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Cabbage and Carrots

(Zone 5a)

The first photo shows what should have been broccoli. Somehow a couple cabbage (At least I am guessing this is what it is) seemed to have gotten mixed in from the starts we bought at the nursery. I've never grown cabbage and very rarely ever bought a whole head from the store, so have no clue when it is ready. These were planted in the last week of April, so about how long before they can be harvested? I am thinking of making cole slaw with it. That's usually how I buy my cabbage. :)

We planted an heirloom carrot, a Parisian type, but not many have come up at all, so I am not eager to yank any just to see what they are. Since there appears to be two different plants, which one is the carrot? And out of curiosity, what is the other, if not a carrot? I had a bunch of darker ones spread through the gardens that had a carrot-type leaf, but I pulled those and they were not carrots.

Thank you for any help.

Thumbnail by Chillybean Thumbnail by Chillybean Thumbnail by Chillybean
Standish, MI

Your cabbage looks like it is just forming the head. You should wait until the head has completely formed and is firm to the touch. One problem that you do have is the presence of cabbage worms. Or at least it looks like that is your problem. You will notice either white or yellow, small butterflies fluttering around the garden and often they are in groups. They lay the eggs and when they hatch the larvae or the worm that you are looking for is a green worm about 1 to 3 inches long. They usually eat the leaf from the bottom so look there, but that does not always hold true.

Carrots often will show orange at the ground level when they are forming and sometimes you can tell by watching at that point how big they are getting. But this is not a fool proof method because what is forming under the ground in not always what you see at that level. But it may help you know when or how close they are to harvest. Understand that you will not always be able to see the orange so again this is not a fool proof method.

This message was edited Jun 19, 2012 11:02 AM

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Give that cabbage at least 6-8 more weeks to form a head. Spray it with some Daconil for the cabbage worms.

Carrots usually take a minimum of 100 days to maturity, from seeds, depending on the variety. You can check the size, by sticking your finger down into the dirt at the base, and feeling around the "shoulders" of the carrot. It should be anywhere from nickel to quarter size diameter, depending on which variety you planted.

I Googled your Parisienne variety and found they are short, wide and squatty carrots. So, your shoulders will be wider, and the maturity time should be way less than 100 days.

Pic#1 Parisienne carrot picture from Google images
Pic #2 (My) Cabbage at 4 months, after transplanting out, and almost a full head.
Pic #2 (My) Cabbages at 2 months after transplanting out
Pic #3 (My) Three cabbages close to maturity at about 60 days after transplanting

The cabbage head should be tight, again, depending on the variety you planted. You may start harvesting some of the loose outer leaves, but leave at least one -two layers of leaves around the head that's forming.


This message was edited Jun 19, 2012 10:47 AM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl Thumbnail by Gymgirl Thumbnail by Gymgirl Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

My broccoli last spring took 84 days from sowing to harvest. Cabbage and broccoli look similar when young.

Carrots, dill, fennel, parsley and a few others have similar looking leaves.

Be vary careful of leaves that look like parsley because poison hemlock is in the same family.


Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

"Give that cabbage at least 6-8 more weeks to form a head. Spray it with some Daconil for the cabbage worms."

Linda, Daconil is a fungicide and will have no affect on cabbage worms. I think you may have meant to suggest Bt (Thuricide or Dipel).

Nice looking cabbage pics, by the way!


(Zone 5a)

Thank you for the replies. We are striving for organic gardening and have been trying to catch those white moths. Any time I look at the undersides of leaves, I am not seeing any bugs, but do see the damage. :/

I'll see if there's any orange near the base.

We didn't plant any parsley, fennel or dill, only carrots that should have leaves like that. Well, of what we purposely planted. We have such poor soil here... but that's another issue.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks Shoe! I was trying hard to remember which was which!

If you don't see worms, it may be pillbugs. They were doing a number on my greenery last season. You hardly ever catch them in the act, or on the leaves cause they work under cover of darkness.

I sprinkle SLUGGO PLUS on the perimeter of my growing patch. That ends that!

