#496 Growing Cabbages from Seed in the UK: Tips and Advice


Welcome to our allotment and veg gardening podcast, where we share tips, advice, and updates on all things gardening. In this episode, we'll be taking you through our latest allotment diary update, sharing our experiences of growing cabbages from seed in the UK, and giving you the latest on our garden. So sit back, relax, and let's get started.

Allotment Diary Update:

We've been busy on the allotment lately, mowing grass areas, fitting glass to our greenhouse, building a new bed, and planting the last of our potatoes and some onions. It's been a lot of hard work, but we're excited to see our efforts pay off as our plants start to grow and thrive.

Growing Cabbages from Seed:

Cabbages are a popular and nutritious vegetable that can be grown from seed in the UK. Whether you're an experienced gardener or just starting out, growing cabbages can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips and advice on how to get started:

1 Choosing the right cabbage variety:

When choosing your cabbage variety, consider factors such as taste, size, and maturation time. Some popular varieties include "January King," "All Seasons," and "Golden Acre." Check the seed packets for information on each variety's characteristics, and choose one that suits your needs.

2 Preparing your soil:

Cabbages prefer a well-drained soil that's rich in organic matter. If your soil is heavy or compacted, consider adding some compost or other organic matter to improve its texture and fertility. Aim for a pH between 6.5 and 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral. Add lime if needed!!

3 Starting seeds indoors!!

Cabbage seeds can be started indoors in late winter or early spring, around 8-10 weeks before the last expected frost. Sow the seeds in small pots or trays filled with seed compost, and keep them in a warm and bright location. Once the seedlings have emerged, move them to a cooler spot and thin them out to one seedling per pot.

4 Transplanting your seedlings:

When your seedlings have grown to around 10cm tall and have at least two sets of true leaves, they're ready to be transplanted to their final growing location. Choose a spot that's sheltered from strong winds and has full sun exposure. Dig a hole that's slightly larger than the pot, and plant the seedling at the same depth as it was in the pot. Firm the soil around the base of the plant and water it in.

5 Caring for your cabbages:

Cabbages require regular watering, especially during dry spells. They also benefit from regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer or a high-nitrogen fertilizer, such as blood meal. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, such as cabbage aphids, clubroot, and cabbage whitefly, and take action if necessary.

6 Harvesting your crop:

Cabbages can be harvested when they reach maturity, which typically takes around 3-4 months from planting. Look for firm and compact heads, and cut them off at the base of the stem. You can store cabbages in a cool and dry location, such as a root cellar or a refrigerator, for several weeks.

Winter and Christmas Cabbages:

If you want to grow cabbages for the winter or Christmas season, timing is key. Sow your seeds in early summer, around late May or early June, and transplant the seedlings to their final location in mid-summer. Choose a variety that has a shorter maturation time, such as "January King," and protect your plants from frost with a fleece or cloche.

Garden Update:

In our garden, we've been busy potting up plants using coir, feeding them with bonemeal, and mowing the grass. We're also happy to report that our chickens have settled in well and are happily clucking away in their coop.

I mention installing greenhouse shelf brackets in my greenhouse as a way of adding some extra space. These can be found here.

Mint Sauce Recipe:

And now, for our mint sauce recipe. This classic condiment is perfect for serving with lamb or other roasted meats, and it's super easy to make. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) white wine vinegar


  1. In a small bowl, combine the chopped mint leaves and sugar.
  2. Pour the boiling water over the mint mixture, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add the white wine vinegar, and stir to combine.
  4. Let the mint sauce cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Thanks for joining us for this episode of our allotment and gardening podcast. We hope you've found our tips and advice on growing cabbages from seed in the UK helpful, and that you've enjoyed our allotment and garden updates. Don't forget to leave us a review, become a supporting club member, get in touch, and follow us on social media. And until next time, happy gardening!

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