A super salad vegetable, the cabbage is an easy crop to grow. Cabbages are rich in fiber and very low in fat making them an ideal diet for weight loss. Growing cabbage from seeds at home is easy as long as you provide fertile soil, regular watering and fertilization.
Season: Cabbage is a cool weather crop. Summer heat can kill the seedlings not allowing the plants to come up. But also remember that too much cold also can be a spoil sport damaging your cabbage crop. Months after June till January are the best seasons for growing cabbage.
Location Constraints: Though cabbages thrive in cool temperatures they would still require their regular dose of sunlight every day. Plant the seeds in a sunny spot where they receive good sunlight.
Sunlight: A minimum of six hours of bright sunlight is mandatory for cabbage seeds. Once the leaves come up, use a shade to lighten the brightness because harsh sunlight withers away the young cabbage leaves.
Spacing: Cabbages grow vigorously once their root systems are established occupying a lot of space underground. Space the seeds atleast 15inches apart so that they get enough room to spread. Space crunch will result in tiny and distorted cabbages. Regular weeding is necessary for the plant to receive sunlight, water and air. Ensure your garden is weed free.
Growth: Though cabbages take almost 6months to grow fully, their first true leaves come up when they are six weeks old. This is a clear indication of how good your crop is growing. If the leaves appear weak, use a nitrogen based organic fertilizer to boost their growth.
Height and Spreading: Cabbages occupy a lot of space while growing and will require plenty of room. Always use huge containers to grow cabbages because lack of space can result in tiny and split cabbage heads.
Temperature: Since cabbages thrive in cool temperatures, it is best to sow the seeds during winter. If the daytime temperature goes beyond 30degrees Celsius, use a shade to cover the seedlings. Always keep the soil damp on sunny days. Dry soil can ruin th stage, just soil or manure will not be of much help to the crop. Stop fertilization once cabbages mature.
Pest Management: Cabbages are prone to a lot of pest infestation once their heads start growing. Black rot, cutworms and cabbage loopers are commonly seen in the crop. Handpick the pests if they are spotted here and there. Consider using an organic pesticide if they spread all over. Hygiene of the soil is very important for a cabbage crop.
Harvesting of cabbage: After almost 180days, the cabbage heads are ready to be harvested. When the heads feel firm and not loose or soft, you can slowly chop the cabbage off without damaging the stems. Loosening the soil before harvest yields better results.
Uses and health benefits– Cabbage is a favorite salad vegetable that is low in fat and rich in fiber. People with digestive problems should make cabbage a part of their meal every day. The fiber content cleans out the digestive tract and prevents constipation. Cabbage is also known to be a brain food. Vitamin K that corrects memory loss and improves concentration is found abundantly in cabbage.
Additional Information – Along with cabbage if you wish to grow an intercrop, always prefer potato, onions, spinach and other leafy vegetables that grow in a short span of time.