I have a question for you ” have you ever taught of growing or farming cabbage at home but does not have the slightest idea on how to go about it?, or you taught it will be challenging to grow cabbage at home? “. Relax, you have found the right content that will direct you step by step on how to grow it at home, both on the garden and in the house.
Cabbage is one of the most popular and most eaten vegetables, due to the fact that it contains many vitamins and minerals and also it is used to prepare different kinds of delicious foods.
Cabbage is an oval and round shaped vegetable that is white or green or milk in color which is grown as a vegetable.
It is a cold weather plant and thus a frost tolerant and it abhors hot temperature and dry land.
It is very popular because it is grown all over the world, especially where there is a suitable weather condition for it. Countries that produce it on larger quantity are: China, India, USA, Indonesia, Nigeria, UK etc.
Growing cabbage at home can be challenging, but unlike how so many people perceive it.
In this article, i will cover everything about growing cabbage at home.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Varieties of cabbage for home growing
Preparation for cabbage growing at home
How to grow cabbage in the home garden
How to grow cabbage in the house with containers
Care of cabbage plants at home
Harvest of home grown cabbage plants
Storage of cabbage at home
Uses/Importance of growing cabbage at home
VARIETIES OF CABBAGE FOR HOME GROWING
There are different varieties of cabbage, and each of them is unique in it’s own and has their own unique features. The purpose of stating the varieties is for the farmer to pick the most appropriate variety that match your home climate condition based on their characteristics.
Some of them are:
Choy sum, January king, Huron,Napa, Pacifica, SuperCross, Santa, Oxylus, Red Delight, Red Acre, Murdoch, Drum Head,Lennox, Savoy ace, Portugal, Earl Jersey Wakefield, Tropica Cross
If the aim of your planting is to harvest at fall, you will need the red or Chinese cabbage variety. They are as follows – ‘Integro’ and ‘Ruby Perfection’ (reds) and ‘Li Ren Choy’ (baby bok choy).
Blue Vintage & Cheer: are very very resistance and effective against any disease or diseases. The disease resistant varieties which are, Blue Vantage and Cheers, varieties are great for protecting themselves against disease attack.
Murdoc: Has a delicate syrupy leaves.
Red Delight and Acre: Are early and easy to grow purple Varieties.
Primo and Stonehead: These are the two varieties that are quick to reach maturity and harvest. So for an early harvest, try ‘Primo’ or ‘Stonehead.
Early Jersey Wakefield: This Variety is an heirloom, and slightly pointed, it produces 2 to 3 pound heads.
Although there are many more varieties of cabbage out there, but these few are some of the ones which are or might be great and good to be grown at home.
PREPARATION FOR CABBAGE GROWING ( FARMING) AT HOME
Just like when planning to cultivate cabbage in the farm or for commercial purpose, or when cultivating any other plant, there must be preparations to make, so before growing cabbage in the home, preparations must take place.
The preparations to make are:
Siting a good garden for growing cabbage
Cabbage is one of those plants that does not grow well in any type of location or soil, so before ever siting or selecting the garden to grow cabbage, look out for these,:
The garden must poses sandy loam or good clay soil with a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5. This should neither be higher not lesser as anything else apart from the above stated soil pH will damage the cabbage plants.
There should be a good amount of sunshine that penetrates the garden, but although it should not be much as it could dehydrate the plants and the soil.
The garden must be exposed to cold (frost). This is due to the undeniable fact that cabbage does well in a cold environment, although, just like other agricultural plants, it needs a small amount of sunlight to survive and provide good yields.
The garden must be exposed to good amount of rainfall, but it must have a good drainage system as this plant does not dwell much on a waterlogged land.
Preparation of the garden for growing cabbage
With the above land requirements for a good garden for farming or growing cabbage, select the home garden that qualifies for them all!.
After you might have selected the qualified garden for this, the next step is to prepare it for cabbage farming.
First of all, clear the garden off bush or grass, rake the soil very well and remove any type of harmful material like nylon, waterproof, rubber, containers etc from the soil.
