|Genus ||Brassica |
|Species ||rapa |
|Variety ||Wa Wa Tsai Hybrid |
|Item Form ||(P) Pkt of 50 seeds |
|Days to Maturity ||60 |
|Fruit Color ||Green |
|Seeds Per Pack ||50 |
|Fruit Weight ||10 |
|Additional Characteristics ||Cool Season, Easy Care Plants, Edible, Season Extenders |
|Harvest Season ||Early Fall, Late Fall, Late Spring, Mid Fall, Mid Spring |
|Light Requirements ||Full Sun |
|Moisture Requirements ||Moist, well-drained |
|Soil Tolerance ||Normal, loamy, Sandy |
|Uses ||Cuisine |
Cabbage and Kale are cool-season vegetables high in nutrients, low in calories, and very tolerant of frost. They are used in many of the world's cuisines -- think egg rolls, sauerkraut, and stuffed cabbage, to name just a few! -- and some varieties are ideal as ornamental annual plants. They come in a wide range of colors, head shapes, and flavors, so you are certain to find a favorite among the many delicious (and beautiful) varieties!
Choosing a Variety
When you're deciding what variety of Cabbage or Kale to plant in your garden, your decision will be mainly based on your taste and storage needs. Large-headed late Cabbages usually store well and are good for cooking, proving especially appropriate for turning into sauerkraut. Savoy and conical types are more tender and therefore good for slaws and salads, while Chinese cabbage is heat tolerant and quite versatile -- it's delicious cooked or raw! As far as choosing a Kale, green ones tend to be sweeter while red varieties are somewhat more appealing to the eye. Red Kale also contains anthocyanins, an antioxidant!
When to Start
Cabbage seeds are best started indoors eight to ten weeks before the last frost, at a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees F. If you want a fall crop, sow outdoors in midsummer. In zone 8 and warmer, if you want a winter crop of Cabbage, sow outside in early fall.
Expect germination in 10 to 14 days.
How to Start
Sow your Cabbage seeds at a depth of 4 times the size of the seed, or ½ inch deep, in a sterile starting mix and water thoroughly. Once the seeds have sprouted, be sure to keep the soil lightly moist, and feed them with a liquid fertilizer at half strength every two weeks.
Make sure the plants receive plenty of light -- fluorescent light for around 14 to 16 hours a day is also ideal for the fastest growth. You will want to keep the seedlings just a few inches below the light so they don't“stretch”and get“leggy". If you don't have fluorescent lighting, a south-facing window will do just fine.
Chinese Cabbage and Kale do well direct sown into the garden. In cool-weather climates, other Cabbages can be started outdoors as well, up to four weeks before the last frost date. If you want a fall crop, sow seeds in midsummer.
To conserve seeds, group 3 or 4 together at the desired plant spacing instead of the traditional method of sowing in continuous rows. Water well and make sure the topsoil stays moist, especially if planting during the drier midsummer. Once your seedlings have reached several inches and have at least two sets of true leaves, pull up all but the strongest one in each group.
Harvest is usually within 50 to 90 days from sowing, depending on the variety.
Once the seedlings have two sets of true leaves, you'll need to start the“hardening off”process. Do this by setting them outdoors in a lightly shaded area for an hour or two. The next day, give them a longer visit outside until they remain outdoors overnight, still in their pots. Naturally, if a cold spell hits, bring them indoors again to wait for the temperature to rise.
Plant out as soon as the soil can be worked in spring, setting the plants at least 8 inches apart, in rows spaced 24 to 36 inches apart. (Exact spacing depends on the mature size of the plant.) Site your Cabbages in full sun in a rich, fertile, moist, well-drained soil, and feed them with 5-10-5 (or higher) fertilizer or nitrate of soda. Fertilize when first planting out and then every 4 weeks.
- To avoid cutworm damage, place a tuna fish or cat food can (with top and bottom removed) around the young plant, buried halfway into the soil.
- Cabbage can be harvested anytime after the heads form. Just be sure to cut them when they are solid (firm to the touch) but before they split or crack.
- Be very careful when weeding as Cabbage roots are easily damaged by cultivation. If you fear the roots could be damaged by the removal of a large weed, clip it off instead of pulling it out.
- Carrots, Lettuce, Onions, and Spinach are all good companions to Cabbage.
- Dark green, leafy Cabbages contain a lot of Vitamin C, iron, and folate. Cabbage is also a good source of beta-carotene, potassium, and phytochemicals (plant-derived chemical compounds that are non-essential nutrients but still considered to be important to human health), such as glucosinolates, which are believed to help prevent lung cancer.
