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Video: How To Grow Chinese Cabbage
Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis) deserves attention
Peking cabbage is a type of Chinese cabbage. Often in the price tags it is called that - Chinese cabbage. Peking cabbage adorns the shelves of our stores throughout the year and differs, alas, by far from a modest price. Why is she so expensive? The answer, apparently, lies in the fact that this cabbage is imported. But it is quite possible to grow it in our country.
Our agricultural enterprises cultivate white and red cabbage, and recently even Savoy cabbage has appeared on sale. They can be found quite freely in vegetable departments and at a very affordable price. As practice has shown, it is not so difficult to grow Peking cabbage.
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For more than ten years I have been planting white cabbage of different ripening periods in my beds, trying, of course, to choose varieties that are resistant to keel. During this time, I was convinced that a high yield of cabbage can only be obtained with good care. And then it is quite possible to provide the family with fresh cabbage, salad dressing, sauerkraut and even the so-called crumb of green leaves for the whole winter.
Having decided to take a break from growing white cabbage, since it is now in abundance in the distribution network, I began to think: what to replace it with in my beds? I chose Peking cabbage. I got the seeds of this cabbage in the store, however, not really understanding this, but rather according to the principle: what I sold, I took it. I grew Chinese cabbage seedlings in a greenhouse and planted them in May in a garden bed well seasoned with humus.
The cabbage was growing very vigorously and looked quite healthy. But in June, suddenly, somehow sharply threw out the peduncles, and then bloomed yellow, like all other cruciferous crops bloom. Of course, I was completely disappointed, as I realized that I would not have Peking cabbage this season. The next year I bought another variety of Peking cabbage. The result is exactly the same. I could only use cabbage leaves for Korean fermentation. After that, the understanding came that here, too, everything must be done not from scratch, but by getting ready, buying seeds of the right varieties.
Earlier, in the 80s, it was believed that the seeds of Peking cabbage, like salad seeds, should be sown in open ground, but not in early spring, but in the first half of July. Then in the horticultural publications they wrote that this is a culture of a short growing season and a shortened day.
To grow such cabbage, you should choose a sunny place protected from the wind. Peking cabbage has a weak root system, so it needs fertile soil rich in organic matter. This cabbage is sown in rows with a distance of 40 cm between them; 4-5 seeds are usually placed in nests located at a distance of 30-40 cm from each other. After emergence, the seedlings are thinned out, leaving the strongest plants in the nest. The cultivation of this cabbage through seedlings has not been practiced before, since after planting it in open ground, the plants mainly throw out flowering shoots, which I observed in my beds for the first two years of growing this cabbage.
It was believed that Peking cabbage should be cultivated as a re-crop after other vegetable crops, except cabbage, in the first year after the application of manure. This cabbage has its own characteristics when grown. For example, it is more susceptible to attack by pests and diseases than white cabbage. And due to the rather short growing season, Peking cabbage needs rather intensive fertilization, as well as cauliflower, cultivated for harvesting in the fall. Only feeding is not necessary in September, since abundant nutrition at this time can adversely affect the setting of a head of cabbage.
When growing Peking cabbage in the open field, its head is suitable for use as early as 40-50 days, but its final formation occurs about 50-60 days. Everyone who grew Peking cabbage could have noticed that its heads of cabbage are loose, elongated, up to 40 cm high, in appearance they rather resemble heads of cabbage, and not cabbage heads. Her leaves are tender, fragile and very tasty. This cabbage contains proteins, sugars, mineral salts and vitamins, mainly vitamin C.
When I studied all this information, I did not change my intention to grow Chinese cabbage, but I still did not want to give up the seedling method of growing, and precisely in the early stages. Sowing cabbage after harvesting the previous crop did not suit me for one reason - I would not be able to harvest the grown crop, since I am leaving the site in September. Therefore, in seed shops, I began to ask for seeds of such varieties that are resistant to stemming and flowering. As a result, I bought a variety of Peking cabbage Glass and hybrids Kudesnitsa F1 and Nika F1.
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When I studied the instructions on the seed bags, I was convinced that breeding has made a big step forward in recent years: scientists have created varieties and hybrids of Peking cabbage that can give two crops in one season, including when grown by seedlings. Just do not be late with planting seedlings in open ground in order to avoid flowering. This was also typical for the seeds of the Bokal variety and the Nika F1 hybrid I purchased. Hybrid Kudesnitsa F1 is recommended for growing in one run - in the first half of summer. This is exactly what I did, using the usual seedling method.
I sowed cabbage seeds on May 1 in a film greenhouse in one line, and planted the grown seedlings in a garden filled with humus on May 15. In previous years, I grew potatoes on the grass on it (I told the readers of the magazine about this method - see "Flora Price" №7 (138) 2011).
After that, the land, where it used to run wild, was now crumbly and clean of weeds. Having planted the seedlings in moist soil according to the usual scheme, which I mentioned above, I immediately covered the plantings with a thin spunbond to protect the seedlings from the invasion of the cruciferous flea. It should be noted that the shelter is really very effective. It reliably protected almost all of my plants from pests, but the leaves of several uncovered bushes after three days turned into a solid sieve.
Of course, it was possible to use chemical methods of flea control, for example, spray the seedlings immediately after planting with a 0.3% solution of karbofos or the Iskra preparation, as well as sprinkle the root collar of plants with wood ash or crushed charcoal, but I wanted to grow environmentally friendly vegetables. Therefore, my Chinese cabbage was under cover for almost the entire period of development until the beginning of the formation of the head of cabbage, and this happened only in early August.
Moreover, the cabbage had enough food and moisture for the whole season, however, the rain helped here. It should be noted that the two bushes of Peking cabbage that remained in the greenhouse after transplanting all the seedlings to the beds in open ground, where they did not have enough space, were not attacked by fleas and looked very impressive, but they were in no hurry to tie a head of cabbage. As a result, only their leaves had to be used. Apparently, the delay in head formation was caused by the higher temperature in the greenhouse.
In fact, I did not wait for the formation of heads of cabbage in the Peking cabbage plants growing in the garden. And she prepared her favorite dishes simply from the rapidly growing succulent leaves, which in this hybrid turned out to be slightly prickly when fresh and completely thornless after heat treatment.
In the leaf phase, I slightly boiled Peking in salted water and used it as a side dish, or, after boiling, I put the cabbage in a frying pan and poured it with an egg and lightly sprinkled with grated cheese. I want to say that it was very tasty, in my opinion, this is just a delicious dish.
I enjoyed this food throughout the summer season, and in the fall I used the formed heads of Peking cabbage for salads with tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and green onions (the batun onion gives a feather all season), seasoning the dish with vegetable oil, sour cream or mayonnaise. It was also very tasty. When I cooked borscht, I also used Chinese cabbage as a dressing instead of white cabbage.
Peking cabbage is known to be well stored in the refrigerator in plastic bags for up to three months or more. I can confirm this, because even now I still have a part of the crop I have grown there - juicy, tender heads of cabbage, which I gradually use for food. I want to tell the readers that Peking cabbage is quite worthy and can usefully take up space in your beds. You just have to make up your mind.