Now plough the land and make farm beds. The farm beds should be about a half a foot or a foot tall ( height ) and a foot or 2 feet in width.
After clearing the garden or after making the farm beds, herbicide could be applied on the empty land or at the bottom of the beds in order to control the weeds that might tend to grow in the future and disturb the plants.
Then make holes on top of the farm beds where the cabbage seeds will be sown.
The holes should be 2 inches deep and 12 to 15 inches apart, this is done in order to enhance the growth and yields of the cabbage plants. It is a fact that cabbage does not do well when they are not separate enough from one another because they are heavy feeder and so do not tolerate any atom of competition.
Preparation for growing cabbage on a container at home
Growing cabbage in a home garden is not the only way to grow it at home, it is also grown in a container or containers, although this method of growing cabbage on containers at home limits the number of cabbages that could be produced.
In preparation for growing cabbage at home with containers or a container, the first thing to do is to get big containers, flower pots or even big boxes, fill them up with good sandy loam or clay soil with a soil ph of 5.5 to 6.5.
Make some holes in the soil. The holes should be from 1 to 2 inches deep and at least 6 inches apart, depending on the size of the box or pot you are using.
HOW TO GROW CABBAGE IN THE GARDEN
After preparing the garden, the next step is to plant the cabbage seeds or to transplant already germinated cabbage plants to the garden.
Both of the Methods are good, wether to plant by seeds or by transplant.
To plant by the seeds, just get them from seed store. ( Link to recommended seed store below).
Take them to the garden and plant them in the holes you made on the farm beds.
NOTE – cabbage seed will need a temperature of about 15 to 21°C to germinate. So make sure the garden meets up with it.
To transplant, after getting the seeds, get containers, get Sandy loam that is rich in soil nutrients.
Fill the containers with the sand, and plant the seeds in them on an average of an inch deep in the sand.
Take the containers and place them where the sun will shine on them for at least 6 hours a day, water them frequently, and they will sprout in about 10 to 20 days. The seeds need about 15 to 21°c to germinate.
Allow them to grow up a little bit ( 2 weeks is good) before you can think of transplanting them to the farm.
To transplant, pull them out from the containers gently with small farm spade or with hands and avoid damaging the roots or stem.
After pulling them out from their containers, put them on the holes in the farm bed you made, then cover with sand.
HOW TO GROW CABBAGE IN THE HOUSE WITH CONTAINERS
Like I have mentioned earlier on this topic, the home Garden is not the only place where cabbage could be grown!. Although so many people are ignorant of this fact, but here in this article, I will teach exactly how to go about it.
Just like Flowers, cabbage could be grown on a windowsill, at the passage, and even inside the room or shade etc.
To do this, get containers like flower pot, large box etc. This depend on the number of cabbages you want to grow.
Fill the boxes with Sandy loam soil that is rich in organic matters.
take the box to a place where there is at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. ( windowsill is good for this).
Then make small holes in the sand on the containers, and plant the seeds, give a planting space of up to 6 to 8 inches, depending on the size of the container/box.
CARE OF CABBAGE PLANTS AT HOME
When you have succeeded in planting cabbage in your home, wether in the container or in the garden, you might think, the work is done. No!, you still need to take care of them by grooming them to grow and yield awesomely.
Here are the few ways to take care of this plant when grown at home:
Watering: Like I have explained in this article above, this plant is a heavy drinker. This means that it needs alot of water to be able to do well, unless it becomes dehydrated and start dying.
When grown in the dry season or a place where the amount of rainfall is very limited, it is very advisable to water them heavily, at least once a day, and the measurement should be about 2 litters of water per plant.
In a rainy environment, watering frequently is not completely needed, as the rainfall will have to take care of that for you.
On an average, the cabbage plant needs about 400mm to 500mm of rainfall through out it’s life span.
For the ones grown in the house with a container, it also need Watering.
The same amount of water applied in the garden should be also applied on them too, but the bottom of the box or containers used should have openings so that it will keep the sand drained and at the same time, keep the plant and sand cool.