- Don't overcook your Cabbage, as this reduces its nutritional content.
- Cabbage and Kale prefer cool weather and can tolerate light frosts.
- They perform best in full sun in moist, well-drained soil that is rich with plenty of organic material.
- If you can avoid it, do not plant Cabbage or Kale where they or other members of the Cabbage family were previously grown -- rotate the growing areas. Members of the Cabbage family include Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Brussels Sprouts, Mustard, and Rapini. They are all susceptible to the same diseases, which can be passed through the soil from year to year.
- It's important to keep your plants moist, but it's especially important for crops that are started in summer.
- Mulch your Cabbage and Kale with up to 2 inches of organic material, being sure to keep the mulch about an inch away from the stem. This will keep the soil moist, control weeds, and provide some food for the plants.
Pests and Problems to Watch For
Aphids and cabbage loopers are some of the most common pests you will find bothering your Cabbage and Kale.
- Cabbage loopers are the caterpillar stage of a type of nocturnal moth, and their name comes from the way they arch their bodies as they crawl, inchworm style. They're very destructive to plants, as they have a voracious appetite for leaves. Covering the plants with screening or a row cover can prevent the presence of these pests.
- Aphids are often found on the underside of leaves and on stems and young buds. You can wash them off with a strong stream of water or use an insecticidal soap (be sure to follow the label instructions). Check the plants regularly, as aphids can be a recurring problem.
Rotate your crops to avoid soil-borne diseases.
View All Know Before You Grow Topics
Impressive even in partial shade
My garden is in 8B coastal Georgia, so we grow leafy veggies in the fall and winter. Wa Wa Tsai and the Toy Choy grew easily in my organic winter garden. I'm ordering more of each!
Cabbage Germination Information How to Sow Cabbage:
How to Grow Cabbage: Transplanting:
- Best sown indoors, 5-7 weeks before planting out, at a temperature of 70-75° and at a depth of 4 times the size of the seeds
- Expect germination in 10-14 days
- Seeds can also be sown outdoors in midsummer for a fall crop
- In Zone 8 and warmer, sow seeds in early fall for a winter crop
- It is 50-90 days from sowing to harvesting
- When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed
Transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves Spacing:
Space plants 15-18 inches apart in rows spaced 20-30 inches apart Lighting:
Site in full sun Soil:
Site in a rich, fertile, deep, moist, well-drained soil. Feed plants with 5-10-5 (or higher numbers) or nitrate of soda when first planting out and again every 4 weeks Additional Care:
Plant out as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. It is a cool weather crop that is very tolerant of frosts Appearance and Use:
This leafy green is grown to be eaten fresh or canned as sauerkraut. Ornamental varieties (Acephala Group) are used as cool season bedding plants and in container displays. It grows as a 1-2 foot, round, flattened, or upright head of compressed leaves. Green Cabbage has smooth green leaves; Red Cabbage has smooth purple-red leaves; and Savoy Cabbage has crinkled green leaves. Harvest the head at its base when it is firm, at its optimal size of 15 inches or less, and when the leaves are still tight. Mature heads will last several weeks in the field and for several weeks after harvesting
About Cabbage: Botanical name:
Brassica oleracea Capitata Group Pronunciation:
bras’i-kå o-ler-a’-se-å Lifecycle:
Brassicaceae; native to coastal Europe
Superior Germination Through Superior Science
Park Seed offers some of the highest-quality vegetable and flower seeds available in the industry, and there are a number of reasons for this.
First of all, we have humidity- and temperature-controlled storage, and we never treat any of our seeds with chemicals or pesticides. Nor do we ever sell GMO's (genetically modified seeds), so you always know the products you're buying from us are natural as well as safe for you and the environment.
Superior Standards - University Inspected
To make sure we are providing the best seed product possible and that our customers will get the highest number of seedlings from every packet, we conduct our own germination testing and have quality-control measures in every stage of our seed-handling operation. We hold ourselves to standards that are at or above federal and state standards, including testing specific crops more frequently than recommended by federal guidelines. And in order to maintain our organic certification, we welcome Clemson University to inspect us annually to make sure our organic seeds, which are stored and processed separately, are being handled properly.
Hand Packed By Experienced Technicians
Park Seed has been handling and packing vegetable and flower seeds for 145 years, a history that has given us a great understanding of how each variety should be cared for and maintained throughout every step of theprocess, from collection to shipping.
When packing our seeds, the majority are actually done by hand (with extreme care!), and we often over-pack them, so you're receiving more than the stated quantity.
