6 Best Fertilizer for Cabbage: The Key to Huge Heads!

If you want to grow big cabbage heads, you need to make sure you use the best fertilizer for cabbage!

I wasn’t always the biggest fan of cabbage. My parents served cabbage rolls at my graduation party, and I was furious, but as I grew older, cabbage is one of my favorite veggies, and my quest to grow the biggest cabbage heads kept failing until I used fertilizer for cabbage.

Honestly, for years, I only used compost and some fertilizers I have around my house.

Don’t get me wrong; those work, but sometimes, you want to pull out the big guns – some bagged fertilizer from the store.

However, I learned over the years that plants don’t all require the same nutrients. Some need more potassium than others, or other plants thrive with extra nitrogen while too much will stunt development for the other type.

Without a doubt, this makes learning how to garden a bit more complicated, but it’s worth the time and effort to learn. I highly suggest you pick a good fertilizer for your cabbage plants.

Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite picks and how to use them on your plants.

Related: 9 Super Cheap Fertilizers You Have at Home

Best Fertilizer for Cabbage

1. JR Peters Classic All Purpose Fertilizer

JR Peters creates excellent fertilizers, which is why the reviews for this all purpose fertilizer are so high. This all purpose fertilizer contains a balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that works works for many different plants. The NPK ratio is 20-20-20.

It is a water soluble formula that mixes into the soil quickly, reaching the roots and nourishing your plants. It will help your plants have rapid green expansion.

The reviews are solid for this fertilizer, and that’s something I always read. According to other gardeners, this fertilize is easy to apply and dissolves easily in water, and it kicks your plants into gear quickly. You’ll see results quickly.

2. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food

Most gardeners recognize Osmocote; it’s sold regularly in garden centers everywhere. Their Smart Release Plant Food is a great choice to promote new growth because it’s a water soluble formula that let necessary nutrients enter the soil quickly.

This plant food has all the nutrients plants need to lead to overall healthier growth, and it’s designed to release during temperature changes. It’s a genius feature that means plants get the most nutrients during warmer weather.

Most plants end up growing the most as temperatures increase, including cabbage plants in spring, so they get what they need at the right time.

It’s also a slow-release fertilizer that will give plants the nutrients they need for up to four months. Recent reviews are solid, and many gardeners report that this has helped their plants explode with growth!

3. Jobe’s Plant Food for Vegetables & Tomato

Jobe’s Organics is one of the fertilizers I have used more commonly in my garden and saw fantastic results. I actually used their tomato spikes this year, and my tomato plants produced more than ever before.

So, it’s no surprise that I think Jobe’s Vegetable and Tomato Plant Food is an excellent option as a fertilizer for cabbage. This is one of the organic fertilizers that acts quickly and gives your plants what they need.

The NPK ratio is 2-5-3, so it’s not fully balanced and typically needs to be applied several times throughout the growing season.

A few things I like about Jobe’s Fertilizer is that it’s affordable and often found in garden nurseries. Also, it contains no synthetic chemicals and improves the nutrient absorption of your plants. Plus, it’s safe to use around kids and pets!

4. Dr. Earth Premium Gold All Purpose Fertilizer

I know I worry about what I put in my garden; I try to only use organic and natural products in their garden. Dr. Earth is an organic fertilizer that is safe to use around people and pets, created to grow healthier plants and encourage their growth.

Dr. Earth uses a blend of humid acids, carbohydrates, and trace elements to nourish your plants. They receive everything they need, including essential minerals, leaving your plants hardier and healthier overall. It’s a balanced fertilizer with a 4-4-4 NPK ratio.

One of the most amazing reasons to use Dr. Earth is that it’s the only Non-GMO Project Verified fertilizer available in the USA! It contains no synthetic chemicals or harmful ingredients, so it’s safe to use around your kids and pets.

5. Mother Earth Season’s Choice Granular Plant Fertilizer

If you want a veggie fertilizer that is good for everything you grow in your garden, Mother Earth offers a 4-5-6 granular option. This fertilizer is designed to give more nutrients for your vegetable plants and feed them all they need for optimal growth.

