Introduction to Growing Chinese Cabbage:
The following information is about Growing Chinese Cabbage.
The Chinese Cabbage is a hardy biennial and also perennial crop. The leaves are tender with heavy midribs. The scientific name of the Chinese Cabbage is Brassica Rapa or Pekinesis group. The Chinese Cabbage belongs to Brassica family. It is one of the varieties in the cabbage family. The Chinese Cabbage is also known as Chinese leaves or celery cabbage. It is grown near the Yangtze River area, which is native to China. In the cultivation the natural crossing is evolved with Pak choi. This is being cultivated in southern part of china for more than 1600 years. It was first introduced by the Korean countries in the late 13th century, but it was cultivated in Southeast Asia during the 15th century and in Japan it was first cultivated in the 19th century.
The Chinese Cabbage is a cultivar and subspecies of the turnip and it also belongs to the same genus. The same genus is present in Western staples like Cabbage, Cauliflower and Broccoli. The Chinese Cabbage cultivar is again grouped into two different groups like the Pekinesis group and the Chinensis group. This is used in salads, soups and stir fries, etc. The commercial market for the Chinese Cabbage is very profitable.
Characteristics of Growing Chinese Cabbage:
- The tight head of the cabbage is covered with light green crinkled leaves.
- The heads are slender and cylindrical, about 12 inches high.
- The Michihli reaches up to 18 inches when it is completely formed.
- The growth is good in the United States.
- It is a common ingredient in Korean cuisines.
- The average weight of cabbage is 1-3 kg.
- The shape of the cabbage is Oval.
- The Chinese Cabbage has a very good aromatic flavour.
- The leaves which are produced by the plant are big and contain higher biomass under warm climatic conditions.
Properties of Growing Chinese Cabbage:
- The properties are taken as per 100 grams content of Chinese Cabbage.
- The energy in Chinese Cabbage is 16 kcal.
- Chinese Cabbage has carbohydrates of 3.2 g.
- Fats contained in Chinese Cabbage are 0.2 g.
- Vitamin C is 2.7 g.
- The minerals present in Chinese Cabbage are Sodium, Magnesium, Iron and Calcium.
Cultivars/Varieties in Growing Chinese Cabbage:
- This variety Chinese Cabbage is small with loose – leaf.
- In this variety there are 9 sub-varieties like Round leaf, Tokyo Bekana, Hybrid Bekamaru, Fong San, Filled Leaf TW, Green Seoul, Hybrid Chin-sun cabbage, Hybrid Taiwan, and Hybrid Best express.
- It is one of the fast growing vegetable among all other varieties.
- The flowering stages start 30 days after sowing. They start flowering even when they have not reached the full size.
- In early stage itself the crop should be kept in good growing condition.
- The plant should be provided with good soil, seedlings should be thinned and plant spacing should be good.
Green Baby Pak Choy:
- In this variety there are 7 other different kinds of varieties. They are Long green petiole, short green petiole, HK baby, Hybrid summer boy, Hybrid all summer, Hybrid summer flavour and Hybrid green king.
- This variety is also known as Ching-Ching cabbage or Shanghai Bok Choy in Asia.
- It is the one of the commercial crop varieties.
- It is one of the fast-growing vegetable. The leaves are crispy and green.
- These can be used in oriental dishes as it has excellent flavour, size and texture.
Semi-Heading Chinese Cabbage:
- The leaves of this variety are long, they are tender, can be used for stir fry or for pickling.
- These cabbages are long and cylindrical.
- They are 4 sub-varieties in this and they are Kogane, Hybrid Orient Legend, Hybrid Taiwan express and Hybrid monument.
- These can be harvested in 70 days after sowing.
- They grow best in mild and slightly cool climates.
Flower Chinese Green:
- It is one of the flowering varieties of Chinese Cabbage with savoy leaves.
- For the stir fry young stalks with flower buds are used.
- In mild climates they grow very well.
- These can be harvested in 40 days after sowing.
- The young plants are very popular.
White Choy Sum:
- It is the most popular vegetable in Southern China and Hong Kong.
- It has 3 sub varieties and they are Dwarf Choy Sum, Extra Dwarf Choy sum and Choy Sum.
- It is mostly used in stir-fry dishes and soups.
- The Choy sum is also similar to white petiole large park Choy.
- The cabbage when tendered tastes delicious. Even the flowers, buds and tips can also be used as a vegetable.
Soil and Climate requirements for Growing Chinese Cabbage:
The soil, which is suitable for growing the Chinese Cabbage is Sandy loam or clay soil. The soil should have good drainage property and should have good organic matter in it. The pH value for Growing Chinese Cabbage is 5.5 – 6.5. Good pH value can be maintained when the soil has good drainage. The soils which are too sandy should be avoided, as those soils can’t maintain moisture, which is much recommended for growing the Chinese Cabbage.
The most preferred climates for growing the Chinese Cabbage is cold climate and the temperature suitable for it is 16˚C-23˚C. Premature bolting can occur at relatively low temperatures. The Chinese Cabbage crop needs more water.
