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Growing Ornamental Cabbage In The Garden
Growing Ornamental Cabbage In The Garden

Video: Growing Ornamental Cabbage In The Garden

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Beauty in lace

ornamental cabbage
ornamental cabbage

Any cabbage is beautiful, be it a white lady or a Savoyard princess, kohlrabi samovars or Chinese pak choi. But curly or ornamental cabbage is especially good. This collard greens was domesticated by man long ago, apparently, even in ancient times, when people noticed that its leaves are very elegant and may well be a decoration of the garden.

Curly cabbage is undersized or tall up to 1 m or more plants with different leaf colors: green - from light to gray, or red, even black and red. The leaves are large, strongly wrinkled, corrugated along the edges, they are very curly or indented, alternately located on a straight, strong stem. The result is an extremely attractive plant, unlike any other. Usually, an irresistible handsome man in the form of a luxurious palm tree grows by autumn.

Gardener's guide

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Types and varieties of ornamental cabbage

There are many varieties of ornamental kale (Brassica oleracea). Now on sale there are varieties of Curly-leaved red, Curly-leaved green, Kale red F1 hybrid and many others. For this variety of ornamental cabbage, gardeners have one expressive popular name - "the tongue of the lark".

In addition to ornamental cabbage of the leaf type, varieties with a rosette of leaves at the end of a strong short stump are unusually beautiful. These are the so-called rosette hybrids obtained by Japanese breeders from crossing leaf and head forms. They form a dense rosette of leaves, of which the marginal ones are green in color, and the central ones are the most diverse: snow-white, pale cream, bright pink of various shades, crimson, dark red with transitions to green.

The main groups, or series of these hybrids, differ well in the shape of the leaves

There is a

group with round leaves - this is the Pigeon series - small compact plants with slightly wavy leaves that form a neat bowl.

A group with fringed leaves of the Chidori and Kamome series. The leaf edges of this group are thinly dissected and look like a lace ruffle frill. Colored bouquets in green lace frills are obtained. This is the most thermophilic group.

The group with feathery leaves of the Coral and Peacock series - it is characterized by heavily cut openwork leaves. Plants can withstand quite severe frosts. One of the most lush is the Osaka series. I saw on sale a variety from this series Victoria.

Cutting unit - Sunset, Sunrise and Crane series. This group is specially designed for cutting. Plant height - 60-70 cm, compact rosettes. If you cut off the lower leaves, then the plants look like large fantastic roses on a long leg, created for a bouquet.

Domestic breeders are also engaged in ornamental cabbage. For example, the All-Russian Research Institute for Breeding and Seed Production of Vegetable Crops offers gardeners excellent varieties of all varieties: rosette - Autumn Waltz and Colors of the East, curly-leaved varieties - Malinovka, Palmira, which can reach a height of 1.5 m, as well as the undersized variety Relay. There is a very interesting needle variety: the Iskorka variety is known here.

To date, more than a hundred varieties and hybrids of ornamental cabbage have been created. There are more than a dozen varieties on sale. The name of the series is not always indicated on the bags with seeds, but there are photos from which you can choose the variety you like.

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Using ornamental cabbage in the garden and on the balcony

ornamental cabbage
ornamental cabbage

Ornamental cabbages are biennial plants that reach their maximum decorative effect in the first year of cultivation. Leafy varieties are very cute already in childhood, at the beginning of summer, because they have a characteristic color and style of leaves.

And they grow prettier as they grow. But rosette varieties have a nondescript appearance throughout the summer. And only by autumn, when the nights are getting long and the days are cloudy, when the weather becomes cool, these cabbages are colored like ladies preparing for a ball.

All ornamental cabbages are beautiful until the deepest frosts. Their special value lies in the fact that they decorate the garden in the fall, when all the flowers have faded or frozen there, and it looks very dull. At this time, they actually glow like bright bouquets. They look especially strikingly beautiful when it snows, against a white background. Or on frosty days when frost adorns the fringe of leaves. Deep autumn is the time of their reign. Solitary plantings of high varieties are good, ridges are original, flower beds formed from various varieties are spectacular.

Ornamental cabbage is also good in containers, on the balcony. In recent years, elegant dwarf varieties have been created for growing in pots. A volume of 10-15 liters is enough, three plants can be planted there. Cut rosettes or leaves are good material for bouquets.

Ornamental cabbage easily tolerates transplants, which makes it an even more valuable plant for garden decoration. In the summer, nondescript-looking varieties can generally be planted on a vegetable garden, and by autumn, transplant them with a large clod of earth to the right place, for example, to a place freed from faded plants.

Leaving the summer cottage before winter, cabbage plants can be transported to the balcony. They will still be able to please for a while. In addition, the young leaves of ornamental cabbage are quite edible, although a little harsh.

Agricultural technology of ornamental cabbage

ornamental cabbage
ornamental cabbage

It is not difficult to grow ornamental cabbage. You just need to sow seeds for seedlings at home, as we do with any ordinary cabbage. It is convenient to sow at home in cassettes 5x5 cm or pots, cups 10-12 cm high, covered with foil. Sowing depth - 1-1.5 cm.

Sow not earlier than April, better - in the second half of April - early May, so that the peak of flowering falls in September - October. With earlier planting dates, the seedlings will lack light and will stretch and ache. Growing conditions - soil, temperature, lighting - are the same as for ordinary white cabbage. Seedlings of this cabbage grow well in a cool + 12 … + 16 ° С place with good lighting.

Seedlings need to be aired daily so that they do not get sick with a "black leg", and when the first true leaf begins to appear, the film must be removed completely. You can just sow on the garden bed in the country under a film in a sunny place. Seedlings appear quickly. During the day, you need to remove the film so that the seedlings do not stretch. When sown in the country, the seedlings grow more hardened, strong. When watering, you need to observe the measure, not overmoistening the seedlings. If the seedlings began to press against each other, they dive - it is better to do this at the stage of 4-5 leaves. After the seedlings have taken root, they begin to harden it - this is if it grew at home.

In May, when the soil temperature exceeds + 6 … + 8 ° C, the seedlings are planted in a permanent place. Pre-hardened home seedlings. It can be planted in place at the end of July - in August, when space is freed from the previous flowers. The distance between plants is 25-30 cm, the plants should not be crowded, otherwise they will not show all the beauty of their outfits. In general, there is no need to save on planting density, because the lower this density, the larger the sockets will grow. For tall varieties of Malinovka and Palmira, the distance should be at least 60 cm.

ornamental cabbage
ornamental cabbage

Ornamental cabbage grows well both in the sun and in partial shade, but the plants look more beautiful in the sun. The soil should not be acidic and skinny - this is very important.

Like all cabbage crops, ornamental cabbage is very fond of good nutrition. At a young age, she needs to be given nitrogen fertilizers, mineral or organic. Then, as it grows, you need to treat it with a complete mineral fertilizer. On poor soils, top dressing is given every 7-10 days, on fertile soils - less often. Usually cabbage, by its appearance, shows that it is starving: it discolors a little, the leaves become smaller. It is convenient to feed her by combining top dressing with watering.

Young plants must be watered in dry weather. They drink as much as they eat, especially the leafy varieties. Watering is desirable infrequently, but abundantly.

Pests

Ornamental cabbage is loved by pests - slugs, snails, whitewater caterpillars. Therefore, during the entire growing period, it is necessary to protect it in the usual ways and regularly examine each leaf of the plant in order to collect pests in a timely manner. Otherwise, only lace will quickly remain from the leaves.

Lyubov Bobrovskaya

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