Friday, April 23, 2010

Our cabbages at stage 4

cabbage 1
about 10 leaves

cabbage 2
about 10 leaves

cabbage 3
about 10 leaves

cabbage 4
about 10 leaves

1. I was reading an article the other day about the many stages a cabbage has to go through before harvest. I found this information very useful, to deal with growing cabbages for the first time. It eases anxiety as the formation of cabbage head is peculiar and  not in the same light as other vegetables. Fruiting vegetables are very predictable, where plants will grow and the hint of maturity appears as soon as the flowering starts. Then we can expect fruits to form as soon as the flowers drop off. Even spinach is very predictable. 

2. But growing cabbage is totally different. Plants start growing almost in the same manner as Kailan or chinese Kale. The leaves are so identical which is thick, flat and glossy blue-green. At the moment, our cabbages behave just like another leafy vegetable. I can only expect cabbage heads to start forming when the total number of leaves is beyond 26. At the moment, it is 10, which is at stage 4. Now I am expecting the plants to enter stage 5, which is precupping.

3. To simulate a cooler environment, the containers are placed at the side of the house. There will not be any direct effect of rains on these plants. They are experiencing about 6 hours of afternoon sunlight. For now, being away from the lawn, and other plants in the garden, cabbages are growing free of pests.

Even though the plants are growing well, 
I just wonder, 
whether the cabbage heads 
will eventually form.

Cabbage growth stages

Stage 1: Cotyledon (seed leaves). No true leaves present.
Stage 2: Seedling, up to 5 true leaves
Stage 3: 6-8 true leaves
Stage 4: 9-12 true leaves. Base of stem is still visible from above.
Stage 5: Precupping (approximately 13 - 19 leaves).
By the end of this stage, the base of the stem and the bases of all leaves are concealed when  the plant is viewed from above. The innermost  heart leaves are growing in an upright fashion and are visible without moving any of the leaves. 
Stage 6: Cupping (approximately 20 - 26 leaves)
Stage 7: Early Head Formation 2.5 - 4" diameter head
Stage 8: Head Fill 3 - 8" diameter head 
Stage 9: Mature 6 -12" diameter head

( about cabbages going through several stages before harvest.  Click for more: CABBAGE GROWTH STAGES

Putrajaya Malaysia


  1. I have confidence the cabbage heads will form. I wonder how young cabbage leaves taste.

  2. I love the blue-gray color of the cabbages. I think it is a very pretty vegetable. I haven't grown any before, but may have to try it. I wanted to thank you very much for becoming a fan on Blotanical. I am very flattered.

  3. that was great information: i am also very impatient with the ball formation, but i wont be anymore! thanks!

  4. I had lots of slug damage last year on my cabbages. I didn't get to eat any as they all resembled lace tablecloths they had that many holes in them.

  5. ~pamsenglishgarden
    i think cabbage young leaves taste like kailan or Chinese kale.

    The colour is deep. The leaves are waxy, that water simply drop off the leaves.

    Thanks. Just wonder how's weather in your place now..

    I hope the ball will form.

    So far no slugs way out of their playground.

    Putrajaya Malaysia


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