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Video: The Practice Of Growing White Cabbage
Read the previous part. ← Varieties and hybrids of white cabbage
A few practical tips for white cabbage farming
Theoretically, white cabbage can be planted as seeds directly into the ground. But almost everyone grows it through seedlings.
To obtain early cabbage, seeds are usually sown in the third decade of March. But you must evaluate your capabilities with providing this culture with its seedling requirements. We are usually in no hurry to plant early cabbage seedlings. All the same, businessmen will bring early cabbage from Turkey, it is much more profitable than fighting our unpredictable climate.
In addition, those gardeners who do not like the "Turkish" varieties in the market can sow Chinese cabbage of the Russian variety Vesnyanka without any problems in their garden. It will be ready 20 days after germination, it is not afraid of keel, frost, and with early sowing it is not affected by midges. I'm not even saying that it makes a great salad, excellent cabbage soup, and you can also ferment it.
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We begin to grow all cabbage for seedlings in April - numbers 1-10, if there is global warming, it is possible earlier, make allowances for the various advice of the lunar, Martian and other calendars. Seriously though, the timing looks like this. When sowing seeds to a depth of 1 cm, seedlings appear on the 3-4th day at a temperature of 18-20C. 7-10 days after germination, the first true leaf appears.
The question always arises: dive seedlings or do without a dive. The root system of cabbage develops quickly, already with the formation of the first true leaf there are roots of the second order. Therefore, the older the seedlings, the more roots are cut off during the pick. The regenerative capacity of the roots of cabbage at a young age is high. In dived seedlings, the roots are more compact, in seedlings without a dive they are located deeper and are more damaged during harvesting.
Conclusion: it is better to dive at the beginning of the formation of the first leaf. We grow Dutch hybrids without picking, usually they already give a well-developed root system. Domestic seeds require some preparation. They should be sized to be at least 1.3 mm. Treat in "Maxim" or a solution of potassium permanganate, warm in water for 15-20 minutes. at a temperature of 500C, then cool in water at room temperature, dry. This is especially necessary for those varieties that are unstable to Fusarium, one of the pathogens of the "black leg".
The compositions of mixtures for growing seedlings should be not sour, loose. Dung humus, composts and other organic carriers of natural fertility create high salinity, which inhibits seed germination and inhibits the growth of seedlings, increases the risk of fungal and bacterial diseases being introduced into the nursery. In the early stages of development, plants are especially susceptible to infection and, if pathogens are present in the soil, they can die both at the stage of seed germination and after germination, so it is better not to risk it. This applies not only to cabbage seeds.
Today you can buy the most common (where there is more peat) "Garden soil" (2 hours) and mix it with sand (1 hour) without clay, adding 1/4 cup of dolomite flour and a teaspoon of complete complex mineral fertilizers. Remember that seedlings die not from lack of nutrition, but from their excess. If the temperature in the nursery is 140C during the day and 80C at night, with good illumination, then there will be no problems.
Seedlings ready for planting have 5-7 leaves (it takes 6-8 days for one leaf to develop). It is necessary to feed the seedlings, if necessary, with a 0.2% solution of complete mineral fertilizers. You can combine top dressing with watering. In the case of stretching the hypocotal knee, make powders. Usually, we use plastic bags as containers for growing seedlings, which we fill with a mixture and drop in a greenhouse bed.
If you have grown seedlings, then after hardening they can be planted in the garden. There are issues of soil preparation, fertilizers and other inconveniences. Many people complain that cabbage is sick with keel on the site. But not everyone knows that if the soil pH is above 7.1, then the cabbage keel does not develop. Note that we are talking about mineral soils, not peatlands. The soil for plants is their habitat. Soil fertility is an integral concept.
One of the characteristics of this environment is acidity, it is caused by the presence of hydrogen and aluminum ions in the soil. There are the following types of acidity: actual (or active) and potential (latent). The latter is subdivided into exchange and hydrolytic. The actual acidity is determined by the concentration in the aqueous extract of hydrogen ions formed as a result of the dissociation of weak mineral and organic acids, as well as their hydrolytically acidic salts. It is measured in pH.
The gardener does not always have a desire to understand in depth the intricacies of soil science, to study the granulometric composition of the soil in the garden, to determine the humus content, types of acidity, mobile forms of phosphorus and potassium. Usually such a study ends with the purchase of several tons of dubious organic matter at a "fair price". You can understand our summer resident. The weather we have now and that in the circus works, and we do not live in the black earth zone, but we have to do something.
In order to preserve and increase soil fertility, restore its structural state, improve physical properties, there is only one recipe - to introduce crop rotations with the obligatory use of green manure fertilizers. The soil is enriched with humus due to the plowed overground part and dead root systems of green manure plants. Peas, lupines, beans, beans are used in their capacity, which provide the soil not only with organic matter, but also with biological nitrogen.
In order to only maintain soil fertility, it is necessary to apply good manure in doses from 100 to 400 kg per hundred square meters at least once every two years. Now, even in rural areas, good manure cannot be found, and even more so on the Karelian Isthmus. I advise you to switch to siderates. We prepare a bed for cabbage in the fall, after being freed from ground cucumbers. Three days before sowing lupine (we sow it thickened) after cucumbers, add dolomite flour 2 kg per 10 m2 during digging. After a month and a half, when the lupine greens cover the garden with a green carpet, we dig it up, adding 20-30 g of urea and 60 g of superphosphate per 1 m2.
When organic matter decays, carbon dioxide is released. Together with water, it forms carbonic acid, which dissolves calcium and magnesium compounds, they are gradually washed out of the upper soil layer into deeper layers, and the soil becomes acidic. That is why, when introducing organic matter, including green manure, dolomite flour is needed. Some mineral fertilizers can also acidify the soil. Increasing soil fertility is a long process, miracles and miraculous fertilizers do not exist, even at a "fair" price.
In the spring, we fill the garden bed with mineral fertilizers - N70P90K105, (the norms are given in grams of active ingredient per 10 m2). Before planting a seedling plant, we make a hole for it 30x30x30 cm, pour half a bucket of water into it, first add a teaspoon of ammophoska and a glass of ash to the hole. We make a chatterbox in the hole from the removed soil and fertilizers. We place a plastic bag with seedlings in it, after making several cuts in the film. We mulch on top with dry earth and peat. While the plant takes root, it usually has enough moisture.
We begin feeding during the period of formation of rosette leaves. For the subcortex, we use potassium nitrate (30 g per bucket, a liter per plant, sometimes more). For varieties of different early maturity, soil types, the feeding rates and their amount may differ. It is better to place plants in this way: early - 40 cm, mid-ripening - 50 cm, late-ripening - 60 cm, distance between rows for all 65 cm. You will say - this is all about white cabbage, but they say that cauliflower grows well together with beans cabbage, but that's a completely different story.