due to high price and weed controls, seedlings more prefered

US: Year-round cabbage supply thanks to greenhouse propagation

Cabbage is a crop that keeps a very busy schedule throughout the year. It typically starts in late February in a greenhouse when tiny cabbage seeds are planted in individual plugs of a special growing medium. Successive plantings of different varieties that have different days to maturity (as short as 65 days, as long as 100 days) continue through April to give growers as wide a harvest window as possible. Most cabbage growers contract with a greenhouse that specializes in this type of work.

Cabbage seeds used to be planted directly into the fields, but as the price of seeds has gone up and the challenge of weed control requires more labor, most farms prefer to work with seedlings, explains Dale Hemminger of Hemdale Farms & Greenhouses in Seneca Castle, Ontario County. Hemdale’s greenhouse operation propagates cabbage seedlings for its own cabbage production and for about 20 other growers. Maier Farms in Webster does the same.

Six to eight weeks after planting, seedlings are ready to be transplanted to the fields. Around here, fields are sowed from April through July. The first cabbages are usually ready to harvest in July and the last around the end of November.

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