Durham Early Cabbage Plants: How To Grow The Durham Early Variety

Durham Early Cabbage Plants: How To Grow The Durham Early Variety

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

One of the first to be ready for harvest, Durham Early cabbage plants are among the favorite andmost reliable of early season cabbage heads. First cultivated as the Yorkcabbage in the 1930’s, there is no available record of why the name changed.

When to Plant Durham Early Cabbage

Set out cabbage plants four weeks before you expect yourlast frost in spring. For a fall crop, plant six to eight weeks before thefirst frost is expected. Cabbageis a cool season crop and the Durham Early variety is one of the hardiest.Cabbage needs steady growth to be ready for harvest before hot temperaturesarrive.

You may also grow from seed. Start seeds indoors, allowingsix weeks for development and adjusting to the cold before planting into thegarden. You may sprout seeds outside if you have a protected area. The DurhamEarly variety gets even sweeter with a touch of frost but must be accustomed tothe cold. Plant early enough in your area so they experience some cold.

Prepare beds ahead of planting. You may plant cabbage in atrench or in rows. Check the soil pH and add lime if necessary, working in thoroughly.Cabbage needs a soil pH of 6.5-6.8 for best results. Cabbage does not grow wellin acidic soil. Take a soil test and send to your local county extension office, if you don’t know the soil pH.

Add rotted manure or compost. Soil should be fast draining.

Planting Early Durham Cabbage

Plant Durham Early cabbage on a cloudy day. Put your plants12 to 24 inches (30-61 cm.) apart when planting. When growing Durham Earlycabbage, it needs plenty of room to grow. You’ll be rewarded by large, tastyheads. Cabbage needs at least six hours of sun daily and more is better.

Mulch after planting to retain moisture and keep the soiltemperature regulated. Some use black plastic underneath to warm the soil andencourage root growth. Both the plastic and the mulch decrease weed growth.

Consistent watering helps your cabbage heads developproperly. Water regularly, about two inches (5 cm.) per week and remember tofertilize. Cabbage plants are heavy feeders. Begin their weekly feedings threeweeks after planting.

It is likely that you won’t be planting other crops at thesame time as cabbage, but don’t plant other vegetables in the cabbage patchbefore harvesting. Other plants will compete for nutrients needed by DurhamEarly except for peas,cucumbers,or nasturtiumsto assist with pest control.

Harvest only when you’ve tested to make sure the cabbagehead is solid all the way through. Enjoy your Durham Early cabbage.

To learn more of the history of this plant, search Yorkcabbage for an interesting story.

This article was last updated on

Late Cabbage Planting Time

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Almost everyone loves cabbage (Brassica oleracea), but planting cabbage for fall harvest can be tricky considering that many types of the plant are grown for summer harvests. Cabbage production is usually not difficult, however, so even novice home gardeners should be able to get the most out of the hearty, leafy-green plants. Cabbages have many culinary applications, so growing both late and early varieties will reward growers with a healthy ingredient for many meals.

Cabbage – Durham Early

Producing delicious, crunchy, dark green conical heads of a medium size.

Your plants will arrive as deep-rooted single sown plugs, ready to be planted out

  • Number of vegetable plant plugs in the box: 10
  • Latin name for Cabbage – Durham Early: Brassica oleracea var. capitata
  • Producing dark green conical heads of a medium size, Cabbage – Durham Early is tasty with a great crunchy texture. This versatile green cabbage provides a welcome harvest of tender greens early in the spring. Successional plantings will ensure a continuous supply throughout the spring and summer, just make sure to net them against pigeons and cabbage whites!

    What to do when your plants arrive

    1. Unpack them. Your seedlings will arrive carefully packed in bio-degradable straw, cardboard and paper. They may look a little bit bedraggled from their journey. Don’t panic – this is totally normal and they should soon perk up. Please try and unpack your plants as soon as they arrive, as every extra hour they spend in the box will add to the stress of travelling to their new home.
    2. Give them a drink. Having spent a day or two in the post, your new plants will be thirsty! Stand them up in some fresh water for a few minutes to make sure their roots have been thoroughly soaked before planting.
    3. Plant them out into their forever home! Your plants can’t wait to get their roots into the soil. Plant them out according to the instructions that will have come in the box with them. Make sure you water them in well, and give them plenty to drink until their roots have had a chance to get settled.


