Growing Tips: Cabbage

Quick Reference:

Plant seed 1/8 inch deep spaced 1 to 2 inches apart. Germination: 8 to 15 days. Space between plants in the garden, 16 to 24 inches. Shallow planting provides warmer soil but soil must be kept moist at all times until plants emerge.

When and where to plant:

Cabbage grows well in Alaska's cool climate, will withstand a light frost and will produce a crop when the seed is planted directly in the garden. For an early crop, it is usually started indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Fill a container that has drainage holes with sterilized soil, sprinkle seed on the surface, cover lightly with soil, water well for a good seed-soil contact and keep moist until seedlings emerge. When the seedlings first show green, water with a liquid solution of plant food and repeat every two weeks until they are planted in the garden. When the seedlings are 1 to 1 ½ inches tall and have their first true leaves transplant to individual plastic pots and grow in a sunny, cool, 55 degrees or less at night area until the garden is ready. Choose a sunny location. Cabbage grows in any good soil but matures earlier in sandy soil. Cultivate the garden, enrich with plant food then transplant seedlings. In warmer areas plant seed directly in the garden after the soil has warmed by sprinkling seed down a row, covering with fine soil, firming soil over seed and keeping moist until seedlings emerge.


Plants MUST be protected from root maggots. Water regularly and apply plant food once during the growing season to promote rapid growth.


Cut stalk just below the lowest leaves when the head is solid.. Cabbage heads tend to split when they are left in the garden after they mature.