days to maturity: 52 days
plant spacing: 2 plants per square foot
sunlight requirements: 8 -14 hours
look out for: slugs and cabbage root maggots
harvest notes: cut whole heads at soil level when you feel the top of the cabbage and its firm
Napa cabbage is a super easy to grow annual vegetable that grows almost year round in South Florida. The plant grows to an oblong shaped head consisting of tightly arranged crinkly, thick, light-green leaves with white prominent veins. Innermost layer leaves feature light yellow color. In Korean cuisine, napa cabbage is the main ingredient of baechu kimchi, the most common type of kimchi, but is also eaten raw as a wrap for pork or oysters, dipped in gochujang. The outer, tougher leaves are used in soups. It can be used in stir-fry with other ingredients such as tofu, mushroom and zucchini. Lately we've been seeing napa used a lot as a salad leaf, which makes sense since its consistency is really similar to romaine.
While we usually only recommend that people with really big gardens grow cabbage (since they take up so much space) napa is a great beginners plant that can really be harvested at any time, so consider adding this crunchy versatile leafy veggie to your garden.