The Park Seed Gold Standard
And many of our seeds are packed in our exclusive Fresh-Pak gold foil packets, which are lined to keep moisture out, so the seeds stay fresher for longer. We carefully pack very tiny or fragile seeds in crush-proof vials to ensure safe delivery to your home. Some of the small seeds are also offered as "pellets" (have a clay coating) to make sowing and growing easier.
When it comes to the kinds of seeds we offer, we are constantly seeking something new and provide many unique and hard-to-find varieties from all around the world. Our on-staff horticulturists are ready and available to share their expertise to help you with the success of these seeds, so you can grow a beautiful and productive garden!
Does Park sell GMO's or treated seeds?
It is important for our customers to know that Park Seed does not sell GMO or treated seed. We do buy a small amount of traditional hybrid seed from Seminis, a division of Monsanto Co., but that is all we purchase from them.
What are the differences between organic, heirloom, and hybrid seed?
Basically, organic seeds are seeds that are produced without the use and exposure to artificial/chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other chemicals. They have to be grown, harvested, stored, and handled under very strict organic rules and procedures. All of our organic seeds are USDA 100% certified organic through Clemson University and the certificate has to be renewed yearly.
Heirloom Seeds are open-pollinated -- they are not hybrids. You can gather and save heirloom seed from year to year and they will grow true to type every year, so they can be passed down through generations. To be considered an heirloom, a variety would have to be at least from the 1940's and 3 generations old (many varieties are much older -- some 100 years or more!).
Hybrid seed are the product of cross-pollination between 2 different parent plants, resulting in a new plant/seed that is different from the parents. Unlike Heirloom seed, hybrid seed need to be re-purchased new every year (and not saved). They usually will not grow true to type if you save them, but will revert to one of the parents they were crossed with and most likely look/taste different in some way.
What are pelleted seeds? Why do you use them? How do I handle/sow them?
Extremely small seed such as Petunias and Pentas are shipped as pelleted seed to make them easier to handle and sow. Pelleted seed are coated, usually with clay, to make them larger in size. After sowing, the coating will dissolve when wet and the seed will germinate. Pelleted seeds are shipped in vials placed inside seed packets, which protects them from being crushed. When sowing, be certain to use thoroughly moistened soil, to be sure that the clay coating absorbs enough moisture to dissolve. For sowing pelleted Petunia seeds, place the seeds directly on the soil surface and do not cover with soil, as light aids in the germination.
What is ideal temperature to germinate most seeds?
The ideal temperature to germinate most seeds is approximately 70 degrees F; give or take 1-2 degrees either way. This would be a good germination temperature for most flower and vegetable seeds and would be the most practical and feasible temperatures achieved for gardeners starting seeds in the home. You will notice for some seeds that it is recommended to use alternating day (warmer), night (cooler), temperatures, which is fine if one can provide such conditions. But most people are unable to provide those temperatures in a home setting, so just use the overall 70 degree F recommendation and the seeds should germinate well.
How long should grow lights be kept on per day and how close to the plants should the light be kept?
For germination and seedling/plant growth, you want to simulate the natural day-night cycles, and as a general rule, grow lights should be on 8-12 hours per day and off at night. You can vary this timing, as some seeds such as tomato, pepper, petunia, impatiens, and others, benefit from 14-17 hours of light per day (and the remainder of the 24 hour period in darkness). The most common grow lights used are fluorescent; using cool white, warm white, and wide-spectrum fluorescent tubes. These lights work well for germination and for growing plants up to a transplantable size. Fluorescent lights should be kept close though, 3-6 inches above the soil or the growing plants, adjusting the height as the plants grow.
How long will seeds keep in storage?
Park Seed stores seed in a special temperature- and humidity-controlled storage facility, which keeps seeds in excellent condition. Our seeds should be good for at least 1-2 years on average. Seed viability and storage time will vary depending on the seed item; some will keep a shorter time and some will keep longer. Seeds should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. A basement will do (if not too humid), or a cool, dark room or closet. We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store them in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What is the best way to store seeds over a longer time period?
We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store seeds in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What depth should I sow various seeds?
When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed. When sowing seed indoors, the planting depth can be less, depending on the seed being sown, so it is always best to check specific directions. Here are some general guidelines concerning planting depth in relation to seed size: Tiny, dust-like seeds need to be sown on the surface of the growing medium or soil, uncovered, as they need light to germinate. The planting depth for small seed can be anywhere from barely covering, to 1/8-inch deep, to possibly 1/4-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Medium seed should be planted at 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Larger seeds can be planted 1-inch or deeper, depending on the recommendation.