Cabbage (Brassica oleracea), the green vegetable with several overlapping leaves and prominent veins is a delight to grow. The leaves are firm when raw but become tender after cooking.
Cabbage is believed to be a native of Southeastern Europe and Central Asia but has since spread far and wide.
Does cabbage need full sun to grow properly or can it also do well in shade? This write-up will provide answers to this question and shed more light on cabbage cultivation.
After reading, you should know:
- how much sun cabbage needs
- the effects of cabbage not getting adequate sun
- if cabbage can grow in shade
- if cabbage is affected by excessive sun exposure and
- what to do so your cabbage gets enough sun
Before we go into all that, a little information about the nutritional value, time of planting and different breeds of cabbage is given. Cabbage is a great source of dietary fiber, folate, vitamins C, K and B-complex vitamins.
It is also a good source of the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
Vegetables like cabbage are also a rich source of polyphenols and sulfur compounds, providing beneficial antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
For spring planting, start cabbage seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost date in your area. The plants will tolerate cold, and seedlings can go into the garden as soon as the soil is dry enough to be worked and is 40 degrees or more.
For autumn plantings, start seedlings in summer about 12 to 14 weeks before the first expected frost, transplanting into the garden when plants have reached 4 to 6 weeks of age. Autumn is a great time to grow cabbage, as these cold tolerant crops tend to improve in flavor after exposure to light frosts.
Golden Acre, Brunswick, Early Jersey Wakefield, January King, Late Flat Dutch, Mammoth Red Rock, Red Acre, Savoy Perfection are some of the best varieties to grow at home.
Several cultivated breeds can produce a year-round harvest.
How Much Sun Does Cabbage Prefer?
Does cabbage need full sun? Cabbage will grow in indirect sunlight and even spots that are shaded but they need full sun for satisfactory results.
From experience and studies, it has been revealed that cabbage plants need around 6 to 8 hours of full sun. In fact, receiving up to 12 hours of sun daily is actually beneficial to the crop.
To provide this for the cabbage, select an area in full sun for planting. Cabbages that get this privilege of full sun for the proper amount of time usually reach their full size in 3 months.
In the event that cabbage is planted where it doesn’t get enough sunlight, the crop suffers. The leaves will not wrap around each other tightly enough, resulting in loose cabbage heads.
Also, the cabbage grows slowly and may not reach full size. These are problems because loose cabbage heads are not desirable and small size reduces their value.
Can Cabbage Grow In Shade?
It is not advisable to plant cabbage in full shade although they can withstand partial shade. Cabbage will not grow in full shade.
For you to successfully grow cabbage in shade, ensure you plant them by late spring so that they will be protected from summer’s hot sun. Cabbage that is grown in partial shade should not be expected to mature as early as those in full sun so you must wait longer for them to reach full size.
Moreover, anticipate that the cabbage will be smaller and loose down the center.
If possible, plant your cabbage in a spot that gets a few hours of sun in the morning. Indirect sunlight throughout the day is alright too as long as you reduce the frequency of watering since there won’t be enough sun to dry the soil.
Is Cabbage Affected By Too Much Sun?
Although cabbage prefers to be planted in full sun, temperatures that are too high (above 26°C) can have negative effects on it. Extreme heat can cause cabbage leaves to become hard and bitter.
Weather that is too hot can also lead to split heads and rotten interiors. Several fungal diseases, including clubroot, downy mildew, and black rot, can affect cabbage.
Cabbage can also be infested by cabbage worms and cabbage loopers. Be on the lookout for pests and diseases.
What To Do So Cabbage Gets Enough Sun
Does cabbage need full sun? Ideally, cabbage should get 6 to 8 hours of sun everyday and up to 12 if possible. This is so that they can grow large enough and maintain their shape.
There are a few things to put in place in order to allow cabbage to get the benefit of sufficient sunlight.
- Space cabbage out
- Reflect light towards them
1. Space cabbage out
When planting cabbage, space of 30 to 65cm must be given between two consecutive heads. This eliminates the risk of competing for water, nutrients and sunlight.
You can always transplant cabbage from a spot that is overpopulated to a more spacious place.
2. Reflect sunlight towards them
Cabbage plants that are not growing well in shade can be saved by finding a way to reflect sunlight towards them. You can paint walls and fences near them white because white bounces light and heat away.
Build a white panel frame if you don’t have walls or fences nearby.
How long does it take for cabbage to grow?
between 60 and 100 days
Do cabbages need a lot of water?
There is not much water required for cabbage. The plants prefer to get regular, moderate amounts of water. Every day, the soil should be damp, but not waterlogged. It is possible for waterlogged soil to suffocate plant roots, spread disease, and deplete nutrients.
What should not be planted near cabbage?
Never grow cabbage close to strawberries, tomatoes, beans, peppers, or beans. In actuality, all members of the brassica family of plants, including broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, fall under this category.
Can I plant cabbage in March?
Starting early and mid-season cabbage seed indoors between mid-March and May is an excellent idea. In the months of May and June, plant cabbage seeds, both early and midseason. Plant late varieties’ seeds in May, and transfer them outside in June or July.
Which fertilizer is best for cabbage?
It is advised to use a weak compost tea, a balanced (10-10-10) liquid fertilizer solution, or fish emulsion. You can do this once every two weeks. Apply cabbage fertilizer every three to four weeks until heads start to emerge after transplanting cabbage plants onto a suitable garden bed.
What is the easiest cabbage to grow?
As its name suggests, “Earliana” is one of the cabbage kinds that matures the earliest. If you’re a little late on your planting timetable, this one is worth taking into account since it will be ready to harvest in just 60 days. When fully grown, “Earliana” has a compact head that is 4-5 inches in diameter and weighs about 2 pounds.
What can you plant next to cabbage?
Cabbage benefits greatly from the presence of plants like chamomile, wormwood, chives, summer savory, coriander, tansy, yarrow, dill, mint, thyme, hyssop, chervil, geranium, rue, sage, and oregano.
How deep do cabbage roots go?
Vegetables can have modest or very deep root systems. When compared to a deep-rooting vegetable like an artichoke, pumpkin, or tomato, which roots deeper than 48 inches, standard cabbage has a shallow root system that ranges from 18 to 36 inches.
How do you harvest cabbage so it keeps growing?
Cutting is the most effective method of harvesting cabbage. Cut the stalk at the lowest point while still keeping the outer, loose leaves on the stalk. As a result, it will be possible to harvest cabbage sprouts later on after the cabbage head has been cut off.
Finally, since cabbages are heavy feeders, they require soil well enriched with compost and organic fertilizer. Cabbage suffers if the soil doesn’t provide sufficient phosphorus and calcium.
To avoid these nutrient deficiencies, fertilize your cabbage plants with fertilizer that is high in phosphorus in early summer. Avoid planting near other Brassica species, such as broccoli, as they can attract the same pests and diseases.
Does cabbage need full sun? Cabbage grows best when they receive full sun for a minimum of 6 hours every day. Getting up to 12 hours of sun is even advantageous.
Cabbage is nutritious and a garden must-have. Grow your own using the guide above let us know about your experiences.