The Q&A Archives: Cabbage looks healthy but 1/4 size of others

Question: Category: Vegetables

I have four cabbage plants in my veggie garden. Two are at least a foot across, the next in the row is maybe 4" across, and the last in the row is at best 3" across. There are no obvious signs of disease or insects. Could there be a root parasite at work or something? How should I try to treat them? Joanna

Answer: Usually, when the differences are so pronounced and in a pattern, there is an environmental reason behind it. For example, cabbages need very rich and evenly moist soil and so root competition from a neighboring tree could cause such a result -- with the effects most pronounced where the roots are more plentiful. Another cause could be that you fertilized one end and not the other, or that your watering is uneven. Surface runoff or soil preparation could also possibly differ from one end of the row to the other. With a little detective work, you should be able to figure out what is causing the stunting.

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