Biological features of cabbage
White cabbage is cold-resistant, moisture- and light-loving, non-wintering biennial, demanding on soil fertility. In the first year it forms a head of cabbage, in the second year - a tall, powerful peduncle with seeds. A head of cabbage can be of various shapes and sizes: round, flat, conical. The mass of a head of cabbage ranges from 0.3 kg to 15 kg, depending on the variety, growing conditions and the level of agricultural technology. The crop is very productive, resistant to various growing conditions, tolerates transportation well, many varieties and hybrids are stored until spring. White cabbage develops well at a temperature of +13 ... + 18 ° C. Seedlings are sensitive to negative temperatures, young seedlings tolerate short-term frosts up to -3оС, grown seedlings up to -5оС, and adult plants up to -8оС.
High temperatures inhibit the development of plants, and at + 30 + 35 ° C cabbage does not form heads of cabbage at all. The need for moisture is moderate, but increases with the beginning of the formation of heads of cabbage. White cabbage is a long-day plant. It is very light-requiring, and even slight shading makes the seedlings unusable. You should not plant plants near fruit trees, make thickened plantings and "run" a plot with weeds.
Cabbage is very fond of "eating" and actively consumes nutrients from the soil, especially nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. When it is in the seedling phase, it consumes all the nutrients. In the phase of growing the rosette of leaves, it consumes more nitrogen. And when it forms and grows a head of cabbage - potassium and phosphorus. The need for fertilizing with microelements arises when planting on peat bogs, marsh, sandy and sandy loam soils, on loams, cabbage generally does not lack them.
Preparation of the site for cabbage
Cabbage is very demanding on the fertility and structure of the soil. It works well on loamy soils with a high humus content, with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction and good water-holding capacity.
It is better to prepare a plot for cabbage in the fall. After harvesting the predecessors, the soil is loosened, and after 2-3 weeks, after the germination of weeds, they are dug up. In the spring, after the soil dries out a little, it is loosened, and dug up just before planting. Fertilizers can be applied in several ways.
For example, in the fall, lime materials are introduced for digging - chalk, dolomite flour, fluff, on average 2 cups / m2. In the spring, for digging, add per 1 m2: well-ripened humus or compost - 1 bucket, superphosphate or nitrophosphate - 2 tablespoons, wood ash - 2 cups, urea - 1 tsp.
In the second method, most of the fertilizers are applied in the fall for digging for 1m2: 1-1.5 buckets of compost or humus, 2 tbsp. superphosphate, 1 tbsp. potassium sulfate. In the spring, 2 tbsp is introduced for digging. complete fertilization.
The third method involves the introduction of fertilizers directly into the hole, for their more economical use. For 1 hole is applied: 0.5 kg of humus or compost, 1 tsp. nitrophosphate, 2 tbsp. wood ash. All this is thoroughly mixed in a hole with soil, watered with water and seedlings are planted.
Planting seedlings in a permanent place and caring for plants
Before planting, the final culling of seedlings is carried out (About growing white cabbage seedlings in detail - in the article Sowing white cabbage and caring for seedlings). Ready seedlings are planted in a permanent place at different times:
- early varieties - from April 25 to May 5,
- mid-season and mid-late - in the third decade of May,
- late - from the end of May to 5 June.
Planting density depends on the maturation of the cabbage and on the variety. Early varieties and hybrids are planted according to the scheme 30-35 cm x 40-50 cm, mid-ripening 50 cm x 50-60 cm, late-ripening 60-70 cm x 60-70 cm.
Usually cabbage is planted on a flat surface. If the site is in a low or damp place, then the cabbage is planted on ridges or ridges.In any case, the site should be sunny, flat or with a slight slope to the south, southeast. Place cabbage well after legumes or grains, perennial grasses, onions, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. In one place, cabbage can be grown for no more than two years. They return to their original landing site no earlier than 4 years later.
Seedlings are planted on cloudy days. If the weather is sunny, then in the afternoon. When planting, the plants are deepened to the first pair of true leaves and the soil around the plants is squeezed well. Depending on the moisture content of the soil and weather, 0.5-1.0 liters of water is poured under one plant. If the weather is not rainy, then the next day after planting the plants need to be watered a little. The first two weeks, every 3-4 days, plants are watered at 6-8 l / m2, then - in normal weather, once a week at 10-12 l / m2. If the weather is dry, then the intervals between watering should be reduced. Cabbage is very fond of refreshing watering by sprinkling in hot weather. They are held in the morning or evening hours.
In different periods of the growing season, the need of plants for water is not the same. Watering rates and the depth of soil moisture also change during the three main periods of plant development: vegetative growth, growth of food organs, and ripening.
The depth of soil moisture during irrigation in the non-chernozem zone in the first growing season is 0.2 m, and in the second and third periods - 0.3 m. In the southern regions - 0.3 m and 0.4 m, respectively.
If watering is rare and at high rates, then the plants spend a lot of substances on the growth of the root system and this often happens to the detriment of fruiting. With regular watering at low rates, the root system is mainly located in the irrigation zone (this is the upper fertile soil layer), where optimal conditions for water and mineral nutrition are created. Which contributes to higher yields.
Read more about watering in the article Methods for watering white cabbage.
The early cabbage is watered more strongly in June, and the late cabbage is watered in August, when the plants are tying the forks. Watering should be regular. Insufficient watering during the period of growing the rosette of leaves will necessarily negatively affect the size of the head of cabbage, even if in the future the cabbage will be watered normally. Watering is carried out in the morning or evening hours with water + 18 + 20оС. After watering or rain, the soil is loosened to a depth of 5-8 cm (near the plant itself, they loosen smaller, and closer to the aisles, deeper). After obtaining the maximally developed leaf surface and the formed head of cabbage from the cabbage, careful control of pests and a gradual decrease in watering rates are necessary.
