White cabbage - cultivation features
White cabbage is one of the main vegetables in any garden. It has been grown and used since ancient times all over the world. In Russia, cabbage has gained a second homeland. Russian gardeners have long been considered masters of its cultivation. And given that the head of cabbage is just a storehouse of vitamins, white cabbage is an obligatory resident of our beds from season to season and today. About all the intricacies of its growing in the garden - our article.
- Botanical features of white cabbage
- The conditions for growing cabbage
- Loosening the soil and hilling plants
- Dressing cabbage
- Preventing Head Cracking
- Pest and cabbage disease control
Botanical features of white cabbage
Garden cabbage (Brassica oleracea) includes several varieties including cabbage - Brassica oleracea var. oleracea; this includes white and red-headed varieties.
White cabbage - an ancient culture, like other types of cabbage (except for Beijing and Chinese) comes from wild species growing in the Mediterranean regions of Western Europe and North Africa.
Heads of cabbage have high palatability and healing properties. They contain vitamins necessary for the human body (C, P, etc.), organic acids, mineral salts, volatile, anthocyanins, etc.
Cabbage is a two-year-old plant. In the first year it forms a head of cabbage, and in the second year it develops a flower-bearing stalk and gives seeds. Heads of cabbage have a different shape, size, color, density depending on the variety and growing conditions. The mass of the head is from 300 g to 10 kg or more. This is a cold-resistant plant with a well-developed root system, which spreads in the main soil layer to a depth of 40-50 cm.
The conditions for growing cabbage
The ratio of cabbage to temperature
Cabbage is an extremely cold-resistant plant. However, at all stages of growth and development, it reacts differently to the temperature regime. Seeds begin to germinate at 3-4 ° C, the optimum temperature of their germination is 18-20 ° C. In the first case, seedlings appear after 8-12 days, in the second - on the 3-4th day.
Cabbage plants continue to grow at 5-10 ° C, however, a temperature of 12-15 ° C is favorable for the growth and development of seedlings, and 15-18 ° C for adult plants in open ground. Temperature above 25 ° C negatively affects the formation of heads of cabbage. At the same time, thickening of tissues is observed, lower leaves are discarded, heads of cabbage crack. All this leads to a decrease in yield and the formation of small non-standard heads of cabbage.
The ratio of cabbage to light
Light is one of the sources of energy storage, which is spent on the formation of organic matter. The normal growth and development of plants depends on the quantity and quality of light, as well as on the duration of daylight.
Cabbage is a light-demanding plant. Its relation to light changes as it grows and develops. This plant makes particularly high demands on the intensity of lighting in the seedling period. The lack of light at this time leads to the elongation of plants, lowers their resistance to various fungal diseases, the formation of small leaves, and subsequently loose heads.
It is noted that with strong shading, for example, when cabbage grows in the rows of orchards, heads often do not form at all.
By nature, cabbage is a long-day plant (varieties of northern origin). Varieties of Mediterranean ecotypes (Syrian and others) are short-day plants. In the first year of growing with a long day, cabbage undergoes specific biochemical processes that ensure the formation of reproductive organs (flower stalks) in the second year.
The most intensive growth and development of white cabbage is observed with a long day with a greater luminous flux, in which, along with long-wave rays, there are a lot of short-wave ones.
The ratio of cabbage to moisture
Cabbage is a very moisture-consuming plant. Its high need for moisture is explained by morphological features: a large evaporating surface of the leaves and a relatively shallow location of the root system. It changes depending on the phases of growth and development during ontogenesis.
The critical periods and phases of plant moisture demand are: seed germination, seedling survival after planting in open ground, head formation. During the formation of heads of cabbage, the requirements for moisture in the soil and air increase.
The most favorable throughout the growing season is considered soil moisture at the level of 80% of the lowest moisture capacity and relative humidity of 80-90%. With a decrease in soil moisture to 60% HB, the leaves become bluish and pinkish, their edges are slightly bent, the stalk of early-ripe cabbage is thickened and a small non-standard head is formed prematurely.
