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Video: White Cabbage: Growing Requirements And Main Pests
My experience of growing cabbage
My site is fenced with a mesh fence, and therefore is clearly visible from the road. Very often passers-by stop and stare in amazement at the hefty bursty cabbage leaves and the impressive heads of cabbage nesting among them.
And they do not realize that these weighty heads of cabbage are the result of hard, tireless work, very correctly noted by the popular proverb: "To plant cabbage - to annoy the back." True, some of our friends, and neighbors, are also trying to grow cabbage, but they mostly succeed, as in another proverb: "Why was it necessary to fence a vegetable garden and plant cabbage." Because on their plots, without proper care and appropriate supervision, numerous pests oppressed the plants, and, as a result, the harvest turned out to be extremely poor.
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Of course, some of the curious neighbors asked to share their experience of growing luxurious heads of cauliflower and magnificent heads of white cabbage. However, having learned how much labor and time it had to spend on it, he usually gave up the intention to tackle such a troublesome plant. And the argument was always the same: such a cheap vegetable is much easier to buy than to wallow with it yourself. And they do not realize that the taste of their cabbage cannot be compared to that bought even in the most expensive prestigious supermarket.
I was convinced of this long ago, and therefore for many years I have been getting excellent harvests of such a very nutritious vegetable. It's not for nothing that people call cabbage the queen of the garden. It has been known since time immemorial.
The ancient Egyptians cultivated this culture extensively six centuries before the birth of Christ. The same can be said about the ancient Greeks and Romans, as mentioned in the writings of Pliny, Hippocrates and Aristotle.
In Russia, head cabbage (the name of which comes from the Latin word "caputium" - head) is referred to as an ordinary vegetable in the "Izbornik Svyatoslav" (1073). And in one of the Smolensk charter letters of 1150 it is directly written: "On the mountain there is a vegetable garden with a skits."
Our ancestors appreciated the usefulness of cabbage, which is reflected, for example, in the following proverb: "Bread and cabbage will never be missed." And when planting this vegetable, they said: "Don't be ankle, but be belly", "Don't be empty, be tight", "Don't be red, but be tasty", "Don't be small, but be great." So what is the secret of my so successful cabbage cultivation? In addition to a very simple, but correct agricultural technique, this is, of course, first of all, a tireless struggle against many pests that can destroy the plant, as they say, in the bud.
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Let's start with agricultural technology. When choosing a place for planting, it should be borne in mind that cabbage of all types does not really like acidic soils. Because on them it is most often affected by the keel (keel is the formation of growths and swellings on the roots), which causes the root system of plants to rot and collapse. As a result, a parasitic fungus remains in the soil for several years, causing diseases of new and new plants.
Excessive acidity is best neutralized with lime. Other diseases are cabbage yellowness (fusarium). It is caused by the fungus Fusarium. The fungus affects the vascular system and causes toxicosis. Mycelium appears inside the vessels, which clogs the vessels. Hot dry weather during the first half of the growing season contributes to the development of the disease. Another dangerous disease is black leg. It manifests itself during the period of growing seedlings in the form of a darkening of the root part of the stem. The development of the disease is favored by high humidity and acidity of the soil, thickening of crops, high temperature when growing seedlings.
Cabbage leaf beetle
Transplanting. Different publications recommend planting cabbage seedlings at a distance of 30-40 centimeters from each other. It seems to me that the authors of such advice themselves were not seriously involved in the cultivation of this vegetable. Because such gaps are clearly not enough. Not only that, growing, the plants interfere with their neighbors, but also when the leaves touch, the caterpillars of the pests easily spread throughout the cabbage plantation.
And one more important consideration: when examining the heads of cabbage, you will inevitably wade through the clusters of leaves, thereby breaking and damaging them. Which will undoubtedly affect the harvest. My experience proves that the optimal distance between seedlings should be no less than 60 centimeters. Moreover, it should be planted only in open, well-ventilated places.
Weeding and hilling, watering. But this is only the beginning stage of the relentless struggle for the harvest. This is followed by agrotechnical measures. To create better conditions when setting heads, it is vital to weed the weeds. Yes, preferably more than once.
Hilling also contributes to the strengthening of the root system (and, therefore, to an increase in yield). It should be noted that cabbage is very hygrophilous. No wonder folk wisdom says: "Every head of cabbage requires a barrel of water." Insufficient watering and dry air have an extremely negative effect on the plant and dramatically reduce the yield.
It is clear that strict adherence to agrotechnical measures plays a role in the successful cultivation of cabbage. However, pest control is much more important. This struggle has probably been going on since cabbage appeared.
One old document says about it this way: "In Pskov, both in the parishes and in the gardens, worms have eaten cabbage." It is about this confrontation of the inevitable misfortune that I am going to tell you. Pest control. From the scientific literature, I learned that cabbage has a total of several dozen pests.
Some of them damage the root system, others damage the leaves, and others bite into the head of cabbage, interfering with its normal development. The torment of cabbage begins, as they say, from childhood, that is, from seedlings. As soon as she is in the garden, she is immediately attacked by pests. The cabbage lurker and the larvae of the noxious centipede wintering in the soil operate underground. The main measures for the control of these insects: correct agricultural technology and the destruction of weeds on the site.