During cultivation, cabbage is huddled twice. The first time is 20 days after planting the seedlings, and then 10-12 days later. This agronomic technique promotes the growth of an additional root system and an increase in the size of the heads.
When growing varieties and hybrids with very large heads of cabbage, inconveniences arise with the processing, transportation and storage of products. To regulate the weight of the heads, you can initially plant the plants a little denser in the row, but leave the distance between the rows the same. The overall yield will not be affected.
Cabbage is fed 2-4 times during the growing period. After fertilizing, the plants must be watered with clean water over the leaves in order to wash off the fertilizer solution that has fallen from the leaves.
First feeding give 15 days after disembarkation of seedlings. In 10 liters of water, 0.5 liters of mushy mullein or chicken droppings are diluted. 0.5 l of solution is poured under one plant. In the absence of organic fertilizers, you can feed with minerals: for 10 liters of water - 10 g of urea, 15 g of potassium monophosphate (or 10 g of urea, 20 g of superphosphate and 10 g of potassium fertilizer). If enough fertilizers, especially nitrogen fertilizers, have been applied before planting seedlings in the ground or in the holes, then the first top dressing can be omitted.
Second feeding give in 25-30 days after planting, i.e. 10-15 days after the first feeding.The same fertilizers are used, in the amount of 0.5-1.0 liters per plant, depending on the fertility of the soil.
These two dressings are given to early and late cabbage and are especially effective for early varieties.
Third feeding carried out only for cabbage of medium-late and late varieties 15 days after the second feeding. This enhances the growth of the heads of cabbage. For 10 liters of water, take 0.5 liters of mullein or chicken droppings and 15 g of potassium monophosphate, spending 1.0-1.5 liters per plant. Or for 10 liters of water 15 g of potassium monophosphate and 1 tablet of microelements, consuming 6-8 liters of solution per 1 m2. Or for 10 liters of water 1 tbsp. nitrophosphate.
Fourth feeding make, if necessary, 20 days after the third for very late varieties of cabbage, one of the solutions given for the third feeding.
If mineral fertilizers are applied randomly in a dry form around the plants, then fertilizing is combined with irrigation with clean water and shallow loosening to a depth of 3-4 cm. avoid burns.
In the absence of mullein and chicken manure, you can buy dry granular chicken manure, liquid extract of cow dung "Biud" or liquid extract of horse manure "Biud", "Bucephal", "Kaury" in stores.
For those who are not comfortable making fertilizers themselves, there are ready-made complex fertilizers for cabbage on sale: Agricola, Kaliyphos-N, Hera for Cabbage, Cabbage, etc.
Very convenient to use and efficiently environmentally friendly universal organic long-acting fertilizer "Siertuin-AZ" (NPK 7-6-6), unfortunately, is available for sale only in large cities. It is able to replace all the above-mentioned mineral and organic fertilizers, as well as enrich the soil with beneficial microflora, suppressing the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and increasing the availability of nutrients for plants. It is enough to use it just twice - by introducing it into the soil 7-10 days after planting the seedlings, and then at the beginning of August. The amount of fertilizer is 5-6 times less than that indicated on the package, about 10 g per 1 m2. Close up to a depth of 1-3 cm under the plants.
Read more about this fertilizer - in the article Organic fertilizers and agricultural technologies "Ecostyle".
In addition to loosening, fertilizing, timely watering and combating pests and diseases, the cabbage plot must be kept clean of weeds. Otherwise, all efforts may be in vain, since many pests and diseases find refuge in weeds. Among other things, weeds take away heat and light from plants, make it difficult to cultivate soil and crops, consume up to 30% of nutrients and water from the soil. All this leads to a severe loss of yield and deteriorates the quality of the heads of cabbage.
Growing cabbage in compacted and re-planting or crops
Compacted plantings are called plantings in which several crops are grown simultaneously on the same area. Gardeners with small plots use compacted and re-sowing or planting. This allows them to use the land more efficiently.
For example, when growing late-ripening cabbage (compacted crop), radishes, dill salad (compaction) are sown to it, since in the initial period of development, cabbage grows very slowly and does not completely use the area allotted to it.
In a small area, you can grow cabbage and cauliflower according to the principle of compacted plantings. It is important here to choose the right varieties and hybrids of both crops. In the first half of May, seedlings of early cauliflower are planted according to the scheme of 60-70 cm between rows by 35 cm between plants. And at the end of May in the same rows, but already according to the scheme of 60-70 cm between rows by 70 cm between plants, seedlings of late-ripening cabbage are planted. In late June - early July, early cauliflower ripens, it is completely harvested by the root, while the rosettes of late-ripening cabbage are just beginning to gain full strength.With further good care, the plants of late-ripening cabbage, somewhat depressed in the first period of their growth, once in favorable conditions, develop normally and give the main harvest. From the same plot, an additional cauliflower crop is obtained, approximately 1.2 kg / m2.
Many gardeners use the positive effect of joint planting of white cabbage and cauliflower with tomatoes and potatoes. An additional harvest of cabbage is obtained, and tomatoes with potatoes are less affected by late blight.
With repeated sowing, several crops are also grown on the same area, but at different times. This method is mainly used in southern regions where the warm period is longer. The first crop is sown cold-resistant crops with a short growing season - radishes, Chinese cabbage, etc. The second crop is mid-ripening and late-ripening cabbage varieties. Or vice versa, the first culture is cold-resistant, with a long growing season - early white cabbage, cauliflower. And the second is cold-resistant, with a short growing season - autumn radishes, onions for greens from seedlings. (2)