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Cabbage Production in Miami-Dade County, Florida

Y. C. Li, W. Klassen, M. Lamberts, Teresa Olczyk, and Guodong D. Liu


Cabbages in Miami-Dade County are grown annually on 100 to 500 acres and sold nationwide during the winter for the fresh market. Yields for cabbage range from less than 300 crates/acre to more than 800 crates/acre. The production cost was about $6.56 per 50-pound crate or $2,788/acre for an acceptable yield of 425 crates/acre.


There are three types of cultivars, including Green, Red, and Savoy. They are all hybrids. For more details, please refer to Table 2 in Chapter 6 of the Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida 2020–2021 for variety selection (Zotarelli et al. 2021,

Soils, Land Preparation, and Transplanting

Cabbages in Miami-Dade County are mainly grown on gravelly soils. Cabbages can be transplanted or direct seeded with 24- to 36-inch spacing between rows, and 9–16 inches between plants in a row. The planting season extends from September to January (Zotarelli et al. 2021,


Calibrated soil tests for the calcareous soils of Miami-Dade County are not available presently. Therefore, tissue analysis is recommended for determining the composition and rates of fertilizers to be applied. Instructions for tissue sample collection, preparation, and submission are provided in Plant Tissue Information Sheet (Mylavarapu et al. 2017,, which is available at your local UF/IFAS Extension office. Information on plant tissue analysis for cabbages is provided in the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida 2020–2021 (Zotarelli et al. 2021, The total amount of fertilizer required in Miami-Dade County depends on the variety, soil fertility, and other environmental factors. Less inorganic fertilizer should be applied if a cover crop or a soil organic amendment (compost, biosolids, manure) has been applied. Pre-planting fertilizer formulas of 6-6-6, 6-3-6, 10-10-10, or similar formulas are satisfactory. All P and 20%–30% either of N or K should be incorporated into the soil prior to planting. The remaining fertilizer should be side-dressed 2–3 times starting 3 weeks after planting. Magnesium nitrate or sulfate and EDDHA-chelated iron should be applied if the soil test report shows low nutrients. Please also refer to Chapter 6 of the Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida 2020-2021 (Liu et al. 2021,

Irrigation and Freeze Protection

A big gun or sprinkler irrigation system can be used for cabbage. The water requirements for young plants are very low. A tensiometer installed at a 6-inch depth can be used for irrigation scheduling. Optimal plant growth and yields are achieved when the soil moisture is maintained at tensiometer readings between 10 to 15 cbars. The UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County office provides relevant information and calibration services for tensiometers.

Cabbage does not sustain frost injury until temperatures drop 10°F to 16°F below freezing. Therefore, growers in Miami-Dade County do not arrange for freeze protection for cabbage from freezing.

Insect Management

Refer to the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida 2020–2021 (Zotarelli et al. 2021, for extensive information on insect control. The most damaging pest is the diamondback moth larvae.

Disease Management

Refer to the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida 2020–2021 (Zotarelli et al. 2021,

Weed Management

Refer to the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida 2020–2021 (Zotarelli et al. 2021,


The harvest season extends from November to April. Cabbage is picked by hand.

Multiple Cropping/Rotation

Cabbage can be rotated with tomatoes, squash, beans, okra, and cucumbers.


Liu, Guodong, Eric H. Simonne, Kelly T. Morgan, George J. Hochmuth, Monica Ozores-Hampton, and Shinsuke Agehara. 2021. Fertilizer Management for Vegetable Production in Florida. CV296. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Mylavarapu, Rao S., William d'Angelo, and Nancy Wilkinson. 2017. Plant Tissue Test Form. SL131. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Zotarelli, Lincoln, Peter J. Dittmar, Monica Ozores-Hampton, Nicholas S. Dufault, Bonnie Wells, Joseph W. Noling, Eugene J. McAvoy, Qingren Wang, and Christian F. Miller. 2021. Cole Crop Production. HS724. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Publication #HS-854

Release Date:September 7, 2021

Related Experts

Olczyk, Teresa

University of Florida

Klassen, Waldemar


University of Florida

Li, Yuncong


University of Florida

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Fact Sheet

About this Publication

This document is HS-854, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date June 2001. Revised April 2006, November 2017, and August 2021. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication. This document is written specifically for growers in Miami-Dade County as a supplement to Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida (SP170) ( We thank many colleagues, growers and representatives from seed and chemical companies and grower services for reviewing the document.

About the Authors

Y. C. Li, professor, UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center; W. Klassen, professor emeritus, UF/IFAS TREC; Mary Lamberts, retired Extension agent IV, UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County; Teresa Olczyk, Extension agent IV, UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County; and Guodong D. Liu, associate professor, Horticultural Sciences Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Guodong Liu