Cabbage is a hardy vegetable that grows well in fertile soil. There are several types of cabbage: pointed, flat, red or green and savoy. It is easy to grow if suitable varieties are selected and proper culture and insect management practices are followed. It is also a good source of vitamins A and C and calcium. Cabbage thrives in both the spring and fall. It tolerates frost to 24 degrees F but not heat. It is used in slaw, salads, sauerkraut and cooked dishes.
Scientific name: Brassica oleracea var. capitata
Common name: Cabbage
How to grow and maintain cabbage:
Soils: For optimal growth, It require well drained soils with a pH of 5.6 to 6.4. Loamy, black cotton and alluvial soils are best suited for this crop.
Climate: The crop does well in cooler climates with adequate and well distributed rains. It can also flourish under irrigation in the lower altitudes.
Weeding: The crop should be kept free of weeds especially in its younger stages to avoid losses due competition from weeds; which can also be a source of pests and should be controlled at all times.
Ample soil moisture is necessary throughout the growing season to produce good cabbage. Irrigation is especially important when planting during the dry spell; this helps the young plants withstand the intense sunlight and heat and supplies the developing heads with sufficient water to develop quickly.
Cabbage can be harvested anytime after the heads form. For highest yield, cut the cabbage heads when they are solid (firm to hand pressure) but before they crack or split. When heads are mature, a sudden heavy rain may cause them to crack or split wide open. The exposed internal tissue soon becomes unusable. Harvest and salvage split heads as soon as possible.
Pests and diseases:
Proper identification of pests and diseases is an important step in controlling them. Wrong diagnosis will lead to wrong interventions resulting in increased losses and costs. If in doubt, check with a qualified crop protection specialist. Common cabbage pests include Diamond Back Moth (DBM), aphids, while common diseases include Black Rot, Fusarium Ringspot