 would be ideal for growing cabbages in containers. You can change the pH of an acidic soil by placing it in lime powder.
It is preferred that you mix the soil with mature compost before you start planting to encourage growth. Keep in mind that mature compost is needed to prevent the crops from getting affected by the unfinished decaying process.
Cabbage Seeds for Containers
Buy seeds that have been treated with hot water as they have better protection from fungal diseases, viral diseases, and black rot. If you wish to have seasonal harvests, sow your seeds according to the schedule listed in the starting section. To grow the best-tasting cabbage, it is best to sow your seeds in July or August as cabbages are cool-weather crops. Others suggest that you start growing cabbages in containers by sowing the seeds once there is no more danger of an impending hard frost. One of my favorite cabbage varieties is the Early Jersey (picture below) from “David’s Garden”.
Plant your seeds ¼ inch to ½ inch deep with a distance of 1 inch between each seed. Afterward, cover them lightly and spray them with a fine mist moisten the soil while preventing the seeds from getting washed away. Expect your seeds to germinate within 7-14 days from the time of sowing. Thin your crops so that they will have a distance of 18-14 inches between them when four true leaves have formed. If you only have a 12-24 inch container, leave only one crop behind. You mustn’t crowd your crops when growing cabbage in containers to prevent them from getting ill or be prone to infection. You must remember to water your plants consistently at the start of the germination process.
- As the head grows, keep regular water in it. Use sprinklers when watering.
- Ensure the supply of nutrients to it and stay close to the plant.
- Carefully weed all around the plant with hand.
- The cold crop is very harsh, they require cold protection during extraordinary cold weather, for this, you can use a line cover tunnel or cloche. You can harvest in the greenhouse in very cold areas.
- When the plant gets 5 inches tall then this transplant.
- Plant fertilizer the planting to use three weeks later.
Pest and Diseases
Cutworms, aphids, flea beetles, and loopers to attack this plant.
Yellow virus club root and black root rot infect the cabbage. It has three years to infect the plant. To avoid this rotted the crop for three years or use hot water treated seeds. Infected plants destroy immediately.