I'm not an expert. I try but probably do many things wrong. That said, I am trying cabbages. I live in zone 5, with a short growing season. I started cabbages indoors in April from seeds. They did well and I put them outside in may/June when they were established and had many big leaves. It is now September. They are growing tall and still producing leaves but only now beginning to ball up into a head. If I wait it out, will they continue to form heads as the days get shorter? What can I do differently to make them form up faster? The picture shows one plant which is around 12 inches tall. It seems to be balling up near the top.

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1 Answer 1


Check your seed package or other info. There are some very long season cabbages that do not head until late in the season. A truck farmer may plant 3 or 4 cabbages at the same time and have harvest times spread over a few months. Keep in mind cabbages' cousin , Brussel sprouts will generally not be ready in zone 5 until November.

  • The cabbage family are "cold season" plants which will withstand a lot of frost. I have eaten Brussel sprouts after the plants have been completely buried under snow for several weeks. In fact sprouts only fully develop there taste in below-freezing temperatures.
    – alephzero
    Sep 6, 2021 at 16:41
  • So, the consensus seems to be to give it at least another month? Does this look normal for cabbages?
    – nuggethead
    Sep 6, 2021 at 21:04
  • I would not put a time limit on it , I think cabbage is still good after a frost. Sep 7, 2021 at 17:02

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