However, excessive soil moisture, especially at low temperatures, stops the growth of cabbage and the formation of heads of cabbage; anthocyanin pigments (spots) appear on the leaves and petioles, plants become infected with bacteriosis.
The need for plants in moisture varies not only from climatic and weather conditions and development phases, but also under the influence of other factors. Early ripe cabbage varieties, characterized by a more intensive and faster yield growth, are more in need of moisture than late ripe ones. Plants planted with seedlings are more demanding on soil moisture than plants sown by seeds directly into the soil.
The ratio of cabbage to soil and nutrition
Cabbage is one of the most demanding plants for soil fertility. It is best grown on light loamy and sandy loamy soils with a deep arable layer and high humus content. Sandy soils, when humus-forming substances are introduced into them, are most suitable for cabbage of early ripening varieties.
The soil for growing cabbage should be well-cultivated, contain a large number of nutrients, neutral or slightly acidic. The higher the cultivation of the soil, the less nutrients need to be applied. Cabbage requires a structural, fertile, well-fertilized soil; it responds effectively to the application of high doses of organic and mineral fertilizers to the soil, especially in combined form.
With sufficient fertility, the type of soil itself is not so essential for this plant, with the exception of heavily loamy, strongly acidic, gravelly and waterlogged, poorly aerated, which are unsuitable for cabbage. On acidic soils, it is affected by keel disease, resulting in a sharp decline in yield.
Early ripe cabbage varieties are more affected by keel than late ripe cabbage, so they need to be grown on non-acidified soils. Cabbage responds well to lime, which can be applied in autumn or spring 2-3 weeks before planting.
The role of fertilizers for cabbage at the beginning of the growing season is very important. During this period, the soil contains little nitrogen in a form accessible to plants. Organic fertilizers under cabbage of early ripe varieties are introduced as humus. The use of fresh manure is ineffective, since the organic substance does not have time to decompose during the growing season of plants.
Mid- and late-ripe cabbage varieties in almost all soils (except lowland peat bogs) respond well to the application of organic fertilizers. However, manure alone cannot adequately provide cabbage with nutrients, since its decomposition in the soil and the release of nutrients available for plants from it occurs more slowly than their need for nutrition increases. As a result, cabbage grows and develops better when combined with organic and mineral fertilizers.
The effectiveness of various types of fertilizers for cabbage depends not only on the type of soil, but also on its cultivation, the content of nutrients in it, the duration of the use of fertilizers, irrigation. To obtain a high-quality yield of white cabbage, it is very important that all the nutrients are in the optimal ratio.
Loosening the soil and hilling plants
The first loosening of the soil and the destruction of weeds is carried out after the planting seedlings have taken root. Subsequent loosening of the soil is carried out as necessary after 7-8 days or after watering until the leaves are closed in the aisles.
The first cultivation is carried out to a depth of 4-5 cm. The depth of the second cultivation is 6-8 cm, the following till the leaves are closed - 8-10 cm. The width of the protective zone around the plants should be at least 12-14 cm. Cultivation is especially important on heavy soils.
The first hilling of early varieties is carried out 15-20 days after transplanting, and late varieties - 25 days later. Later earthing up leads to damage to the root system and the closing leaf outlet. Hilling is carried out after watering or top dressing, raking the ground to the first true leaves. This procedure causes the growth of extra roots.
The second hilling is carried out 10-12 days after the first. Varieties with a short stump are enough for one hilling.
Depending on the fertility of the soil and the fertilizer applied for the main and pre-sowing tillage, cabbage is fed 3-4 times during the entire growing season. Moreover, feeding is most effective in the phase of maximum leaf growth and during the formation of heads of cabbage.
