Cabbage is a leafy vegetable used as a natural spice all over the world, it’s either eaten raw or cooked and it is a good source of glutamine ,Vitamin C, rich in fibre and has other health benfits.
Cabbage is grows well in a cool weather crop and germinate best when soil temperature is 50 – 60°F. It performs poorly at high temperatures. Good quality cabbage seeds should be planted in the nursery for 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting to the field.
It has various improved varieties, few out of the varities and maturity periods are:
-Green cabbage matures within 60 days
-Jersey Wakefield matures in 63 days
-Golden Acre matures in 65 days
-Green Boy matures in 75 days
-Round Up matures in 76 days
-Blue Ribbon matures in 76 days
-Blue Boy matures in 78 days
-Bruswick matures within 100 days
-Danish Ballhead matures in 100-105 days
Cabbage should grown in a soil rich in organic matter with a pH of 6.5 -7.5 and a well-drained soil. Organic or poultry manure can be incorporated into the soil to improve yield.
Planting and Spacing
Cabbage performs well in areas where there is consistently low temperatures between 45°- 75°F and it can tolerate low temperatures. Seeds should be sown in the nursery for 4-6 weeks and transplanted into the field.
Cabbage comes to harvest in 80-180 days from seed and in 60 -105 days from transplants.
Cabbage seeds ½ inch deep, spaced 1 inch apart; thin plants to 18 to 24 inches apart.
Space seedlings 18-20 inches apart in rows 24-32 inches apart.
Consistent and even watering leads to high yield and if they’re starved of water it will result in stunted growth and cracked heads.
Cabbage can be inter-cropped with onions,potatoes,strawberries and tomatoes.
Farmers can apply Nitrogen fertilizer to prevent split heads and twist heads.
The following pests can affect cabbage yield greatly:
– White moths
– Cabbage worms or cutworms
– Cabbage loopers.
- Biological Control- biological pesticides control cabbage worms excellently, Bacillus thuringiensis kursta (Btk) and sinosad are very effective;
- Pests can be hand picked and killed;
The following diseases can affect cabbage yield:
– Black rot
– Clubroot fungus
– Yellow virus.
Prevention and Control
-Purchase hot water treated seeds only.
-Remove and burn diseased plants immediately to prevent diseases transmission to unaffected plants.
Harvest. Cabbage will be ready for harvest in 80 to 180 days from seed depending on the variety or in 60 to 105 days from transplants. Cut cabbage when heads are firm and the base of the head is 4 to 10 inches across. Harvest before the weather becomes too warm. Cut heads leaving out leaves behind attached to the stem. Small heads will grow from the stalks for later harvest.
Cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or longer and can be frozen.