Cultivation of red cabbage and cabbage

Both Red cabbage or red  as the Repollo belong to the family of cruciferous.   The red cabbage is an annual plant with a consistent but woody erect stem, with intense purplish-red leaves and a hard and compact bud. On the other hand, green cabbage has dark green outer leaves and the inner ones range from pale green to light green.

When sowing, we will leave a distance between plants of 40 cm., And distance between lines or furrows of about 70 cm. We can also grow it in a pot that is at least 20 cm wide, 20 cm long and another 20 cm. High.

We can sow them both in the soil directly and in the seedbed, burying the  seeds at a depth of 0.5 to 1cm and then covering them with a thin layer of soil and compost.

40 or 50 days after sowing we will do the final transplant , paying attention to cover the plant to the base of the leaves without covering the central shoot, as it is very fragile.

 Moist, well-drained and porous calcareous soils are suitable . Sometimes it is not necessary to fertilize at the beginning, especially if the previous crop was legumes. It grows well in soils with a pH between 5.5 and 6.8 (Preferably between 6.2 and 6.5). It tolerates acidity very well, but at more than 7 it has problems assimilating water and nutrients. When planning crop rotation, do not sow after crops from the same family.

Regarding the irrigation requirements , they  are very sensitive to drought, so it must be watered frequently, it needs humidity, since, due to its wide leaves, more water evaporates. It should have good drainage so that root rot does not occur.

Both red cabbage and cabbage can be grown in almost all climates, but they do need a lot of light.

The nutrient needs are high, being very demanding plants, which is why a good fertilizer is required. The compost must be rich in nitrogen from the beginning to the formation of the heads, especially when the leaves grow faster.

When associating red cabbage and cabbage with other plants, we will consider associating them with beets, beans, lettuce, peas, potatoes, cucumbers or tomatoes. And with aromatics, such as mint, lemon balm, rosemary or thyme that will repel parasites from cabbages. We will avoid associating them with strawberries and beans.

We must be careful with certain pests and diseases :

    • Cabbage hernia: it is a disease that causes knots in the roots and the stem, causing the leaves to wither and the plants often end up dying. To prevent, we will carry out well-spaced rotations and avoid the use of fresh manures.
    • Cabbage butterfly : it is a white butterfly with black dots that lays yellow eggs under the leaves of cabbages; the larvae, which are greenish in color and somewhat hairy, gnaw the leaves until they only leave their central nerves. We can prevent it by looking for the eggs on the underside of the leaves and destroying them with our fingers or by manually picking up the caterpillars. See other ecological remedies.
    • Aphids: they suck the sap from the leaves, giving rise to yellowish spots that end up deforming them. The plant withers and loses a lot of quality. Here are 10 ecological remedies to avoid and combat aphids .
    • Slugs and snails: although they do not pose a serious problem, the cabbage leaves can be eaten, accessing the outer and hardest leaves that we do not normally consume. To avoid them, we will take advantage of the rainy days to collect them and we will place tiles around the crop so that they take refuge there and then their collection is easier, but you also have 10 other ecological ways to avoid and combat slug and snail pests.

Once you harvest, you can make sauerkraut or fermented cabbage , which has probiotic very beneficial to our health. Read more here


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