Cabbage is a hardy vegetable that can be grown all year round in many areas. It is particularly popular during the winter when it is usually considered a cool-season crop. Even though cabbage is relatively frost tolerant, there are some things you should know before planting your seeds or seedlings this season. Can they survive the cold temperatures of winter? Can I overwinter them? What kind of care do they need during these months?
Let’s answer all of these questions by taking an in-depth look at this wonderful green veggie!
Can Cabbage Survive Frost?
Cabbage is a cool-weather vegetable that can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius. It’s a hardy plant, and you don’t need to worry about it freezing if you live in an area where the coldest temperatures are usually below this level.
In fact, cabbage is actually more tolerant of cold than heat—it won’t be damaged by frost but will wilt quickly if exposed to heat during the day and then left in the sun at night or early morning hours.
How Tolerant Is Cabbage To Cold Weather
Cabbage is a cool season crop, meaning that it will tolerate a light frost better than warm season crops like tomatoes and peppers. The actual temperature at which cabbage will sustain damage depends on the variety and age of your plant.
For example, some cabbages are more tolerant of cold weather than others. Baby cabbages can withstand temperatures as low as -10°F (-23°C), but full-grown types should not be planted until there is no chance of a hard frost occurring during their growing period.
Some varieties may be able to survive temperatures below freezing if they have already formed heads or have been planted in late fall/early winter, but this would only be possible in areas where the ground freezes only occasionally or has never frozen before (such as Southern California).
How To Protect Your Cabbage From Frost
If you want to protect your cabbage plants from frost, there are different ways to do it.
However, I find the easiest and best way is to cover it with a light frost blanket. This is the easiest method and will cost less than other options, but it also offers less protection. A light frost blanket works best if temperatures are expected to drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours at a time or if your cabbages are still small (around 2 inches in diameter).
If either of these conditions applies, cover each plant individually with a sheet of plastic or row cover tacked down on all sides. When using this method, keep in mind that the temperature may be too high during the day if there’s no shade provided by other plants nearby—you don’t want too much sunlight getting through!
Be sure not to place anything directly over the heads of your cabbage plants when covering them up; just keep everything at least 12 inches away so that air can flow freely around their leaves.
Another method you have is to use a simple device called a “blower,” which blows air over the plants at night when the temperature drops below freezing. This method is not very effective if there is any wind at all, but can work well if there isn’t much wind and if your plants are planted closely together so that they don’t dry out too much during the day.
Caring For Cabbage During The Winter
Cabbage is one of the most popular garden vegetables, but it can be a challenge to grow in cold weather. If you live in a colder climate, here’s what you need to know about caring for cabbage during winter:
- Protect from frost: The first step is to protect your plants from freezing temperatures by covering them with an insulating blanket or bringing them indoors.
- Keep soil moist: Even though the days are shorter and cooler this time of year, cabbages still need water in order to thrive. Regular watering will make sure they’re getting enough moisture without drowning or getting soggy.
- Remove any yellow leaves: You’ll want to remove any yellow leaves as soon as possible so that they don’t go bad on your plant and spread disease through your garden. This is especially important if you haven’t been able to cover your plants with light protection yet!
What Temperatures Will Kill Cabbage?
Cabbage can survive cold weather, but temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the vegetable. It’s possible for frost to damage the outer leaves, which may affect the plant’s growth and cause it to rot.
If you live in an area where there’s a lot of snow in the winter months, you should make sure that your cabbage plants are protected from any potential snow drifts or heavy winds. You can do this by covering them with straw or some kind of thick material so they won’t get buried under too much snow.
Frost also has an impact on cabbage roots because it makes them very hard and brittle—so if there is a lot of frost in your area, make sure you check on your cabbages frequently throughout the winter months (since they’re planted late) so that you know when it’s safe for them again to go back outside once warmer temperatures return!
Can I Overwinter Cabbage?
Whether you plant cabbage in the ground or in a container, you can overwinter it. When planting your cabbage plants, make sure they’re spaced far enough apart so they have room to spread out their roots and grow.
If you want to overwinter cabbage by planting it directly into the ground in the fall, dig up some of your existing cabbage plants and transplant them into a new location. If you’re planting them in containers, just move them somewhere else with more shade if needed and let them sit until spring.
As you can see, cabbage is a hearty crop and can withstand some frost. However, it does not like to freeze. If you want to keep your cabbage from freezing during the winter months, make sure that it’s covered with something thick like straw or mulch so that it doesn’t get too cold. You may also want to consider overwintering your plants indoors if there is any chance of severe temperatures outside such as snowstorms!