Land preparation and planting for Growing Chinese Cabbage:
The land should be prepared very well for the plantation by ploughing it. In the process of Growing Chinese Cabbage the land should be prepared thoroughly in 2-3 months of time. In the preparation of land the disc plow can be used and the lands should be tilled using the hoe or fork. To make a good seed bed the rotary hoed cultivation is the best process for the sandy loamy soil. During land preparation, if there are any weeds on the land they should be removed.
The seeds should be sown ½ inch deep inside the soil. Each seed should be 4 inches apart from each other. The spacing for general is 18 – 30 inches, but the spacing is also dependent on the variety of the crop as some cabbages are big in size and need more space, but some are smaller in size. The cabbage can be transplanted. For the transplantation the cabbage should be 500-600 gm. The plantation of the seeds should be done in seed beds or the seeds should be sprinkled into the furrow.
Propagation method for Growing Chinese Cabbage:
The propagation of Chinese Cabbage is done by seeds, the main field with plants and seeds can be raised in a greenhouse, but the greenhouse should be created after the transplantation. As a good cultivation practice, the soil testing, land analyzing should be done earlier. The seeds will be sown in the garden directly and the transplantation of seedlings should also be done in the main field. This transplantation will be done in late summer or autumn season. The density of planting and spacing should be maintained. Now-a day’s many artificial ways are followed in growing of Chinese Cabbage, but for good yield natural ways should be chosen always.
Manure and fertilization methods in Growing Chinese Cabbage:
For each and every crop good fertilizer and good manure are supplied. The Farmyard Manure (FMY) @ 15-20 tonnes per hectare is needed. The other fertilizers which are used in fertilization are potash @ 170-245 kg, Calcium @ 100-140 kg, Phosphorous @ 90-130 kg, magnesium @ 25-50 kg, and Nitrogen @ 150-200 kg per hectare. For getting good yield, nitrogen should be applied at the time of planting and after 10 – 12 days the 2nd fertilization should be done.
Irrigation methods in Growing Chinese Cabbage:
Irrigation is the most important part of Growing Chinese Cabbage. The soil, climate, crop age all depends on the frequency of irrigation. For good growth more moisture is required. Water stress should be avoided in the early stages of farming. If there is water stress, it would be more critical and hectic for the plants. Micro-jet sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation, flood irrigation are some ways to provide good irrigation to the crops. If we are using sandy loamy soil, irrigation is done 2 times in a week.
Intercultural methods in Growing Chinese Cabbage:
Mulching: Spreading dry leaves or paddy husk around the plants helps in retaining soil moisture and helps control the weeds.
Earthing up should be done after 2 months of planting so as to provide support to the plants.
Herbicides can be used to control excess weeds on the farm.
Pest and Diseases control measures in Growing Chinese Cabbage:
The pests that infest the Chinese Cabbage are Aphids, Spider mites and Bagrada bugs.
Control of the pests:
- The intensity of aphids can be controlled by spraying neem oil, essential oil and insecticidal Soap.
- The spider mites can be controlled by spraying a mixture of pure neem oil with coco-wet; it should be applied after every 3-5 days interval.
- The Bagrada bug can be controlled by spraying pesticides.
The serious diseases infecting the Chinese Cabbage crop are Downy mildew, Black rot, Powdery mildews and Clubroot.
Control of the diseases:
- Downy mildew can be controlled by spraying 0.2% of Maneb, for 2-3 times. They should be sprayed in 10-12 days interval.
- The pH value of soil should be adjusted up to 7 so that the Clubroot can be controlled. It should be adjusted during planting the crops.
- The Dinocap 1 g per one litre should be sprayed on the crop to control the powdery mildew.
Harvesting techniques in Growing Chinese Cabbage:
Harvesting is a highly important part in the Chinese Cabbage farming methods. Before the freezing season starts, the harvesting process should be completed or else it would be hard for cutting the crop and it would be difficult handling the crop. The harvesting can be done in autumn season. The harvesting should be done when the leaves are completely opened and when they are developed well. In the process of harvesting, there are 8 different processes which should be implemented. All these processes are implemented after 70-100 days after planting.
Post harvesting techniques in Growing Chinese Cabbage:
In the post harvesting there are mainly 4 techniques which are implemented they are:
Cleaning: In this process, the cabbages should be cleaned of all the dirt which is attached to it so as to avoid contamination.
Storage: The Chinese Cabbage can also be stored in refrigerator for 4 weeks. In a large cold storage the Chinese Cabbage can be stored for 3-4 months. The temperature, which is maintained in cold storage is 0˚C-1˚C and the humidity percentage which is maintained is 85-90%.
Transportation: The Chinese Cabbages should be transported in cold containers by packing them in ventilating boxes with good air flow so that the leaves remain turgid.
Marketing: These can be marketed in local markets as well as in international markets by exporting them to other countries. In the local areas where the demand is more they would be good revenue and profits for the farm.
Yield in Growing Chinese Cabbage:
The average yield of obtained in a year for the Chinese Cabbage crop is 4-5 kg per sq m. The crop yield depends on many factors such as soil type, variety, climae, planting method and climate.
Read: RADISH CULTIVATION.