Top Of The Crops - Cabbage

Growing Cabbage in a Polytunnel

If you have the space and the organisational skills then it is possible to enjoy eating cabbage pretty much all year round. A polytunnel makes it easier to grow cabbages through the colder portions of the year and also makes it easier to control the pests that can be a problem for these plants. A polytunnel can allow you to grow cabbages successfully even in the depths of winter and even in the most northern reaches of the UK. The key to successfully growing cabbages throughout the year is choosing the right varieties for each time of year and for where you live.

Sowing and Growing Requirements for Cabbages

There are three broad categories of cabbage, based on when they are harvested. These are: summer cabbages, winter cabbages and spring cabbages. Like all brassicas, cabbage requires a sunny spot with fertile soil and it is a hungry crop when it comes to its nitrogen requirements. Mulching with a high nitrogen organic mulch during the summer can help for summer and winter cabbages and over wintering spring cabbages will benefit from a nitrogen rich liquid feed (such as a home-made nettle or compost 'tea'). (Mulches over winter may increase pest problems in the UK.)

Summer cabbages should be sown February-March under cover or April to May outside and planted to final growing position between April and June. Winter cabbage should be sown between April and May, planted out into their final growing position between June and July (often, this can be timed so that winter cabbages will fill the gap left by a spring crop in your polytunnel). Spring cabbages will over-winter and so should be sown in July-August and planted in September-October so they develop enough of a root system to see them through the coldest months.

Seeds should be sown to a depth of around 1cm. They will be ready for transplant when they have five or so leaves. Space cabbages around 45cm apart in their final growing positions and make sure they are well watered and that the soil is well-firmed around them. If the soil you are gardening in is too acidic then you should take measures to bring it to a more alkaline level. Water cabbages well in periods of dry weather and ensure they are well fed throughout the year.

Companion plants such as alliums and herbs can help repel or distract pests that could pose a problem for your cabbages. Legumes can help fix nitrogen. Inter-planting lettuce or other fast-growing crops between cabbages will allow you to make full use of the space throughout the year and lettuces can be pulled before they become a source of intense competition to the growing cabbages.

Harvesting Cabbages

Possible to have cabbage all year round if you have space. Summer cabbages can be harvested between July and October, winter cabbages between October and March and spring cabbages from March to May. Harvest the plants by cutting them off close to the ground. With spring and summer cabbages, you can gain a secondary crop by cutting a 1cm deep cross in the stump, from which a smaller cabbage will grow.

Calendar

Spring cabbage
Sowing – July to August
Planting – September to October
Cutting time – March to May

Summer cabbage
Sowing – Feb to March under cover
April to May outside
Planting time – April to June
Cutting time – July to October

Winter cabbage:
Sowing – April to May
Planting time – June to July
Cutting time – October to March

< Back

Swipe to scroll through tabs

About First Tunnels

We’re a close-knit bunch of skilled professionals who take an enormous pride in the quality and versatility of our products, But we’re enthusiasts too - we use our own products, and that means we’ve introduced lots of improvements and innovations over the years…based on first-hand everyday practical experience. We work hand-in hand with top growing experts. We even have our own allotment for some seriously hands-on gardening, often accompanied by communal summer and winter barbecues because all work and no play would be very dull!

Polytunnel Community

Reviewed by you, Followed by you, Liked by you and listened to by us. We have a strong online polytunnel community, 35k Facebook Fans, 10k Twitter Followers and over 3m YouTube Views. Our community of dedicated, passionate Polytunnel gardening friends, love to share their sowing tips, growing hints and harvesting secrets with each other. But more importantly for you, as a customer or a potential customer, you can post your comments in all their glory or gory details. Come and join the Polytunnel family.

Construction Help & Advice

Our six man construction team has a wealth of polytunnel construction knowledge and are more than happy to share tips and advice with any of our customers. Many of the team have been quite literally 'hands on' developing the First Tunnels vast array of construction videos and in depth instruction guides. Our construction team are available to answer your questions and help in whatever way they can. Simply call 01282 601253 on week days between 9am-5pm...PLUS weekend cover on 07801 601253, between 9am-5pm.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are proud of our products and the time that we have put in to making sure that all our products are first class. We understand that purchasing a polytunnel is a considerable investment, and whilst we have lots of help and advice on this site, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blog pages many people like to compare and contrast before they commit their hard earned cash to buying. To this end we have compiled a list of the most common questions and provide 10 top reasons why First Tunnels Polytunnels is the top choice.

Getting Growing

Part of the fun of owning a polytunnel is picking the brains of people who really know how to make the most of the real growing potential. So we're making it easy for you...with some of the best brains in the business! This site now includes features, produced exclusively for First Tunnels by Andy McKee and Mark Gatter - best-selling authors of 'How to grow food in your Polytunnel' and 'The Polytunnel Handbook'. We also have videos from BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time presenter, Paul Peacock. We also have a host of growing guides from Sam Youd, presenter & judge for the Royal Horticultural Society & Tatton Park Head Gardener.

Other Useful Stuff

What better way to learn about company dependability, product quality and customer service than to hear it straight from other consumers? By giving customers the opportunity to share their First Tunnels shopping experience, we believe this is the best reflection of our companies’ product and service. To help reinforce credibility, popularity and reputation, we have subscribed to not one, not two...but THREE independent review companies. We value all feedback, good, bad or ugly and hope to build a long lasting relationship with our customer, through our high quality products and friendly service, to ensure they do not hesitate to order again and again with First Tunnels in the future.