In the garden, apart from waiting for rainfall and watering with watering can or bucket, a pipe or hose could be channelled in the garden and be used to spray water on the plants everyday, easily. ( NOTE – water them carefully to avoid over Watering and waterlogging the land).
When the seeds are sown, it should be watered immediately and frequently, which will help them to germinate.
In my case, I use a spoonful of water to apply per seed when they are sown, and it does well for me. And once they sprout,I increase the amount of water a bit and does so till they are matured enough to be given good amount of water.
Weeding: Weed is one of the most disturbing factors in cabbage farming and so need to be taken care of always.
Weed can be very dangerous to the cabbage plants when neglected., They will grow out from the ground after planting, especially when the land is fertilized and irrigated to compete with the plants by sucking off both the water and the nutrients in the soul, and even overshadowing the plants from the sun and even breeding all manner of pests and diseases which will attack the plants.
Thereby making the plants to undergrow, making them to give small or no yield and even Killing them.
If you are paying attention, I mentioned about applying herbicide earlier when preparing the garden land for farming. This is to prevent or suppress the weed from growing earlier when the plants are still tender, thus giving them chance to grow, before they could state coming out of the ground to compete with the plants.
There are many herbicides in the stores, which you can select any, but if you are not totally comfortable with herbicides, you can always remove the weed manually.
To do it manually, you need instruments like the weeding hoe and shovel, rake and wheelbarrow.
Use the weeding hoe and shovel to uproot the weed from the soul, rake them and use wheelbarrow to dispose them off!. ( NOTE – keeping the uprooted weed in the garden or around is not good as they will still germinate, the best method is to dispose them off!, that’s why you need a wheelbarrow).
It is important to note that, the cabbage grown in a container inside the house does not need weeding, as the chance of weed growing in them is very slim.
Fertilizing: Just like the way they drink water, also cabbage plants are heavy feeders, they require a good amount of soil nutrients in order to grow healthy and yield good quality cabbages.
Cabbage plant needs potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, composts, urea instead of ammonium sulfate for acidic soils in order to produce good amount of yield.
For the organic farmers, the plants should be applied with manure such as animal dungs, kitchen wastes in about 21 days to 30 days of sprouting or transplanting.
a cup full of organic manure could be applied per plant.
Fertilizers like 10 10 10 or 12 12 12 are very good for cabbage plant.
To apply Fertilizer, make small holes with your finger around plants, and spray the Fertilizer in them and cover slightly.
One spoonful of fertilizer is good per plant.
Draining: One important way to take care of cabbage garden is to construct a good drainage system for the plants in the home Garden.
We all know that cabbage plant although requires a cool environment, but it does not tolerate a waterlogged land.
So there should be a very good drainage system for the home garden when growing cabbage, in order to limit the amount of water being stored in the soil.
Although sometimes, the soul might act as a good drainage agent, but in such places where there is too much of rainfall, or when the irrigation is too much, the soil might not meet up, so there should be a drainage system.
Farm beds serves as a drainage, that’s why it is good to use it.
Also a small gutter could be make and channelled out of the garden, from it, water will be drained away, thereby reducing the amount of water being stored in the garden.
Apart from the garden, the containers where cabbages are grown indoors could also be waterlgged, to construct a drainage system for this too, make small openings at the bottom of the containers where water will go out from, just in case of over watering.
MULCHING: Mulch is also a great way to take care of cabbage plants in the home.
It is very important or much needed when there is dry season or in the region where the amount not rainfall is very slim and not regular.
The sole purpose of mulch is to maintain or retain the water in the soil, so that they don’t dry up from excess sun heat or wind.
To mulch cabbage plants in the home Garden, get large number of green leaves, use them to cover the bottom of each of the plants. Avoid covering the whole plant, unless they will loss access to the sun in totality and die.
Pests and Diseases of cabbage plants: Cabbage is a type of plant/Vegetable that has good number of pests and diseases.
When to comes to growing cabbage at home, doing it inside the house or indoors has the capability to reduce the amount of pest and disease attack, than doing so in the home garden which does expose them to all manner of pests and diseases.
While growing the cabbages the plants, there are many kinds of diseases & pests which will surface to attack them.
