When is a cabbage all grown up?

zendog
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When is a cabbage all grown up?

#1

Post: # 21063Unread post zendog
Sat May 30, 2020 9:21 pm

So how do you know when a cabbage is completely "mature"? I already harvested one Charleston Wakefield that was probably 2 pounds. It was a bit on the small side, but the bugs were starting to dig in so I didn't want to wait. But now I have some others that are just starting to make heads and I don't know when I can say they are basically as big as they'll get and it is time to harvest. For instance I have a Savoy cabbage that is about the size of a baseball, but should get 6-8 pounds, but I don't know what that would look like and if it gets to around the 6 pound mark I should go ahead and harvest or do I hold out for more, more, more....?

Also, I wonder if anyone can suggest how many more days I should expect to wait from now (tennis ball size) until harvest for this head? I want to plan for the space and what I can put in 3 weeks from now will be different than if I have to wait 2 months.
savoy.jpg
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root_grow
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Re: When is a cabbage all grown up?

#2

Post: # 21070Unread post root_grow
Sat May 30, 2020 10:36 pm

If you squeeze a younger head, you can feel how it still has some give in it, space for more leaves to fill in. I usually wait until they feel totally solid when I squeeze them, just like a grocery store cabbage is solid with no real give in it. Savoys always feel a little fluffier to me, but just keep checking and you'll notice the difference as it grows. Of course you can harvest it any time if you want to free up the space. From the picture you posted I'd start thinking about what to fill the space with in a couple weeks, it looks great!

Once it feels totally solid, it depends mostly on weather conditions and bugs for how long it will last. Mine have never gotten much bigger beyond that point. I've really pushed it in the fall trying to hold them in the field in my mild climate, but they only ever gained maaaybe another inch in width, but more often they'd split, inviting more bugs and gross water pools on the inside. Never tried leaving a spring cabbage in place very long, I'm too antsy for the growing space.

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GoDawgs
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Re: When is a cabbage all grown up?

#3

Post: # 21131Unread post GoDawgs
Sun May 31, 2020 6:10 pm

Good advice from root_grow. I'm growing Charleston Wakefield too and yours can get to the 3-4 lb range. In fact there's one out there now that needs cutting. It was so wet for so long this spring that they were late getting planted and so they're late finishing. It's mostly cabbage worms that start putting holes in cabbage leaves and a spray of bT will take care of them.

I have found that in general, the days to maturity on seed packs are usually the days from transplanting. Or thereabout, weather depending.
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brownrexx
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Re: When is a cabbage all grown up?

#4

Post: # 21207Unread post brownrexx
Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:42 pm

Ever since the first year I grew cabbage, I go by the DTM to decide when to harvest. I may let them go another week but not usually longer than that. The first year, I kept waiting for the cabbages to get bigger but then one day they started splitting all by themselves. I heard one do it while I was standing in the garden. Inside of the heads, some of the leaves had gray edges and apparently that comes from being overly mature, aka too old.
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zendog
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Re: When is a cabbage all grown up?

#5

Post: # 21210Unread post zendog
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:15 pm

Wow, thanks all for the replies. I feel like I have a bit better sense of what to look for (and to squeeze for).

I have the cabbages in a row in front of one of my rows of tomatoes and I suddenly noticed the tomatoes there were not as healthy as others not near cabbages. After googling around it looks like cabbages may not always be a good friend for tomatoes, so I'll let the cabbages mature, but might be tempted to pull them on the younger side for the sake of my precious tomatoes. Of course the cabbages would have to be in front of the row of tomatoes I'm most looking forward to tasting!
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slugworth
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Re: When is a cabbage all grown up?

#6

Post: # 22434Unread post slugworth
Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:10 pm

I have one that is almost 1 year old.
I started seeds last august and still waiting.
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