And yet, the overwhelming mass of cabbage pests attacks its aerial part. At first, cruciferous fleas attack even a very tiny plant. Small, bouncy, they occupy the seedlings in myriads, sometimes eating all the leaves. Dealing with them is extremely difficult. Following various book guidelines for dealing with these extremely harmful insects, I sprinkled the plants with ash, tobacco dust, and a mixture of these. I mixed these products with soapy water. But, alas, nothing helped. My hand did not rise to use chemical preparations. I didn't believe in their effectiveness and food safety.
Rescuing seedlings, he covered it with caps cut from plastic bottles. This measure helped until the plant became cramped. But as soon as I removed the caps, cabbage flies immediately appeared on the seedlings (see figure), followed by cabbage moth (see figure) and cabbage beetle (see figure). And finally, shortly after these pests, the cabbage whiteworm butterfly (see figure) and the cabbage scoop (see figure) are announced.
Now, when the main flying cabbage eaters are assembled, a real war begins with them according to the principle: "Who will win?" Twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, I carefully examine each still bush of cabbage, look under all the leaves and remove from them the clutches of eggs laid by insects. If any clutch survived, then after three days gluttonous caterpillars emerge from the eggs. Eggs and caterpillars should only be collected with rubber gloves as they are poisonous.
That is why birds do not touch them. I have read that, they say, wasp insects often destroy up to 90 percent of cabbage pests. I don't know where these numbers come from, but on my site I have not met any assistants in the destruction of cabbage monsters.
It probably makes sense to treat cabbage plantations with chemicals that protect the plants. But here's the trouble. First, cabbage leaves have repulsive properties: that is, any liquid, without lingering, simply rolls off them. Secondly, even the most thorough, well thought out treatment will only last until the first rain. So for me, perhaps the only effective protection for cabbage is the endless manual collection of eggs and caterpillars.
In all recommendations for the cultivation of cabbage, it is proposed to sow calendula (marigolds) and tagetes (marigolds) along the edges of the beds to protect it. After numerous experiments, I declare with full responsibility: there is no benefit to cabbage from these plants.
The decisive moment in the whole cabbage epic comes when the heads of cabbage begin to form. It is here that the future harvest or crop failure is laid. Caterpillars of pests, biting into the ovary of a head of cabbage, naturally oppress the plant, greatly slowing down its growth. And often cabbage does not form a head of cabbage at all. Sometimes even the most careful examination and collection of caterpillars does not help. For example, examining a head of cabbage that has begun to tie, you see gnawed holes in it. From which it is clear that the caterpillar is inside. And then the question arises: what to do?
If you unfold the leaves, looking for a pest, then they will never settle in their former places, and therefore the head of cabbage will probably not form further. If you leave the caterpillar inside, then it, damaging the curling leaves, will completely stop the growth of the plant. In a word, whatever one may say, but in any case you are a loser … When, despite all efforts, it is not possible to find the caterpillar that left traces, I stick a tag stick into the ground near this head of cabbage and in the following days I will definitely return to this place again and again. And, in the end, I find a pest, since, moving along the head of cabbage, he still finds himself.
Especially a lot of hassle with cauliflower. The fact is that below it has many sinuses in which pests hide. And it is very difficult to find and remove them from there. It is not for nothing that any cookbook strongly recommends keeping the cauliflower in salt water before processing. This is necessary for the malevolent caterpillars to crawl out of their shelters. So that those who want to do the "cabbage business" do not have the illusion that this vegetable can grow by itself, without any care, I want to cite as an example the actions of my neighbors. There, the owner every time, looking at the trellised leaves of cabbage oppressed by pests, only spews abuse. True, this does not help much, since in the fall he collects cabbage heads a little larger than a fist. And here's the amazing thing: every year he hopes for something!
Hence, another bleak conclusion follows: if your neighbors do not fight pests, then, freely multiplying from them, insects will inevitably move to your garden. And, therefore, you are provided with additional troubles. Probably, this is also why, saving the cabbage, every time I spend at least 1.5-2 hours to inspect 80 heads of cabbage. However, despite all my "heroic" efforts, usually at the end of July or at the beginning of August there comes a period when no inspection and collection of caterpillars is able to stop the invasion of pests. The situation is as follows: late in the evening I will collect masonry and caterpillars, and early in the morning I find hordes of new ones …
That's when I wet the leaves and heads of cabbage with chemicals for the only time. Last year it was Iskra (one tablet for 10 liters of water). Such a measure gives a respite for 7-10 days. If during this time the heads of cabbage get stronger or, as I say, "gain strength", then the main task of growing cabbage is completed. Now pests can only slow down to varying degrees, but are no longer able to stop the growth of a vegetable. And still, once a day, or at least every other day, but inspection and destruction of caterpillars should be continued. However, as well as slugs and snails. Until harvest.
When harvesting, leave 2-3 green covering leaves on the head of cabbage. They will protect the vegetable from pollution, mechanical damage, and during storage - from the disease of gray mold.
But even having removed the heads of cabbage, one cannot calm down. Remember that the bulk of the larvae and pupae of pests hibernate in the soil, here, in the beds. Therefore, careful pre-winter digging of the land will disrupt their normal wintering and significantly reduce the number of pests. Be sure to remove garbage, dry organic residues (especially cabbage leaves), cabbage stumps from the site. It is they who will give shelter to the numerous enemies of cabbage.
Read the next part. Exotic white cabbage recipes →