Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)-Hort Answers - University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers


Brassica oleracea var. capitata

Prepare seedbed by rototilling the soil and adding fertilizer based on soil test results. Water the plants uniformly.Side dress with fertilizer when half-grown. 
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Planting Time
Cabbage can be planted in early spring as soon as the ground can be worked. Cabbage also can be planted for the fall garden.


Harvest Time

Harvest heads when they have achieved full size by cutting below the heads by knife. Head cracking is a problem when heads are over mature. Harvest mature heads and store. Hold them in garden by pruning roots through digging close to the base of the plant or twisting the head at 180 degree angle to disrupt water flow to the head.



Plant seedlings 12-18 inches apart within the rows, and 24 inches apart between the rows. Set plants at the same depth as they were in the container. Water plants with starter fertilizer after transplanting. Cabbage can be directed seeded in midsummer for the fall garden 3 inches apart and ? inch deep then thin to proper spacing.


Soil Conditions
Moist, Well-Drained
Exposure/Light Requirements
Full Sun
Pests and Problems

Bacterial Disease

Environmental Damage

Insect Damage

Additional pests and problems that may affect this plant:

  • Imported Cabbage Worm
  • Cabbage Looper
  • Diamondback Moth
  • Aphids
  • Balck Rot
  • Blackleg
  • Leafspot
Additional Notes
Head cracking in overmature heads.


Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic