Cabbage Growing – A Beginners Guide

Cabbage Growing.
Cabbage Growing.

Cabbage Growing For Beginners:

The following content details about Cabbage growing.

Introduction of Cabbage growing

Cabbage is one of the most popular vegetable grown throughout the world as it can adapt to wide climatic conditions and soils. Cabbage is believed to have originated and native to Europe. Cabbage cultivation started as early as 600 BC by the Greeks and they believed this vegetable is a gift from gods. Because of its medicinal purposes, ease of production, food value and the storage; it has become a popular vegetable crop growing throughout the world.

The stem of the plant grows up to 30 cm long and is unbranched. The leaves grow in a circular arrangement as the plant grows forming a leaf primordial. The outside leaves are large and green in color while the inner leaves are white and as the cabbage plant grows, the number of leaves increases forming a ball shaped head in the centre of the plant. The flowers of the plant are whitish or yellow and the roots system is adventitious root system. Cabbage is a biennial plant grown for its edible dense leaved heads. Commercial cabbage growing can be carried out in greenhouse, polyhouse as well. Now a days people in India growing cabbages in backyards. Container and pot cabbage growing is one of the options available for interested gardeners.

Scientific / Botanical name of Cabbage

The botanical or scientific name of the vegetable is Brassica oleracea L and comes from the cole crop family Cruciferae.

Cabbage in Indian Languages

  • Gujarati – કોબી(Kōbī).
  • Malayalam – കാബേജ്(kābēj).
  • Tamil – முட்டைக்கோஸ்(Muṭṭaikkōs).
  • Kannada – ಎಲೆಕೋಸು(Elekōsu),
  • Telugu – క్యాబేజీ(Kyābējī).
  • Hindi – गोभी(gobhee).
  • Bangla – বাঁধাকপি(Bām̐dhākapi).
  • Marathi – कोबी(Kōbī).
  • Punjabi – ਪੱਤਾਗੋਭੀ(Patāgōbhī).

Cabbage Varieties / Cabbage Cultivars

Vegetables are important source of food and nutrition. In the global market of vegetable production, India stands second and yet these productivity levels are inadequate. Several hybrids and improved varieties of seeds are being developed for maximum production. The following are some of the best cultivars available in India:

  • PusaAgeti variety grows well in temperature range of 15° to 30° C. This variety doesn’t do well in day’s temperature 35° C and above. Planting can be done from March and August to October in the northern plains. Harvest can be done in 75 to 90 days after transplanting with edible heads weighing 700 to 1200 grams and a farmer can expect a yield of 120 to 320 quintals per hectare.
  • Pusa Drum Head variety is good for commercial growing. This cultivar has resistance to black leg disease (phoma lingam). The outer leaves are light green with edible heads large and can weigh 3 to 4 kilograms. This cultivar can be grown throughout India.The crop can be harvested in 80 to 90 days after transplanting and a farmer can expect a yield of about 300 quintals per hectare.
  • Golden Acre, in this variety the plants have short stalk and with small frame. The edible heads are round and compact with outer leaves in dark green. This cultivar can be grown throughout India.The crop can be harvested in 60 to 75 days after transplanting and the farmer can expect an yield of 250 quintals per hectare.
  • KGMR-1, in this variety the edible heads are round and compact. The plants are early in heading about 60 days and stay after maturity in the field up to 20 days. This cultivar can be grown throughout Northern plains in India. A farmer can expect an yield of 350 to 400 quintals per hectare.

Climate and Soil requirement for Cabbage growing

The plant grows well in wide range of soils, for optimum growth and production, cabbage plant need well drained, loamy and alluvial soils. The plants are moderately sensitive to saline soils. The soil pH must be in 5.5 to 6.5 ranges. Cool and humid climatic conditions are much preferred by the plants. The best temperatures for healthy growth and head development are from 18° to 22° C. In cooler regions the crop can be grown throughout the year. Cabbage is resistant to little frost and survive in cold temperature. In high temperatures the heads are impaired and loose the delicate flavor. It is difficult to control insect pests; the quality and the yield are poor in summer.

Land Preparation in Cabbage growing

Four to six weeks before transplanting the land must be prepared thoroughly and deeplywith 4 to 5 ploughed to fine tilth. Land must be free from pebbles and preceding crop residues. To control nematodes, the farm land must be fumigated two weeks before planting time. Prepare land that permits optimal soil water air relations and good root penetration; the field must be ploughed with a disk harrow to a depth of 450 to 600 mm and immediately before planting. Tillage operations carried by tractor drawn implementsare quick and ideal.

In hilly regions pits should be taken up at a spacing of 40 cm either ways. Whereas in plain regions ridges and furrows are formed at 45 cm apart.

Propagation in Cabbage growing

Cabbage is propagated from seeds.

Cabbage Seeds.
Cabbage Seeds.

Seed rate and Season in Cabbage growing

About 250 grams of hybrid seeds and 600 grams of seeds is usually required for a hectare field that means about 200 grams of seeds for one acre land. In hilly regions sowing can be done during January to February, July to August and September to October. While in plain regions sowing is done from August to November.

Cabbage Seedlings.
Cabbage Seedlings.

Sowing and Spacing in Cabbage growing

Sowing can be done directly in the main fields. Seeds are planted in two to three centimeter depth. If seedlings are to be raised in a nursery then 100 sq.m nursery area is required to raise plants for a hectare field. Sow the seeds in the nursery at about 10 cm apart in rows on a raised bed. Young 40 to 45 days old seedlings will be ready for transplant to the main field. Transplanted seedlings must be planted at 40 to 45 cm apart in rows 80 to 90 cm apart.

Seed Treatment in Cabbage growing

Seeds must be treated in 50° C hot water for about 25 to 30 minutes. 250 grams of cabbage seeds are treated with 25 grams of Azospirillum for early seed germination.

Irrigation in Cabbage growing

Irrigation must take place soon after sowing or transplanting the young seedlings in the main field. The plants are shallow rooted; they use up the water content in the root zone very quickly. Provide continuous supply of moisture through drip irrigation in their growing till forming heads. Excess watering will lead to leaching of nutrients from root zone and increases root rot disease. Supplying adequate moisture throughout  will prevent cracking of the heads.

Manures and Fertilizers in Cabbage growing

A soil test is the most accurate guide to most effective lime and fertilizer requirements. The fertilizer application for cabbage plants should ensure adequate levels of all nutrients.

In hilly regions, 30 tonnes per hectare of well rotten decomposed farm yard manure along with 90 kg of K as basal dose must be incorporated at the last plough before planting takes place. 45 kg each of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium must be provided on 30to 45 days after planting.

In plain regions, well rotten farm yard manure of about 20 tonnes per hectare must be incorporated along with 50 kg N, 125 kg P, 25 kg P and 2 kg Azospirillum as basal dose at the last plough before planting takes place. 50 kg of N must be applied after 30 days of planting.

Intercultural operations in Cabbage growing

Effective weed management is a critical step for successful cabbage head production. Weeds compete for light, nutrients, water thereby interfere in yield.To facilitate healthy soil conditions, soil works like spading, earthing-up, etc. must be undertaken at regular intervals. Weeds can also be controlled chemically by applying registered herbicides available at local nursery stores.

Cabbage Field.
Cabbage Field.

Pests and diseases in Cabbage growing

Insects enjoy eating Cabbage plants as much as the farmer does. Care must be taken against insects & pests and diseases as they will rob the vegetable crop profits.

Insects:

  • Cabbage worms are the larvae of moths and butterflies. These pests cause serious damage as they eat the leaves. The only way to control them is both by hand picking and destroying them or with insecticides that contains Bacillus thuringiensis or spinosad.
  • Aphids are tiny insects found beneath the leaves. The leaves turn discolored and wrinkled as these soft-bodied insects feed and suck sap from the leaves. Infected plants are controlled by a strong spray of water and for serious infestations, insecticidal soap or neem oil must be used.
  • Flea beetles are tiny black insects. They damage the foliage by leaving numerous tiny holes and continuous feeding will reduce the yield and will kill seedlings. To control use an insecticide labeled for flea beetles.
  • Cutworms eat young seedlings at ground level and sometimes bore into the heads of mature plants. Spray with B.thuringiensis or spinosad to control.

Diseases:

  • Clubroot is caused by a fungus in the soil. The plants are wilted and leaves get discolored. The fungus affect the roots not allowing what roots normally do. There is no effective organic or chemical treatment for clubroot fungus. If the field is highly infected, it is recommended not to plant for another four years at least. Clubroot prefers acidic soils; add lime to soils that are acidic at least 2 months before planting.
  • Mildew is one of the most irritating broccoli diseases and will be high in damp weather conditions. Powdery patches and greyish spots are found on the leaves and new shoots. Mildew invades the insides of the plants and attacks lethally.
  • Black rot is a serious bacterial disease found in broccoli farm. Plants can be infected at any stage of development. When infected the bacteria move downward into the stem and roots through the xylem. Disease resistant cultivars and disease free seeds are recommended.

Harvesting in Cabbage growing

Harvesting can be done anytime from the day the heads form. It is always recommended to harvest the crop during the cooler part of the day to avoid sun damage of the crop. Cut the mature heads when they reach full size, solid and firm, delay in harvesting might lead to crack or split. Trim the base of the head and strip unwanted leaves.

Yield in Cabbage growing

Selection of Cabbage varieties, applying appropriate technology and good crop management skills throughout the production season will allow farmersreap maximum profits. Crops grown in hilly regions by 150 days can produce a yield of about 75 tonnes per hectare. While in plains by 120 days a farmer can expect about 35 tonnes per hectare.

Marketing of Cabbage

Cabbage heads can be marketed after reaching suitable market size and color. They are much in demand and marketed in local markets directly or exported by marketing agency. For good pricing, avoid bruising of heads, medium and small size are in good demand than large heads. In high temperature cabbage heads are susceptible to wilting. While transporting to market care must be taken the trucks are not overloaded, the bottom layer of heads gets crushed. Cover the produce with sheets to prevent from frosting if the weather is cold while in summer let off the sheets or sprinkle to keep the produce moist preventing from dehydration.

Tips for Cabbage growing

  1. Soak the seeds in warm water for about 30 mins before sowing.
  2. Sow the cabbage seeds indoors or in nursery.
  3. After 2 to 3 weeks, seedlings must be transplanted.
  4. Keep the soil consistently moist but not over watering.
  5. Avoid planting next to broccoli or cauliflower and other close relatives.

Bottom Line of  Cabbage Growing

It’s wonderful vegetable to grow and can easily earn decent profits under ideal horticulture conditions.

For Growing Aloe Vera: Read here.

For  Goat Farming: Read here.

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