Cultivation of Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)
Brassica oleracea Var. Capitata f. alba.
The peculiar flavor in the head is due to the glucocide Sinigrin, which carries sulphur also. The open green leaves are more nutritious than cabbage head.
The word cabbage is derived from the French word ‘coboche’, meaning head. A cabbage head is made up of numerous thick, overlapping smooth leaves which cover smooth terminal bud. Sometimes small heads of 5 or 7.5 cm. In diameter are formed, which are known as ‘cabbage sprouts’ having no commercial importance. Normally it is biennial but it is grown in India as annual crop.
Season and Climate:
It grows best in cool moist climate and is very hardy to frost. In areas with comparatively dry atmospheres, its 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 about 55 °F to 60 °F. Temperatures below this and above this are not suited for it. Well hardened seedlings can tolerate temperature of2Q °F to 25 "F. It is grown mainly as rabi crop during winter. But in and around Nasik (Maharashtra), Ootacamond (Madras), and in semi parts of Kerala, it is grown as kharif crop also.
Soil and its Preparation:
It can be grown almost in all types of soil ranging from sand to heavy soils. But small quick growing cabbage varieties do well in sandy soils, while targe and late maturing varieties in heavy soils. While large and late maturing varieties in heavy soils. Soils intended for cabbage growing, should have good drainage. Acid soils are not good for cabbage. The best PH range for cabbage is between pH 5.5 to 6.5. Lime may be added in acid soil to make it neutral or alkaline for growing good crop of cabbage. 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:
Cabbage is grown mainly as Rabi crop during winter (Sept.-Oct.), But around Nasik (Maharashtra) it is grown as kharif crop also. In cabbage for early crop (September) 500 gm & for late crop 373 gm. seed is required.
Layout & Spacing:
Ridges & furrow type of layout is used for crop. Before that seedlings are prepared in nursery bed (Raised bed) & transplanted in main field after 3-4 weeks. Spacing for early crop is 45×45 cm and late crop it is 60×60 cm.
Manures & Fertilizers:
150 kg N, 50 kg P2O5 should be applied per hectare.
Irrigation at the time of transplanting is essential. Steady supply of moisture is necessary for god growth and development. Interval between two irrigations depends upon climate, soil and plant growth. In winter season irrigation at an interval of 8-10"days is sufficient.
Harvesting and Yield:
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 ax 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 the yield of cabbage variety from 15 to 25 tons per hectare. The yield of cabbage depends upon the variety, growing season and management practices, Hybrid cabbage yields upto 50 tonner per hectare The yield of early varieties ranges between 12to 15 tones/ha. The yield of late season varieties is about 20 to 25 tones /ha.