Today Cabbage is a commonly used vegetable around the world, but it originated from Southern Europe. It has a fancy and long botanical name: Brassica Oleracea Capitata.
This cool-weather crop is a biennial. It should be grown in rich soil with a steady supply of moisture.
If you want to enjoy the best Cabbage, better fertilize it well. The extra nutrients will help this heavy feeder produce large Cabbage heads and leaves.
In the old days, Cabbage was used not only for food but also for wounds because of its antibacterial properties.
It is a humble vegetable plant that gives you a huge harvest within a short period and is full of beneficial nutrients.
It’s a great addition to any diet food routine because it has fewer calories, but it’s high in dietary fiber.
If your Cabbage crop has poorly developed or undersized heads, you should enrich the soil with a boost of nutrients using commercial or homemade fertilizers.
In this article, I’m sharing the best fertilizers for Cabbage available in the market. The fertilizer you choose has a direct impact on plant growth; therefore, choose wisely.
- 1 Best Fertilizer for Cabbage
- 1.1 Mother Earth Season’s Choice Vegetable and Tomato Fertilizer – Best Overall Cabbage Fertilizer
- 1.2 Osmocote Granular Fertilizer- Best Granular Cabbage Fertilizer
- 1.3 Espoma Urea Plant Food – Best for Budget Cabbage Fertilizer
- 1.4 Down to Earth Blood Meal Fertilizer – Best Natural Cabbage Fertilizer
- 1.5 Neptune’s Harvest Hydrolyzed Fertilizer – Best Liquid Cabbage Fertilizer
- 1.6 Dr. Earth Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Fertilizer – Best Organic Cabbage Fertilizer
- 1.7 Jobe’s Vegetable and Tomato Plant Food – Best Fast Acting Cabbage Fertilizer
- 2 Liquid Fertilizer
- 3 Fertilizing Cabbage
- 4 Key Points about Feeding Cabbages
- 5 Nutrient Deficiencies for Cabbage
- 6 Conclusion
Best Fertilizer for Cabbage
Mother Earth Season’s Choice Vegetable and Tomato Fertilizer – Best Overall Cabbage Fertilizer
This fertilizer is beneficial for almost every other vegetable growing in your garden.
It is crafted by horticulturists, chemists, and biologists using ingredients like blood meal, feather meal, fishbone, kelp meal, and magnesium sulfate.
With the NPK analysis of 4-5-6, it will surely supply all nutrients needed for vegetable growth. It even contains 5.5% calcium and 1% water-soluble magnesium.
Use it as a top dressing and reapply every two weeks for optimum leaf and healthy growth.
It’s mandatory to follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you don’t want to burn the Cabbages.
It can be used in any type of growing medium, including raised beds, pots, soil, hydroponics, etc.
It comes in powdered form for easy application.
But growers have complained about the strong smell, which makes it difficult to use this fertilizer indoors.
I would highly recommend wearing a mask and gloves while applying this fertilizer mainly because the powder is fine like dust, so you might end up inhaling some of it.
But it also stinks, so you do not want any products left behind on your hands.
- Suitable for multiple growing mediums, including hydroponics
- Can be used indoor or outdoor
- Apply it during both the vegetative or flowering phase
- Long-lasting product
- Has a stinky smell which increases after dissolving in water
- Since the powder is very fine most of the product flies and is wasted
- The zip bag cannot be resealed properly, which makes it impossible to store this product in the bag without spilling it
Osmocote Granular Fertilizer- Best Granular Cabbage Fertilizer
Every vegetable gardener needs to get their hands on this fertilizer. This is one of the best granular fertilizers available in the market for leafy vegetables like Cabbages.
This 8 lb package can easily last for several months because a single application lasts for about four months.
The best thing about slow-release fertilizers is that you do not have to worry about fertilizing every other day.
Initial feeding of Cabbage plants with this fertilizer will not only result in strong root growth but the heads and leaves will also grow better.
It gives an early start to your Cabbage crop because this fertilizer can start acting at low soil temperature compared to other fertilizers.
It also qualifies as a balanced fertilizer because the NPK ratio is 14-14-14.
It contains essential micronutrients such as boron, magnesium, zinc, etc. The non-burning formula makes it suitable for Cabbage seedlings as well.
