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Super Sweet Cabbage Variety Evaluation

PROJECT LEADER(S): Doug Sanders, John Rushing, and Roger McFeeters
LOCATION: Cunningham Research Station – Kinston, NC


Research is being conducted to identify Super Sweet cabbage varieties that are suitable for production in eastern NC. These cabbage varieties have the potential to appeal to a wider market than traditional (bitter) varieties, and offer growers an opportunity to diversify their crop production. Since this project incorporates analysis of both cultivation techniques and marketing strategies, growers in eastern NC stand to profit significantly from this cutting-edge research.


Super Sweet cabbage represents a breakthrough in cultivar development. New cultigens developed by Seminis Seed Co. have none of the bitter taste of common cabbage. NCSU has had the opportunity to test these cultigens for adaptability to eastern North Carolina, and our involvement in this cutting-edge research will provide growers with an alternative crop and potential new markets. Marketing research has also been initiated with a consumer survey intended to evaluate development of value-added products for this crop (Details on this project are reported in “Consumer Preference for Coleslaw”).


Six new Super Sweet cabbage cultigens were grown in a randomized complete block design with 4 replicates. Rows were 20 feet long with 5 feet between centers, and in-row spacing was 12 inches. Plants were transplanted to the field on March 19, 2002 and harvesting occurred between May 23 and June 26. Plots were irrigated with an overhead sprinkler system. Cultigens were evaluated for horticultural characteristics, yield, and resistance to common diseases.


Variety Total Weight Yield per Acre
(50# bag)
Average Head Weight (lbs) Average Core Height (mm) Average Core Width (mm) Rank* Notes
C28xC505 32 559 3.5 68 34 2 oblate
C30xC576 21 362 2.6 61 29 6 small
C30xC757 32 550 3.2 59 33 4 good
C758xC221 33 578 3.9 65 37 3 oblate
C759xC223 33 569 3.5 62 36 5 sm late
EX5210399 30 517 3.2 60 29 1 good
LSD 8* 132* 0.7* 6.6* 3*

*Rank 1=best

C28xC505 and C759xC223 produced many adventitious buds prior to harvest. C30xC576 developed into a cone shaped head and was the slowest grower. This may account for the lower yields and weights. All varieties appeared slow to develop a sizable head, which may be overcome by greater in row spacing. All of the cultigens were very dense, as evidenced by the high weight, but visually they seemed small. The density made it hard to determine harvest.

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