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Looks like caterpillar damage to me, chillybean. And those little green caterpillars are very hard to see sometimes since they blend in so easily with the green color of cabbage. It doesn't look like pill bug damage to me since they tend to go for younger plants/seedlings that are much more tender. I'd go with Bt (which is considered an "organic" product) or diatomaceous earth (DE).

Of course now slugs could be contributing to that damage as well, especially if your garden is damp and/or shady. Ditto what Linda said on the Sluggo plus in that case!


Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Chillybean - the caterpillars you are trying to spot are the same color as the cabbage leaves. If you let your eyes slowly look along the veins, you will spot them. Once you get used to how they look, it will get easier to see them.

Lexington, KY(Zone 6b)

We got those *&$#@ caterpillars on our broccoli and kale. It took me a while to find them too. They are the EXACT color of the leaves and they lie along the spine of the leaf, so they are really hard to see. They completely destroyed all of my broccoli, which I had raised from seed. I even covered it with cheesecloth and they got underneath it! I uncovered it one day, and out flew a white butterfly! They lay their eggs on the underneath side of the leaves. They're called Cabbage White Butterflies. I haven't been able to research them on DG, also didn't get any responses to my question in the Pest forum. They seem to be leaving my kale alone now, and it's coming back, but the broccoli is too far gone, I think. I was thinking of replanting for fall, but I'll be darned if I'm going to go to all that trouble just to feed caterpillars! I also do not use pesticides on my veggies. I guess I'll just not plant anything that they like! Since they are gone off my kale, I'm wondering if their life cycle is complete or if they just got tired of kale or full of broccoli. . . grumble, grumble.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

You'll have far less of them on a fall crop...all last fall, I pulled off only about 10 worms from over 25 broccoli plants...

The Bt will work. I mixed up something called Garden Dust (HD or Lowe's) into a liquid form and sprayed that. It worked, too.

Don't give up....

Something else that worked for me, too, was to segregate a lone plant as a sacrifice to the Cabbage Moth. It could lay as many eggs as it wanted to on the one plant I didn't spray...it worked, too.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

a thousand words...

Thumbnail by Gymgirl Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I finally gave up last year battling the cabbage worms (molasses added to water helped somewhat but had to constantly be resprayed after rains) and purchased a Pop-up tent from Gardener's Supply for the Broccoli and Brussels sprouts. It was the best investment ever. They grew beautifully and not a worm to be found. I did have to sprinkle some Sluggo around for the slugs as they were in the soil. I have just finished harvesting the first round of broccoli for this year and was again delighted to have such beautiful, clean heads. The tents offered last year were 3' X 3' or 3' x 6' and fit my garden perfectly. The new tall ones this year are 4' x 4' or 4' x 8' which are a little wide unless I move the walking paths. But I am tempted to get more since I can use them for other cabbages and partenocarpic squashes ( don't need to be fertilized by bees) to avoid the squash bugs and borers. The tall ones are on sale at the moment at what I consider to be a very reasonable price. Here is the link: http://www.gardeners.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Gardeners-Site/default/Search-Show?q=pop

Lexington, KY(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm thinking it's too late for this crop. If I redo for fall, I may try one of these methods. It's just frustrating to go to all that trouble and expense and not get a harvest!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

idealpeggy - unfortunately, crop failure is part of home-gardening. This year, voles have almost completely eaten my sweet potato slips. If they keep it up, I'll not have a crop this year. I look at it this way - if they are eating the sweet potatoes, they are not eating the beans! Two summers ago they ate the beans, and left the sweet potatoes alone.

They are also eating the parsley - maybe it's to flavor the sweet potatoes?

What I need is a cat that's a good "mouser!"

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

It occurred to me the cat that insists on using my yard as his personal latrine, has also been a good "mouser". But, I could be persuaded to ship him to NC...

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I ordered the 4 x 4 last night and will use it somewhere (?!) to grow the partenocarpic zucchini squash (Partenon) and some other things that don't require pollination. Eggplants and tomatoes are also self pollinating so I may try those next year as the potato beetle is going after those and laying eggs at the moment. Hopefully the tent will also discourage the flea beetles.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

But, I could be persuaded to ship him to NC...


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