Splitting hairs Over Splitting Cabbage

Cabbage is one of the most sought after vegetables of them all. But not by gardeners or shoppers but by garden pests. The list of insects and pests that attack the cabbage plant is endless but with that is a long list of remedies and solutions. So if you’re a determined gardener you can combat the array of pests and achieve great success with cabbage seeds

But of course the problems don’t end there because just around the time of harvest cabbage crops can be ruined by the unexpected splitting of their heads! Cabbage heads can split after periods of dry weather when their heads are fully formed. This causes the individual leaves to tear across the top of the cabbage head. This tear exposes the inner cabbage head which is susceptible to rot, making the heads inedible


Splitting of Cabbage occurs as the leave tissue expands too quickly and cannot take the pressure. As water level rise suddenly in the plants the plant cells rupture causing the heads to tear

The cause of Cabbage splitting:

Heavy rain after a period of dry weather

Over fertilising cabbage plants towards the end of the growing season

Leaving the cabbage plants in the ground too long.

Way to minimise or prevent cabbage heads from splitting:

Maintain a regular supply of water to the crops. Water your cabbage regularly, keeping the soil around each plant moist at all times. This is especially important around the time of harvest. If your crop experiences a period of drought then you should water each day

Mulch around the base of each plant. This help retain soil moisture levels and prevents the cabbage plants from drying out. Regular moisture levels in the plants is essential to prevent splitting

Avoid feeding cabbage plants once their heads have begun to firm up. Only feed early in the summer and ideally use a slow release fertiliser for a more

Root prune mature cabbage plants if heavy rain is forecast. This will reduce the amount of water intake and prevent a sudden influx of water into plant cells and avoids any cell rupturing.

Choose split resistant Cabbage Seeds varieties:

Cabbage ‘Gonzales’

Cabbage Red Acre ‘Heirloom’

Cabbage Artost

Cabbage Copenhagen Early

Cabbage Red Express

Cabbage ‘Early Jersey Wakefield’

Cabbage ‘Red Acre’

Cabbage Gloria F1 Hybrid

Cabbage Pruktor F1 Hybrid

Cabbage F1 Stonehead

Cabbage F1 Regency