When using this granular plant food, you need to apply it every two to three weeks as a side dressing at the base of the plant. It can be used for outdoor or indoor plants, and the reviews by other gardeners are all solid.

6. Triple 10 All Purpose Liquid Fertilizer

If you’re looking for a liquid fertilizer, Triple 10 is a fantastic option that has a balance of nutrients, amino acids, and seaweed extra cabbage plants need to grow and thrive. The formula nourishes a range of plants, including cabbages, so you can use it throughout your entire garden.

Triple 10 is meant to be used every two weeks to ensure your plants give the nutrients they need. All you have to do is measure and pour out the fertilizer.

This liquid fertilizer should be used every two weeks on your cabbage plants. It’s easy to use and is even suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Cabbage Fertilizer Basics

Cabbage plants are heavy feeders, so growing large cabbage heads requires plenty of nutrients. That’s why using the best fertilizer for cabbage is so important – you won’t get the cabbages you dream of without feeding your plants.

Before you plant cabbages, start my enriching your garden soil with compost; it’s full of nutrients your cabbage plants need to thrive. Ideally, you should spread two to four inches of compost in the soil late fall or early winter.

Most people apply compost too late; it needs time to fully decay and mix with your soil to be ready for the root system to absorb and feed your plants. These plants need plenty of organic matter to thrive.

Typically, compost gives your plants enough nutrients in the beginning, but then you’ll need a balanced fertilizer to give your plants the boost they need.

Keep in mind that cabbages prefer a soil pH range of 6.0 and 6.5, and they also need all macronutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium – along with micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, zinc, and sulfur. If you’ve fertilized your garden before, make sure you use a soil test kit beforehand to avoid adding too much fertilizer and harming your plants.

Related: How to Grow Carrots: What You Need to Know

NPK Ratio for Cabbage Plants

As I said, cabbage plants are heavy feeders, and their ideal NPK ratio is 1-1-1. You can find this as 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 on fertilizer bags. However, an 8-16-16 ratio is also acceptable for fertilizing cabbage plants.

NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and the numbers show the ratio contained in that particular fertilizer formula.

When to Use Fertilizer for Cabbage

It’s best to know when to use fertilizer for cabbage; timing is everything.

Cabbage seeds need to be started indoors before your final frost date and planted two to three weeks before this date since they’re a cool-season vegetable. Once you plant the cabbage seeds in the seed trays, wait for them to sprout two to four true leaves. After that, use diluted fertilizer every two weeks on your young plants.

Related: 20 Cool-Weather Vegetables for Your Fall Garden

After you transplant the cabbage plants outside, apply cabbage fertilizer every three to four weeks until the heads form.

However, at this stage, avoid applying a high nitrogen-rich fertilizer because too much nitrogen causes excess foliage growth and stops head formation.

How to Use a Cabbage Fertilizer

Make sure you read the directions that come with the bag of fertilizer for cabbage.

Slow-release, granular, or pelleted fertilizer should be mixed into the soil before you plant cabbage. Once you transplant the seedlings into your garden, switch to a liquid fertilizer or side-dress plants by digging trenches around the plant and mixing the granular or pelleted fertilizer into the dirt.

Stop applying fertilizer for cabbage after the heads form. Too much feeding causes the cabbage heads to split or crack totally open.

How to Properly Water Cabbage Plants

Watering your cabbage plants properly is as important as feeding them.

Cabbages require at least one deep soaking per week; they prefer moist soil that doesn’t dry out quickly. Deep watering is prefer to shallow soakings since cabbage have deep roots that hold up their large heads.


The key to huge cabbage heads is to use one of the best fertilizer for cabbage plants. I suggest using compost and then fertilizing regularly to ensure these heavy feeders have all they need to grow and succeed.

Make sure to share this with your friends who love to garden as much as you do!

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4 Comments

  1. Thank u so much for the information. As an emerging farmer in the Eastern Cape ,Queenstown to be precise , I know this info will be of great help to me.

    Thank you

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