Watering and Fertilizing Cabbage Plants

Water and fertilizer are two important factors which can make or break your cabbage plants.  A lack of each of these would result to disaster but so does overwatering and over-fertilizing.

So, how do you water and fertilize your cabbage plants to ensure their healthy growth?

Watering Cabbage Plants

Cabbage is a heavy feeder.  Because cabbage plants absorb the nutrients from the soil through water, a lack of water will stunt their growth which will eventually result to poorly developed cabbage heads.

Cabbage also has a high water-content.  Without sufficient water for cabbage plants to absorb, their leaves would become dry and bitter.

For best results, cabbage plants need about an inch and a half of rain a week.  If it doesn’t rain that much in your area, you would have to make up by watering them yourself.

Make sure to water your cabbage regularly every two days, adjusting according to the rainfall you have received.

Cabbages are voracious feeders, so they will need to have plenty of fertilizer when you initially plant them.  Use a regular hose or soaker hose to water them.  Also make sure you water them enough so that the water can get to the cabbage’s deep roots.

It’s better to water them at the base than on the top part as this may encourage pests to proliferate.

Fertilizing the Soil


Cabbage doesn’t just feed on water they also feed from the nutrients in the soil.  But sometimes, the natural nutrient-content of the soil is not always enough.

This crop will do well with a couple of doses of fertilizers throughout their growth period.  On average, use approximately two pounds of fertilizer per 100 feet per cabbage row.

After three weeks, you can put some ammonium sulfate – around half a cup for every ten feet – on your cabbage.

When your cabbage plants are six inches tall, you can put a water soluble fertilizer on the soil, balanced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Do not use granular fertilizers so as to avoid burning your plants.

Once your plants started forming heads, a second dose of water-soluble fertilizer must be applied to the soil so the heads will grow bigger.  You can also put compost around each cabbage plant, but taking care not to put it against the stem of your cabbage.

After fertilizing, wash it down with water to allow the nutrients get to the roots.