How Long Does It Take for Cabbage to Grow

Cabbage is a key veggie in lots of meals. Its many types have different grow times. But just how much time does it need from seed to harvest? This is a big question for those who love to grow their own. We'll look at cabbage's growth stages and what speeds or slows it down.

Understanding the Cabbage Growth Cycle

Cabbage is a cool-season vegetable that has a unique growth cycle. It's a plant that lives for two years. However, it's often treated as an annual plant by those growing it at home. In the first year, cabbage grows a big, leafy head. But if this head isn't picked, the plant will keep growing into a second year. Then, it will make a flower stalk, set seeds, and eventually die.

The cabbage growth cycle involves several important stages.

  1. Germination: Cabbage seeds start to grow in about 5-10 days. The small plants start to appear after about 10-14 days.
  2. Vegetative Stage: This part lasts 4-6 weeks. The plant uses this time to build up its leaves and structure.
  3. Head Formation: After the vegetative stage, the plant starts making a tight head. This head is the part we eat.
  4. Maturity: In 4-6 months, the cabbage is ready to harvest. The heads can weigh from 1 to 3 pounds, depending on the type of cabbage.

Cabbage planting time can be mid-spring, late spring, or late summer for a harvest the next year. The best growing conditions for cabbage include 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. The soil should be between 60-65°F and moist, but not too wet. Understanding the cabbage's growth cycle helps gardeners know when to plant and harvest. This leads to a better yield and quality of this very nutritious vegetable.

Factors Affecting Cabbage Growth Duration

Many things affect how quickly cabbage grows. These include sunlight, temperature, soil, and water. It's important to know the right conditions for cabbage to grow well and avoid problems like bolting or head splitting.

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Cabbages love sunshine and need 6-8 hours of it daily. The best temperatures for their growth are between 45°F and 75°F (7°C to 24°C). They need steady moisture, around 1-2 inches of water every week. Drip irrigation is great for saving water.

Good soil is key for growing cabbage. Start by adding compost or manure to the soil. The soil should drain well and be full of organic matter. After planting, use a nitrogen fertilizer about 4 weeks later to make the plants strong.

Optimal Conditions
6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day
45°F to 75°F (7°C to 24°C)
Soil Quality
Well-drained, nutrient-rich, and high in organic matter
1-2 inches of water per week, ideally through drip irrigation
Nitrogen-based, applied about 4 weeks after transplanting

Growers can help their cabbage plants grow well by managing the right conditions. This way, the cabbage crop will be both large and of high quality.

How Long Does It Take for Cabbage to Grow

Cabbage's growth time varies by type. On average, it needs 60 to 100 days from planting to mature. The cabbage growing timeline is influenced by how and where it's planted.

For a harvest in spring or summer, you should start cabbage seeds inside. Do this 8-10 weeks before the last frost. Then move the seedlings outside. This makes the cabbage plants mature 2-3 weeks faster than other methods.

For a harvest in the fall, plant seeds directly in the ground in summer. This gives them more time to grow before it gets cooler.

The time taken to grow cabbage can be 60 to 100 days, depending on the variety. The cabbage maturity period is also affected by soil, moisture, and temperature.

Starting Cabbage from Seeds

Gardeners can start cabbage plants from seeds. They can do this indoors or directly in the garden. For indoors, plant them 8-10 weeks before the last frost. This will give you a harvest in spring or summer. You can also plant in mid-summer for a fall crop. Cabbage seeds should be planted 1/4 inch deep in trays or pots indoors. Keep the soil warm (about 75°F) and moist until they sprout, 4-6 days later.

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If you're sowing outdoors, make sure the soil is ready. Plant the seeds 1/4 inch deep outside. Protect the tiny plants from bugs and bad weather until it's time to move them. Cabbage likes cooler weather. You can plant them before tomatoes, which need more warmth.

  • Sow cabbage seeds 6-8 weeks before the last frost for a spring/summer harvest, or in mid-summer for a fall crop
  • Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in seed trays or pots, keeping the soil warm (around 75°F) and consistently moist until cabbage seed germination, which takes 4-6 days
  • For outdoor sowing, prepare the soil and plant seeds 1/4 inch deep, protecting the seedlings until they are ready to transplant
  • Cabbage thrives in cool-season conditions, allowing for earlier planting than heat-loving vegetables

Stick to these steps to have a successful cabbage growing season. You'll enjoy a big, home-grown harvest.

Transplanting and Spacing Cabbage Plants

When your cabbage seedlings have 3-4 true leaves, it's time to move them. How you transplant them is key. It helps your cabbage plants grow well and make big, hard heads.

First, get your planting spot ready. Mix some compost or well-rotted manure into the soil. This gives your cabbage what it needs to grow strong. Plant them 12-24 inches apart, with 3 feet between rows. Make sure you don't harm the roots when you move them. Plant at the same depth as they were in the pot.

After planting, water them well. This helps them settle in their new spot. You should also keep pests like the cabbage root fly away. This pest can hurt the roots and slow down the plants' growth. Giving them enough space is important for those big, hard cabbage heads.

Big cabbages can be as large as 24 inches across. Smaller ones may be about 12 inches wide, with the little varieties at 8 to 10 inches. Space them at least 24 inches apart, with 36 inches between rows, for the best growth.

Cabbage Variety
Planting Distance
Mature Head Size
Large Varieties
24 inches apart, 36 inches between rows
Up to 24 inches in diameter
Medium Varieties
18-24 inches apart, 30 inches between rows
12-18 inches in diameter
Dwarf Varieties
12-18 inches apart, 24 inches between rows
8-10 inches in diameter
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Following these steps will help your cabbage plants grow well. This way, you can enjoy a lot of fresh, tasty cabbage at harvest time.

Caring for Cabbage Plants

Looking after a cabbage crop well takes a lot of hard work. You need to give them the right amount of water, grow them in good soil, and feed them the right stuff. This way, you can get big, healthy cabbage heads.

For best results, water your plants each week with about an inch of water. This keeps the soil damp enough but not too wet. Then, lightly work the soil close to plants to get rid of weeds without hurting the roots.

Feeding your cabbage is vital too. Use a fertilizer made for veggies or a compost tea. This adds back the nutrients they need to grow strong and make a good head.

Keeping pests and diseases away is also important. Check your plants often for bugs like cabbage worms and slugs. Use covers to stop them. Watch out for sickness, like clubroot, too, and deal with it fast.

By sticking to these tips, you can make your cabbage plants grow well. Then, you'll have lots of tasty cabbages to enjoy.


Cabbage is a veggie that's good for you and can be cooked in many ways. It takes 60 to 100 days to grow, depending on the type and how it's grown. Tips for growing cabbage well will help gardeners get a big crop of this cold-loving plant.

Knowing the best time to plant and how to look after it is key. It's important to keep cabbage safe from bugs and sickness. Doing this right makes sure the cabbage is healthy and tastes good.

Cabbage can make meals better, for example in salads or stir-fries. Learning how to grow it at home means enjoying your own fresh cabbage. Plus, it's full of good nutrients for your health.

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