The application is simple you need to sprinkle the fertilizer, mix it in the soil, and water thoroughly—repeat application after four months.
The granules will dissolve after coming in contact with water, and nutrients are released slowly.
The rate of release is highly dependent on the temperature. The higher the temperatures, the nutrients will be released faster.
- No burn pledge
- Environment friendly
- Enhances the flavor of the Cabbage
- Suitable for perennial and seasonal vegetables
- Lasts for months
- Does not overfeed
- Empty shells will remain in the soil after the nutrients are dissolved
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Espoma Urea Plant Food – Best for Budget Cabbage Fertilizer
Urea fertilizers are organic fertilizers that ensure a steady supply of nutrients. They not only increase the Cabbage harvest but also improve the soil.
This fertilizer is high in nitrogen; therefore, it’s great for green leafy vegetables like Cabbage.
The NPK ratio is 45-0-0. This plant food is available in granular form for easy application. The 4 lb package retails for US$ 10 only, which makes it a feasible choice for large applications.
Avoid overfeeding with this product because it’s a commercial-grade product for nitrogen supply.
The manufacturer recommends spring application; however, you can apply it at any time during the growing season.
The only precaution for this urea fertilizer is to not add it to frozen garden beds or soil.
Also, make sure you never apply it directly on the leaves or seeds as it can burn them.
It should be worked into the soil without disturbing the Cabbage roots. Repeat application every month in the active growth season.
- A natural source of nitrogen
- Will prevent the yellowing of the Cabbage leaves
- Application is easy
- Overfeeding or direct contact can easily cause fertilizer burns
- Granular form doesn’t dissolve in water
Down to Earth Blood Meal Fertilizer – Best Natural Cabbage Fertilizer
This OMRI-certified Cabbage fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 12-0-0. Cabbages are heavy nitrogen feeders, and many gardeners use blood meal as additional fertilizer.
This natural fertilizer is beneficial if nitrogen depletes fast from the soil in your garden or your Cabbages are suffering from nitrogen deficiency.
It’s not as strong as the urea fertilizer, but this reduces the risk of burning your leafy vegetable.
Blood meal has several benefits for vegetative plants as it promotes growth and helps in faster break down of compost in the soil.
You can use it as a vegetable starter and a regular fertilizer. It’s suitable for all types of vegetable gardens, containers, and Cabbages growing in crop rows.
You should stick to the instructions on the label because overdoing it can ruin your Cabbage crop. If you are unsure about application rates, apply less than required.
A steady supply of blood meal throughout the growing seasons is guaranteed to provide plenty of Cabbage heads in the harvest.
Sprinkle the fertilizer on the soil and work it in the soil using a garden spatula.
Since the fertilizer is a very fine powder, gardeners have also tried using it as liquid fertilizer after diluting it in water.
- Organic and OMRI listed
- The fertilizer box can be used as compost
- Nitrogen-based fertilizer for green vegetables
- Ensures rapid plant growth
- A simple food source for compost microbes, so it heats the compost
- Keeps rodents, deers, and rabbits away from the crops
- Can be used in hydroponics
- No strong odor
- Customers complained about the packaging as they received damaged boxes
- The plastic bag that holds the blood meal can break easily
Neptune’s Harvest Hydrolyzed Fertilizer – Best Liquid Cabbage Fertilizer
This liquid fertilizer is a fish fertilizer with an NPK of 2-4-1. It can be used for any type of flower, vegetable, and fruit growing in containers or garden beds.
I would highly recommend using this fertilizer if you experience stunted growth for your Cabbage crop.
The nutrients present in this fertilizer improve the disease and weather resistance abilities of the Cabbage.
The detailed application rates for your favorite houseplants are printed on the back of the bottle.
This is very handy, especially for new gardeners. Regular application will enhance both the leaf and head growth of your Cabbages.
This fertilizer is rich in organic and natural products because it is created using North Atlantic fish.
A single bottle can make several gallons of liquid fertilizer and covers about 8000 sq ft of area. Make sure the application is repeated every 1 or 2 weeks.
This fertilizer is surely the best one in the market for growing Cabbage from seeds.
The only drawback is that animals are attracted by the fishy smell of this liquid fertilizer. So there is a risk of animals digging and destroying your crop after using this fertilizer.
