Selecting Cabbage seed and seedlings

Selecting the best variety of seed – many beginner cabbage farmers fail at this stage. The seedling process is the most important part of cabbage growing. If starting with seeds start 7 weeks or so before the last expected frost. Transplant the seedlings when they are 4 to 6 weeks old.

During transplantation of cabbage seedlings ensure that all cabbage plants get started in the same fashion for proper growth of plants. Transplantation is recommended when seedlings are 3 inches tall. Plants should be planted deep in holes fed with lose soil.

The plants should be well spaced as they can grow quite large. A cabbage head can weight as much as 6 kilograms. Spacing of 18 inches between holes and 2 feet between rows is just about ideal. Soil around the plant should be tamped and about half the seedling left visible above ground level.

The plants must be protected from insects by timely spraying of pesticides. Regular watering is highly recommended as the crop should never be stressed.

When the plants are about 6 inches tall, a layer of mulch or grass clippings, straw and chopped up leaves should be applied around plants to keep the soil cool and moist. This would also discourage weeds from growing around the cabbages.

After harvesting the applied organic materials can be tilled into the soil and add nutrients to the garden.

Cabbage farming demands regular weeding as soon as the undesirable weeds are visible.

Cabbage plants need 6-8 hours sunlight per day. Most varieties take some 45-100 days to harvest after planting. Larger cabbage head varieties take longer to mature. Temperatures averaging between 60-70 degrees celsius are ideal for the crop, though an established crop can endure temperatures dipping into freezing levels at night.

Prolonged daily temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius may cause the crop to stop growing.

At the early stages if there are frost warnings at night farmers would be advised to cover plants with a plastic sheet over night and expose them to sun the following day.

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