    As you well know, plants are unpredictable creatures and so is the British weather. As such, we reserve the right to substitute items in your order for an equivalent variety. To find out more about substitutions, please take a look at our terms and conditions.


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    Planning your site

    Brassicas need deep, firm, moisture retentive soil and like to be planted in a sunny site whether grown in raised beds or a well dug veg patch. We would recommend giving your brassicas up to 45cm between them as they can get quite big (which is how we like them isnt it!)

    Growing tips

    When you plant your brassicas, a really top tip is to put a 10cm diameter circle of old carpet or cardboard on the soil around the stem. This is known as a brassica collar and it will protect your brassicas from the dreaded cabbage root fly. Regular watering is very important during dry spells and you do not want your plants to dry out in general. Use a liquid nitrogen feed once they’ve started to produce new growth.

    What to watch out for

    Cabbage White Butterflies are a beautiful but terrible scourge of brassicas! They lay eggs on the plants which soon become very very hungry caterpillars which will decimate your crop unbelievably quickly. If you see white butterflies flitting around then shoo them away or even better, make sure your brassicas are well netted. This will also deter pigeons which are another major problem for good brassica growth. Flea beetles attack swedes and turnips though radishes are the worst affected. Whitefly may cover brassicas and great clouds of them will fly up when the leaves are disturbed though they don’t do too much damage on the whole. Cabbage root fly and club root infection are major problems for brassicas and we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the symptoms and management procedures if you are growing these plants.

    Planting Time

    When it comes to planting, pick a variety that fits the season and climate of the region you are living in. If you live in a frost-free climate, plant them anytime when the temperature is in the range of 50-85 F (10-30 C). At the time when it’s maturing, the ideal temperature is around 60-70 F (15-20 C). This ensures the best flavor and growth!

    For warmer regions, that fall under USDA zones 9-11, you can sow seeds in fall and continue to sow them by the end of winter. For cooler zones, it’s a good idea to start sowing seeds from early spring to summer. This will allow you to have a bountiful harvest in summer or fall!


    Cabbages can be grown from both seeds and seedlings. You can procure seeds from a garden center or online stores. For growing cabbage from transplants, you can buy them from a nursery as well.

    • Take a wide tray and fill it with seed starting mix or potting soil.
    • Sprinkle the seeds on the soil and wrap it with a thin layer of potting mix.
    • Water evenly but do not make the soil too soggy.
    • Place the tray at a location where it gets 2-3 hours of daily sun. The required temperature for germination is 68-75 F (20-24 C). It will take 7-15 days.
    • Transplant the seedlings after 4-6 weeks of germination, when they grow 3-4 inches tall with 3-4 sets of true leaves.

    From Transplants

    • Take a pot and fill it with well-draining soil.
    • Make a 2-inch hole in the middle of the container, gently plant the seedling, and tap the surrounding soil.
    • Maintain the moisture of the soil by watering at regular intervals.
    • Provide the seedlings with 4-6 hours of sunlight. Avoid placing the plant in full shade as it will slow down the growth.
    • Generally, it takes 60 to 105 days for ca bbage heads to reach maturity. This might change depending on the variety you are growing.

    Want to grow Wasabi in pots? Here’s everything you need to know!

    Cabbage Durham Early 400 seeds

    Durham early is a spring cabbage. Great for overwintering. Can be used as spring greens before full maturity early in the season when other vegetables are not available. Cut from March to use as spring greens, full heads fom April. Durham early is a traditional english cabbage, you can find many more well know vegetable seed varieties in our store.

    Sow in compost in seed tray or in small pots August-October, or outside in a seedbed, about 1 cm deep.

    When seedlings are large enough to handle, plant them individually, keep them inside until they have 4-6 leaves.

    Plant outside, spacing 16in x 18in, in well drained soil, be sure to water the plants in sunny spells, protect from birds and slugs.

    Sow in compost in seed tray or in small pots August-October, or outside in a seedbed, about 1 cm deep.

    When seedlings areu00a0large enough to handle, plant them individually, keep them inside until they have 4-6 leaves.

    North Carolina: Vegetable Planting Calendar

    CityLast Frost DateFirst Frost Date
    High Point4/1810/20

    *Based on statistics there is a 10% chance that frost will occur before or after these dates. Watch your local weather for more accurate dates.

    North Carolina on average has approximately 175 days between the last and first frost. Using the planting schedules below will help you get the most out of your garden.

    Watch the video: Best timings and methods for bigger harvests, my Diary tips for easier growing