It should always be remembered that during the formation of leaves, cabbage, especially in the northern regions, needs more nitrogen fertilizers, because in the early spring at relatively low temperatures, microbiological processes in the soil, especially heavy ones, are weak. Therefore, nutrients in an accessible form to plants are not enough.
The first top dressing is carried out 10-15 days after transplanting seedlings. To do this, the mullein is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10, spending 0.5 l for each plant. In the absence of mullein, dressing can be carried out with a liquid solution of mineral fertilizers - 10 g of urea, 20 g of superphosphate and 10 g of potassium fertilizer per 10 liters of water.
If, when transplanting seedlings into the soil, a sufficient amount of fertilizer, especially nitrogen fertilizer, was added to the wells, then the first top dressing can be omitted.
The second top dressing is carried out 25-30 days after planting seedlings, i.e., 10-15 days after the first top dressing. In this case, it is best to use mullein infusion in water in a ratio of 1:10, making 0.5 l of infusion for each plant. As a rule, this top dressing is combined with hilling. These two top dressings are made under cabbage of both early and late varieties. But it is especially effective for cabbage of early varieties.
The third top dressing only for cabbage of medium and late varieties is carried out 15 days after the second top dressing in order to enhance the growth of the head. To do this, in the same infusion of mullein, 30 g of superphosphate are dissolved in 10 l of water, spending 1-1.5 l for each plant. If necessary, after 20 days with the same solution it is necessary to carry out the fourth top dressing of cabbage.
If you scattered mineral fertilizer around plants in a dry form, you need to carefully monitor that fertilizers do not fall on the leaves to avoid damage, especially when the leaves are wet
Preventing Head Cracking
In conditions favorable in temperature and humidity, quite often cabbages ripen before harvest time. If at this moment their growth does not stop, they may crack.
To avoid this problem, ready heads of cabbage, if the harvesting period has not yet arrived, you need to bend several times in one direction to violate the root system or slightly cut the roots with a shovel. This will drastically reduce the access of nutrients and stop the growth of cabbage, and hence the cracking of heads of cabbage.
Pest and cabbage disease control
A lot of pests damage cabbage throughout the growing season - cruciferous fleas and aphids, cabbage whites and dustpan, moths. The crops should be treated every 7-10 days with the insecticides Sumyalfa, Zolon, Sherpa, Karate, Actellik, Volaton, etc.
Another harmful subject is spring cabbage fly. Its flight begins in mid-late April, when the soil warms up to 12-13 degrees. Cabbage fly lays eggs on the root neck of the plant or in the soil near it. Hatching larvae penetrate the roots, gnaw through the passages in them, as a result of which the plants begin to wither (especially in dry, hot weather), the leaves become bluish-lead in color, growth slows down or stops completely, and often the plants die.
Cabbage Fly Control Measures
Strict adherence to crop rotation, maintaining a high agricultural background, preventive treatment (in the beginning of summer of butterflies) by the above insecticides are the main control measures.
If the plant is damaged, add 0.15-0.2 percent solution of Bi-58 or Bazudin to the root. Consumption - 0.25-0.3 liters per plant. It is very effective to introduce when planting granular "Phosphamide" or granular superphosphate etched with "Phosphamide" ("Bi-58").
Of the diseases, the most harmful are vascular and mucous bacterioses, fusarium wilt.
Seed dressing, strict crop rotation, maintaining a high agricultural background are the main ways to prevent and combat cabbage diseases.
Cabbage is considered a real storehouse of health, because along with excellent taste, it has excellent medicinal properties: restorative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, bactericidal, anti-sclerotic, hemostatic, diuretic, wound healing, normalizing metabolic processes and regulating vitamin balance action, contains a large set of vitamins .
Cabbage is an excellent (and most importantly cheap) source of all kinds of vitamins that will help your body survive without loss a dark and cold autumn and long winter.
Do you grow cabbage in your beds? Satisfied with the harvest? If you have your secrets to growing white cabbage, share them in the comments to the article. Our readers will be very grateful.