Cabbage Planting Guide

Cabbage is a cool season crop which requires an optimum growth temperatures range of 15- 20° C. Head formation reduced at temperatures higher than 25 degrees Celsius. It requires adequate well distributed rainfall. Moisture levels are especially critical during the early stage of the crop growth.


Cabbage  are vegetables of Brassica family (also called cruciferae family)

Soil type
• pH levels between 6.0-6.5
• Soils rich in organic matter, sandy loam or loam and well drained
• Soil analysis recommended for accurate fertilization

Climatological conditions

Growing requirements

Cabbage is a cool season crop which requires an optimum growth temperatures range of 15- 20° C. Head formation reduced at temperatures higher than 25 degrees Celsius. It requires adequate well distributed rainfall. Moisture levels are especially critical during the early stage of the crop growth. If the levels are low, irrigation should be used to supplement and relive the moisture stress.

Choosing a variety

While making a choice on the variety to produce, a farmer need to consider several key factors among them the maturity duration, yield potential, tolerance and resistance to pests and diseases, good field holding capacity, uniform maturity to ensure a single harvest and preference in the market among other qualities.


Plant spacing is important and depends with the variety and the choice of the farmer pegged on the market demands.

  • Varies with varieties: 60cm x 60cm for large-headed varieties, 60cm x 45cm for medium sized and 30cm x 30cm for small heads

Nursery management
• Raised beds recommended for root development and proper drainage
• Bed width of 1 meter and a convenient length not exceeding 100 meters and a height of 15 centimeters

With Greenlife we recommend TLO combination

Trinity Gold® 452WP  100g/20L to control soil borne diseases such Damping off

Loyalty® 700 WDG 10g/20L to control soil borne pests

Optimizer® 20ml/20L to break seed dormancy and ensure uniform growth


  • Seedlings ready for transplanting after 4-6 weeks in the nursery, depending on temperatures
  • Wet the seedlings an hour before transplanting.
  • Plant to the same depth  as in the nursery 15cm
  • Use Optimizer 10ml/20L to relieve transplanting shock

Pest and disease management

Cabbage is a host to several pests that include diamond back month (DBM), aphids and cabbage saw fly. Diseases that attack cabbage include black rot, fungal spots and bacterial soft rot.

Pest management

Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella)

The larvae emerge from their mines at the conclusion of the first instar, molt beneath the leaf, and thereafter feed on the lower surface of the leaf.

Use Escort® 19EC 10ml/20ml+ Integra® 3ml/20L


Cabbage leaf sawfly (Athalia rosae)

Sawflies are sporadic but serious pests of brassicas. They are black/green caterpillars with a black head.

Use Escort® 19EC 10ml/20L+ Integra® 3ml/20L


Cabbage aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae)

Aphids feed by sucking sap from their host plants.  Continued feeding by aphids causes yellowing, wilting and stunting of plants.

Use Lexus® 247SC 8mls/20L+ Integra® 3ml/20L



Cutworms are recognized by their smooth skin, greasy gray color and “C-shaped”; posture when disturbed. Eggs are laid by the night flying moths on grasses, weeds, and other host plants.  Cutworms feed at night causing serious damage to stems and foliage of young plants, during the day they retreat to their underground burrows.

Use Pentagon® 50 EC 10ml/20L


Disease management

Black rots (Xanthomonas campenstris)

The disease is easily recognized by the presence of large yellow to yellow-orange “V”-shaped areas extending inward from the margin of a leaf, and by black veins in the infected area.

Use Green Cop® 500WP 50g/20L+ Integra® 3ml/20L


Downey mildew

Caused by Hyaloperonospora parasitica previously known as Peronospora parasitica

Downy mildew is first seen as a fluffy or powdery-white mass of spores on the undersurface of brassica leaves. This is followed by a black speckling and puckering of the upper surface. Leaves prematurely turns yellow and fall from the plants.

Use Trinity Gold® 452WP 50g/20L+ Integra 3ml/20L


Damping off

Seeds may be infected as soon as moisture penetrates the seed coat or a bit later as the radicle begins to extend, all of which rot immediately under the soil surface (pre-emergence damping-off).  Infection results in lesions at or below the soil line. The seedling will discolor or wilt suddenly, or simply collapse and die.

Use Trinity Gold® 452WP  50g/20L+  Integra 3ml/20L


Head rot

Caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum

Symptoms often first appear as water soaked spots on lower or upper cabbage leaves. As water soaked spots enlarge, infected tissue becomes soft, and some outer leaves begin to wilt. A white cottony growth becomes evident on the leaves as the disease progresses.

Use Green Cop® 500WP 50g/20L+  Integra 3ml/20L


Alternaria Leaf spot

Alternaria Leaf Spot is a common disease of cabbage caused by the fungal pathogen Alternaria brassicicola

The most common symptom of Alternaria diseases is yellow, dark brown to black circular leaf spots with target like, concentric rings. Lesion centers may fall out, giving the leaf spots a shot-hole appearance. Individual spots coalesce into large necrotic areas and leaf drop can occur.

Use Chariot® 500SC 500SC 20ml/20L+  Integra 3ml/20L


Crop nutrition

The amount of fertilizers to be applied will depend on the soil analysis report and soil type. During early stages a lot of Phosphorus is needed to help in root establishment which will be supplied by foliar feeding Goldchance Super Start 14:28:18 50g/20L or Lavender 24:24:18 20ML/20L

During vegetative stage a lot of Nitrogen is needed and this is achieved through foliar feeding Lavender 20ml/20l or Goldchance Super Growth 50g/20L

During head formation potassium is needed to ensure proper head formation and this achieved by Lavender 20ml/20L


Weed management

Optimal production of these Brassica leafy vegetables depends on successful weed control. Weeds reduce yields by direct competition for nutrients, water, and light.

Weed control is especially important early in the season when weed competition can substantially reduce vigor, uniformity, and overall yield.

Greenlife solution: use Commander® 240EC 50ml/20ml a pre-emergence herbicide 2-3 days before transplanting to control weeds



Cabbage can be harvested any time after the heads form. For highest yield, cut the cabbage heads when they are solid (firm to hand pressure) but before they crack or split. When heads are mature, a sudden heavy rain may cause heads to crack or split wide open. The exposed internal tissue soon becomes unusable.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 10:43 pm

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