There are at least five distinct methods of growing early cabbage plants: (1) From Baltimore, southward, the general practice is to sow in the open, usually in October, and when six to eight weeks old the plants are set in the field on the sides of ridges. They may also be wintered in the beds, with protection if necessary, and shifted to the field early in the spring. Fall planting, however, is more satisfactory because it produces an earlier crop. (2) The common practice years ago in the North was to sow in the open early in September and transplant into cold frames the latter part of October, the plants being protected with sash during the winter. The results were highly satisfactory, and the plan is still used by some gardeners, who claim that plants grown in this manner produce earlier cabbage than spring-grown plants. (3) An extensive grower of plants in Pennsylvania sows in very cool greenhouses early in September, transplants and holds in flats during the winter months. With a very low temperature the plants make a slow, stocky growth and with some hardening before transplanting in the field the best results may be expected. The most serious objection to the plan is the expense of operating houses for so long a period. (4) If earliness is not an important factor, the sowing may be made in hotbeds or cold frames about March 1, and the seedlings transplanted directly to the field. When this plan is adopted the seed rows should be not less than 3 1/2 inches apart and the plants thinned if necessary. (5) The plan which is now almost universally practiced in the North is to sow in hotbeds or greenhouses in January or February. If several hundred thousand plants are to be grown it is desirable to begin sowing about January 25 and to sow at intervals of a day or two until February 5. This will make it possible to transplant without any of the seedlings becoming spindly or drawn. For details of this method see Chapter XVI.