According to popular belief, when you plant cabbage seedlings, you should often grab your head with both hands, tying it with a scarf. It is then that the heads of cabbage will be tied without any problems.
Meanwhile, it often happens that instead of a head of cabbage, a plant forms only a rosette of leaves with a dried or rotten heart, or forms several small, often loose heads of cabbage. What's the matter? There are many reasons, and all of them are very important when growing this garden "lady".
To begin with, you could buy low-quality seeds of some "independent" cabbage hybrid. Perhaps the seed plant from which these seeds were collected was, through the negligence of the vegetable grower, pollinated with neighboring vegetables of the same family. From the seeds obtained in this way, cabbage, as a rule, grows, poorly tying heads of cabbage. And there's nothing you can do about it.
Another reason for the appearance of plants with a dead growth point is possible when growing seedlings from old seeds. With good care, they appear to be well-developed and healthy outwardly. But by the beginning of the formation of a head of cabbage, among them there are plants that have only a rosette of leaves. The apical part of them either stopped developing and dried up, or mucus, that is, it was affected by mucous bacteriosis.
The phenomenon of mass death of plant tops and an unusually early manifestation of mucous bacteriosis has been noted only in recent years. Therefore, when buying seeds, ask sellers for documents on their quality.
The growth point of cabbage can also be affected by insects. Cruciferous fleas can damage it during the germination period with a seedless growing method, and seedlings after planting in the ground. Caterpillars of the cabbage moth also often eat the "heart" of cabbage, at the beginning of the formation of the head of cabbage, in June. The spreading of fertilizers or dusting of seedlings with whole ash can also cause burns and death of plant tops.
The third reason is the defeat of the plants by the keel. Most likely - this is the result of non-observance of elementary crop rotation and regular liming of the soil on the site (after all, keela develops only on acidic soil). It is less likely, but quite possible that you accidentally brought the disease-causing origins of the keel to your area on your shoes, with manure, with irrigation water, etc.
Diseased young plants die, in adult plants the leaves become lethargic and turn yellow, the heads of cabbage are small and friable, and with early infection they do not set at all. Ugly growths and swellings of various shapes appear on the roots of diseased plants, which impede the normal development of plants and the supply of nutrients through the roots. In adult plants, they reach significant sizes (from a nut to a fist).
Therefore, if the soil is acidic on the site, the plant withers in the sun with a normally moist soil, and the lower leaves seem to spread along the ground - this is an undoubted sign of keel disease.
The next reason is the defeat of plants by numerous pests, especially the cabbage fly, which is very similar to the house fly. It is especially harmful to white cabbage and cauliflower in rainy years. Until the end of June, the fly lays eggs in the soil near the cabbage stalk, from which larvae appear in 6–7 days. They eat up the roots of plants, make holes in them and destroy many plants. Most of all, cabbage fly damages seedlings and early cabbage planted in the ground.
The fifth major mistake is planting in a shaded area. White cabbage is an extremely light-loving plant. In the shade, she lays heads of cabbage late, they grow small and loose. Even light shading for 2-3 hours significantly reduces the yield of heads of cabbage.
But sometimes an inappropriate curtain of tall plants - corn, Jerusalem artichoke, sunflower, tall elecampane - rises next to the cabbage plantation, casting a shadow over the vegetables.At this point you have to decide what is more dear to you, cabbage or backstage.
And the next mistake is typical when growing most garden vegetables - this is a thickened planting of plants. With this planting, cabbage may not tie heads at all. Plants should be planted so that they do not overshadow each other at maximum growth. Therefore, before planting seedlings, the beds are marked out, indicating the rows and the distance between the plants in the row.
Cabbage varieties, depending on the ripening period, should be planted at the following intervals:
- early maturing varieties in a row every 30–35 cm, between rows - up to 50 cm;
- mid-season varieties in a row - after 50 cm, between rows - up to 65 cm; a
- late varieties in a row - up to 65 cm, between rows - up to 75 cm.
What to do? It is unrealistic to take a shovel, dig up a vegetable and transfer it to a sunny place, but it is sometimes worth thinning the garden bed, relieving cabbage from crowding.
The seventh major reason is the lack of nitrogen in the soil, which is easily identified by the appearance of the leaves. When growing cabbage, one must sacredly remember that even the early varieties must be fed twice. Moreover, this must be done within strictly defined terms, and not when you have free time for this. Top dressing is most effective in the phase of maximum leaf growth and in the period of head formation.
It should be remembered that during the period of leaf formation, cabbage, especially in the northern regions, needs more nitrogen fertilizers, because here, in early spring at relatively low temperatures, microbiological processes in soil, especially heavy soil, are weak. Therefore, plants do not receive enough nutrients in an accessible form.
The first feeding is carried out 15 days after planting the seedlings, so that the root system gets stronger and begins to work actively. It is better to do it in circular grooves made around the plants at a distance of 8-10 cm from the stem.
The second feeding is carried out 25–30 days after planting, ie. 10-15 days after the first feeding. In the interval between them, it is advisable to sprinkle the soil around the plants with ash, 1 tbsp each. spoon under the root.
Top dressing with mullein infusion (1:20) is effective, to a bucket of which you need to add 1 tbsp. spoon nitrophoska or "Kemira", as well as top dressing "Fitosporin" plus "Gumi", spending one liter of solution per plant. It is advisable to do it in grooves made in the middle of the row spacings to a depth of 10–12 cm. As a rule, this top dressing is combined with hilling plants.
But, observing all these requirements, in no case should we forget that white cabbage is the largest water lover in the garden. Sometimes it is enough just to start watering the cabbage correctly, and the heads of cabbage will not keep you waiting. To do this, once every 4–5 days, and even more often in the heat, it is necessary to pour it over 10 square meters. m beds 40-50 liters of water by sprinkling, and 1.5 times more - in the furrows. True, if you are going to store cabbage until winter or longer, then from September watering should be limited.
And it will be very good for cabbage if you put plastic water bottles next to it.
"Ural gardener", No. 37, 2015