These diseases and pests reduces the weight, color, essence, quality and the advancement of plants.
The pests that cause inflicts the to the cabbage plants are: Cabbage root maggots, Flea beetles, Cabbage worms, Cabbage loopers, Aphids, Cutworms, Nematodes, Bagrada Bug, and American Bollworms etc.
The diseases that destroys the production are: White Blister, White Mould, White leaf spot, Blackleg, Club-root, Dumping Off, Downy Mildew, Leaf spot/Ring spot/Target spot, Powdery Mildew, Wire Stem, etc. But the main diseases are caused by Sclerotinia & Botrytis.
These catastrophic components causes the spoilage of the stems, wilts, heads, seedlings, flower and even an entire plan.
But most of the diseases and pest causes damage to the leaf and the roots.
Control: Use Chemical components such as Carbaryl, Spinosad, Neem oil extracts, Permethrin and insecticidal soaps to control them.
The fact is that, some of the diseases and pests attacks may not have a cure. In this regard, you can take consultation with your nearest governmental agriculture institutes for advise.
HARVEST OF HOME GROWN CABBAGE PLANTS
Once you have totally taken care if the cabbage plants in your home and they mature, the next step is to harvest them.
On an average, cabbage takes between 75 to 100 days to mature ( from the day it was planted) although this greatly depends on the Variety.
Harvest time is always the most exciting time of Agricultural process. But one thing about cabbage plants is, they are kind of hard to determine when they are really matured and due for harvest, this has made many people who are ignorant of how to check if exactly the cabbages grown are matured to harvest without actually being natured.
This is because cabbage can look big and matured on the outside, but in the inside, it is no where near maturity.
With this, in order not to make the mistake of harvest prematurely, here is how to check if they are truely matured. – Use your two palms to press each of the cabbages hard, if they are very hard, that means the inside is also matured, but if they are kind of soft and responds to your pressing, that means the inside is not matured.
When you find out they are truely matured, then harvest them!.
To harvest, get a very sharp knife, use it to cut off the Cabbage head from it’s plant, and that’s all.
When you might have harvested all of them, if it is in the garden, you could leave the plants in the farm, and they will again bear another cabbage, but this second one is usually small and much more flavored than the first.
STORAGE OF CABBAGE AT HOME
After harvesting the home grown cabbage plants, you might not consume them immediately, or you might need to sell them, so the need to store them arises.
There is no need growing cabbage and at the end, they won’t be stored which will expose then to spoilage, so storage is as important as farming the cabbage plants itself!.
One very good method to store cabbage at home is through the refrigerator.
Before storing in the refrigerator, the cabbage has to be dried off water, put into a dry and clean bag and place into the refrigerator.
Storing with this method could last the cabbage for about 3 weeks or more.
Another method is to store in the cellar.
This requires a cellar that has a temperature of about 30 to 35°F .
Wrap the cabbage well and store them, and they could last up to a month to 3 months with this method.
NOTE – It is very important to know that some fruits such as apple is not okay to store cabbage with, either in the cellar or in the refrigerator, this is because apple has ethylene which will discolor the cabbage when kept together in the same place.
USES/IMPORTANCE OF GROWING CABBAGE AT HOME
Growing cabbage at home/ cabbage in it’s entirety has so many advantages, some of them are:
Cabbage can be used as a means of decoration and beauty in the home, especially growing them in a container at the window sill.
Growing cabbage at home make it easy to get them when ever they are needed for consumption.
It reduces the cost of purchasing from the stores and also they could be sold and the income goes into your pocket.
It leave you in a position to take proper care of them than when grown outside the home.
Growing cabbage at home does reduce the expenses of transportation of going to the farm, irrigation budget etc.
Cabbage is also used to feed the animals, and can also be eaten raw by man.
This vegetable has so many kinds of vitamins and minerals, so it is very good for the health.
In some places, they use cabbage to replace onion for cooking foods, and it is as good as onion.
Growing cabbage at home is not as hard as people attribute it to be. I hope you have learned alot from this, Do share it on social media and subscribe to my newsletter for more exciting contents ( details below)
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