- Has an adequate blend of macronutrients
- OMRI listed
- Recommended for organic gardening
- Detailed instruction about dilution for different houseplants
- Helps in seed germination
- Minimizes water stress for Cabbage
- Has a strong fishy smell
- Attracts dogs
Dr. Earth Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Fertilizer – Best Organic Cabbage Fertilizer
If you are a fan of organic gardening, you do not need anything other than this organic fertilizer by Dr. Earth. Not only will your veggie taste better but also make them nutritious.
There was a noticeable difference in the taste of the Cabbages fertilized with this fertilizer compared to those unfed.
Another reason I prefer this fertilizer for a large Cabbage crop is that it lasts for several months, so it’s not heavy on the pocket.
It’s easy to apply and releases the nutrients instantly; what else do you need from a fertilizer.
It can be used at three stages for your Cabbage, when they are planted, after transplantation, and as a top dressing in the growing season.
This fertilizer is designed using TruBiotic, which are special soil microbes that help you in improving the soil structure of your garden.
This also ensures better nutrient availability throughout the soil.
The nutrition analysis for this product is 4-6-3 and is handcrafted to provide an optimum level of plant nutrients.
It’s free from harmful chemicals and other products like chicken manure.
- Free from GMOs, sewerage sludge, and chicken manure
- Good for root and crop growth
- 100% natural
- With regular usage, the drought tolerance of your Cabbage crop increases
- Suitable for both summer and winter crops
- Safe for your pets
- The multi-minerals and humic acids will enrich your soil with nutrients that last longer
- The only organic fertilizer certified by OMRI, OIM, NOP, and CCOF
- Customers have complained about fungus and powdery mildew infection after applying this fertilizer
- Has a stinky smell, so not the best choice for indoor fertilizing
- The plastic bag is easily ripped
- Dogs are attracted to the soil after applying this plant fertilizer
Jobe’s Vegetable and Tomato Plant Food – Best Fast Acting Cabbage Fertilizer
This granular plant food is a complete fertilizer for vegetable gardening. Although it is a granular product, it distributes the nutrients quickly compared to other vegetable fertilizers.
All fertilizers by this horticulture brand are environmentally safe since they are biodegradable.
This fertilizer can help you achieve your goal of increasing the number of Cabbages in a single harvest.
It’s an organic product and contains no harmful chemicals that might contaminate your Cabbages.
It has a special element by Jobe’s: the Biozome.
It’s a unique blend of microorganisms found only in fertilizer by Jobe’s Organics that mainly contribute to fast nutrient breakdown in the soil.
The nutrient content in this fertilizer is 2-5-3. It improves disease resistance of vegetables like Cabbages that grow closer to soil and are more prone to soil-based bacteria or diseases.
If you use this fertilizer regularly throughout different growing stages of Cabbage, they will never suffer from water stress or drought.
It eventually makes the soil more fertile and nutrient-rich with the unique blend of macronutrients, micronutrients, and other essential elements.
There are different ways to use this fertilizer; I prefer using it while preparing the soil for transplanting or before sowing seeds.
But you can also use it for established plants that have already matured.
- OMRI listed for organic gardening
- Certified for food production by USDA
- Easy application because of granular formula
- Enhances the soil structure to avoid nutrient depletion
- Improves the nutrient uptake for the plants
- Can be used for several homegrown edibles
- Customers have complained about fungus and worm growth in their soil after using this product
- Pungent smell that’s difficult to bear with, but animals are attracted to it
Read more about this fertilizer here.
They are fast-acting and easy to apply compared to granular or solid fertilizers.
They ensure a uniform distribution of nutrients in the soil compared to other types of fertilizers but reduce the risk of fertilizer burns.
You have more control over the feeding with liquid fertilizer because the strength can be adjusted with dilution depending on the growth stage of your Cabbages.
Young seedlings require a mild dose, whereas mature Cabbages might benefit from a stronger dose.
Perform a soil test after preparing the soil for your Cabbages. The test results will give precise information about the nutrients in the soil.
Fertilization is the key to a successful Cabbage crop. The ideal soil pH for a healthy Cabbage crop is between 6 and 6.5.
The fertilization for Cabbage depends on the growth stage. I have divided the growth cycle of Cabbages into multiple stages to help you understand at what all times feeding is required and why.
The first stage is basic or initial fertilization. This is carried out with soil preparation.
