Winter Cabbage Information – How to Grow Winter Cabbage Plants

Cabbage is a cold-season plant, but it takes a little planning to make it thrive in the dead of winter. There are a few tips for growing winter cabbage. What is winter cabbage? They are late season varieties of cabbage, but with a little protection, most types can be kept over winter. If you like cabbage, winter-grown varieties will give you a fresh taste long before the cold season.

What is winter cabbage?

The best-preserved cabbage varieties are cold tolerant and start later in the season. Winter cabbages have smaller heads and are more resistant. Types include Huron, OS Cross and Danish Ball Head, which are long season varieties that can produce until winter. Knowing when to plant winter cabbage for a late harvest ensures that the time of maturity is within the season. Stagger plantings for more consistent yields.

How to grow winter cabbage

Sow the seeds directly in a prepared bed in the middle of summer. Some gardeners may wonder when to plant winter cabbage. As long as you wait until mid-summer, you can sow at any time until late summer or even early fall in temperate climates. Seeds will germinate at temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sow successively each week for a harvest that will last all winter. The winter cabbage crop is the same as the early season cabbage crop. Be careful not to expose young leaves to frost or they will wilt and die.

Winter crops need less frequent irrigation because most of their moisture is provided by nature. Make sure that the area is not too wet and drains well. Cabbages in swampy soil tend to split.

Winter cabbage growing methods

You can start seeding indoors or sow directly from the end of July to the beginning of August. The young cabbages can burn in full sun, so cover the rows. This will protect them from cabbage maggot and other pests. Row covers have the added benefit of retaining heat in case of frost. This will help protect plants from cold burns.

Side coating with manure to feed the ripening heads. Ensure that the seedbed is well drained to prevent ice from damaging the roots during cold growth. In temperate climates, the heads «stay» outdoors fairly well because growth slows down in cold weather.

In some areas, it is not possible to store cabbages during the winter. You will have to harvest the heads in early winter, when temperatures drop, to prevent them from cracking. Also try growing cabbages in containers. They have shallow roots and grow well in large containers.

Winter cabbage storage

You can store winter cabbage in a cellar, pantry or refrigerator for several months. Remove damaged leaves from the outside and place the cabbage on the shelves or in the drawer in a single layer. The temperature should be close to freezing, but not quite.

By keeping the cabbages over the winter, you will be rewarded with crisp and pungent flavours in early spring, before the first crop of the season is ready to be harvested.

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