Cabbage & its importance: – The cabbage is a popular cultivar of the species basically family is used as a leafy green vegetable. The only part of the plant that is normally eaten is the leafy head; more precisely, the spherical cluster of immature leaves, excluding the partially unfolded outer leaves. Cabbage is used in a variety of dishes for its naturally spicy flavor. The so-called “Cabbage head” is widely consumed raw, cooked, or preserved in a great variety of dishes. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C. It also contains significant amounts of glutamine, and amino acid that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Climatic Conditions for Cabbage farming: – Cabbage grows best in cool moist climate and is very hardy to frost. In areas with comparatively dry atmospheres, it is leaves tend to be more distinctly petiole than in the more humid areas. In hot dry atmosphere, its quality becomes poor and much of its delicate flavor is lost. Its germination is best at a soil temperature of 20ᵒ F to 25ᵒ F. It is grown mainly as Rabi crop during winter. But in and around Nasik (Maharashtra), Otacamond (Madras), and in semi parts of Kerala, it is grown as khrif crop also.
Best soil for Cabbage farming: – Cabbage is grown in varied types of soils ranging from sandy loam to clay. It requires a ph ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 for higher production. It also thrives best when the soil is rich in organic matter and good drainage.
Land/Field preparation in Cabbage farming: – Land is prepared by ploughing it 3 to 4 times. The first ploughing should be done by soil turning plough, and the bulky organic manures should be spread in the field. Then the land should be ploughing and leveling the land, beds of suitable size and irrigation channels are made.
Seed rate & Time of sowing in Cabbage farming: – Normally 120 grams of seeds are required for one acre. Apply 480kgs of dry manure in to a seedling bed of 160 m2, and then sow the seed on the seedbed. This should produce sufficient seedlings for one acre of field. Cabbage is grown mainly as Rabi crop during winter (Sep-Oct), but around Nasik (Maharashtra) it is grown as kharif crop also.
Transplanting and spacing in Cabbage farming: – Transplant the seedlings at 4-5 true leaves stage, about 25 days after sowing. Usually space them 45 cm apart in double rows of 45-60 cm apart on each be of 90-100 cm wide.
Cabbage plant spacing: –
• Early maturity – Row to row : 45cm, plant to plant : 30cm
• Late Maturity – Row to row : 60cm, plant to plant : 45cm
Irrigation/Water supply in Cabbage farming: – Provide continuous supply of moisture, Install drip with main and sub main and place the inline laterals at the interval of 1.5. Place the drippers at the interval of 60cm for 4 LPH or 50cm for 3.5 LPH in the lateral system. Form the raised beds at 120cm width at an interval of 30cm and place the laterals at the centre of each bed. Interval between two irrigations depends upon climate, soil and plant growth. In winter season irrigation at an interval of 8-10” days is sufficient. Cabbage cannot tolerant drought. Therefore irrigation should be applied frequently and evenly, especially in the head developing period. Irrigation should be applied following the first and the second side dressing. It is better to keep a little water in the furrow in the hot season. But drainage must be carried out in the rainy days.
Pruning and weed control in Cabbage farming: – It is necessary to remove the side shoots as soon possible. Weeds must be removed as early as possible by hoeing but not too deep to damage the roots. Hoeing should not be done during the latter part of the growing season. Herbicide can be used for weed control in the cabbage field.
Fertilizers in Cabbage farming: – It is better to use urea instead of Ammonium Sulphate where the soil is relatively acidic. If the soil is boron deficient, 5-10 kg/ha borax should be applied before land preparation. For basal fertilizer, manure should be applied into the rows before chemical fertilizer Chemical Fertilizers: Fertilizer application varies with soil fertility. Basal application before transplanting: 25:50:60 NPK kg/ acre. First top dressing 10-15 days after transplanting: 25:50:60 NPK kg/ acre. Second application 20-25 days after first top dressing: 25:00:00 NPK kg/ acre. Third application 10-15 days after second application: 25:00:00 NPK kg/ acre. Boron & Molybdenum should be sprayed at button stage.
Harvesting in Cabbage farming: – Cabbage is normally harvested when the heads reach full size and are firm, In cabbage harvesting is done depending on the maturity of the head and demand in market. Normally harvesting is done when heads are firm. If prices are high in the market harvesting is done earlier when heads are small and loose. Heads are cut with a knife with little stalk arid some leaves. Proper grading is followed before heads are sent to market.
Yield of Cabbage: – Usually Hills: 70-80 t/ha in 150 days. Plains: 25-35 t/ha in 120 days. The yield of cabbage depends upon the variety, growing season and management practices.