This is done to help your Cabbage seedling adapt to the growing environment faster, boost the soil fertility and enhance the soil structure.
The next stage is the seedling stage.
Feeding young seedlings not only improves growth but also increases the survival rate and resistance. Light feeding is preferred in this stage because you do not want to burn the young plant.
This stage refers to the cabbage’s actual growth period. Watering and feeding during this stage are crucial.
Go for nitrogen-rich fertilizers in this stage as it will help in moving to the next stage. Some growers believe that it will shorten the growth cycle of the plant.
You should again fertilize the Cabbage after it enters the rosette stage.
You have to top-dress the Cabbage using a fertilizer that has potassium and urea. This encourages the growth of flower buds.
This is the flowering or heading stage. Fertilize your plant during the early and middle stages of heading with regular feeding.
Once the Cabbage enters the final stage of heading, you should perform only light foliar top dressing.
Key Points about Feeding Cabbages
- Outdoor feeding should be continued until the heads are formed.
- If you have frequent rainfalls in your area, you will have to fertilize the Cabbage more often because the rain can wash away the nutrients from the soil.
- If you notice hollow, brown areas on the stems, your plant needs more boron. You can add boron as a foliar spray or place it on the ground.
- Cabbage has shallow roots, so any weed growth near this plant can deprive it of necessary soil nutrients. Avoid using plant food or fertilizers that have weed killers as this can damage the Cabbage plant. You can mulch the soil for weed control.
- Do not over-fertilize your crop once the Cabbage heads have started forming because that results in rapid growth. In most cases, over-fertilized crops have cracked or split heads.
- Do not let the fertilizer touch the Cabbage leaves. Else you will end up with fertilizer burns.
- Planting in sandy soil requires more feeding.
- Before using starter fertilizer, make sure you have at least one true leaf. Feed the plant with the starter fertilizer every week at half strength. You can increase the feeding frequency to twice a week when two or more leaves have grown.
- Your chosen fertilizer should also have a reasonable amount of phosphate as it helps in improving the resistance of the plant to drought or diseases.
It’s crucial to follow what the label tells you to do and use the dilution rates recommended by the manufacturer.
If you want to use a slow-release fertilizer, add it before planting. Make sure you till and mix the fertilizer in the soil well and do not leave any fertilizer particles sitting on the soil surface.
You can continue adding slow-release fertilizer later on in the season. But I prefer switching to a liquid fertilizer because that’s easier to apply and absorb in the soil.
Make sure you water the Cabbage well because moist soil is necessary not only for growth but also for nutrient absorption.
In fact, Cabbage is one of the thirstiest plants out there and needs about 1 inch of water every week for the best growth.
Nutrient Deficiencies for Cabbage
Following are the symptoms of different types of nutrient deficiencies. These points will help you in identifying the correct deficiency and treating the soil accordingly.
Yellowing of older leaves is a common symptom of this deficiency.
The leaves will also start decaying. If you do not treat the soil for nitrogen deficiency, your Cabbages will not form any heads.
Lack of phosphorus does not impact the color of the Cabbage leaves.
But it reduces the growth of the Cabbage.
If the old Cabbage leaves start turning light brown or yellow, the Cabbage needs more potassium.
The leaves will also start curling upwards.
The Cabbage leaves will have a pale yellow color and stunted growth. The symptoms of zinc deficiency are more obvious in winter.
Zinc’s essential for the structural functioning of enzymes. Soils with low organic content have less zinc, and some of it can be washed with rainfall.
The growth of the Cabbages is stunted (especially the heads) and slowed with this nutrient deficiency.
Your Cabbage can also develop brittle leaf tissues and becomes vulnerable to fungal infections.
This is indicated by burnt leaf tips. The younger leaves are affected first, and if left untreated, your Cabbage might not develop any heads.
The main symptom for this deficiency is chlorosis in between leaf veins of the Cabbage.
The symptoms first appear on mature leaves, and there is a clear reduction in the growth of the Cabbage.
A good fertilization schedule will ensure that your Cabbage plant has all the energy it needs to develop a healthy head and leaves.
Different options are listed and reviewed for you in this buying guide to help you buy the best Cabbage fertilizer.
I have created this list after experimenting on several Cabbage fertilizers; some of them were recommended by fellow gardeners while others were discovered while looking for a Cabbage fertilizer in the market.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.