Site to Grow Cabbage. Grow cabbage in soil rich in organic matter that is well-drained. Cabbage grows best where the soil pH is between 6.5 and 7.5. Add plenty of well-aged compost to planting beds before planting. In regions where the soil is sandy or where there is heavy rain, supplement the soil with nitrogen.
Cabbage Planting Time. Cabbage grows best in regions where there is a long, cool growing season with temperatures between 45° and 75°F. Cabbage can tolerate frost and briefly temperatures as low as 20°F. Cabbage will bolt and go to seed in temperatures greater than 80°F.
Start seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost in spring. Sow seed outdoors when the soil can be worked in spring. Place transplants in the garden when they are 3 to 4 inches tall as early as 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost in spring.
In cool-summer regions, plant cabbage in late spring for a fall harvest. In mild-winter regions, start seed in late summer for a winter or spring harvest. Cabbage comes to harvest in 80 to 180 days from seed and in 60 to 105 days from transplants depending upon the variety.