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Even on the most modest summer cottage there is always a corner of the earth where at least two or three heads of cabbage grow.
It seems to be a simple garden culture, but without knowledge of the basics of agricultural technology, you cannot grow it.
The plant is cold-resistant, not picky, but low temperatures, insufficient humidity, starvation, and diseases can destroy it. But this does not mean that the only possible way is to purchase cabbage seedlings on the market.
This is a rather risky undertaking: you may end up with the wrong variety, or, for example, the seedlings will turn out to be unviable.
It is believed that the ideal conditions for growing cabbage can be created in a greenhouse. However, even at home, on the windowsill, even a novice summer resident can do it. Of course, provided that he observes all the necessary conditions, and first of all, he correctly calculates the time of planting the seeds.
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Growing cabbage seedlings
Getting down to this responsible business, remember that cabbage loves light, moisture, fertile soil. Its varieties are divided into early-ripening, mid-ripening and late-ripening, respectively, and have different ripening periods. This means that you must sow, depending on the variety. Usually, the countdown is from the time of germination, and this happens on the fourth or fifth day.
So consider: early varieties from germination to planting seedlings should be separated by an average of 45 days, medium varieties - 35
days, late - 50.
You can sow early varieties in mid-March, but you can extend the harvest time for ripe cabbage if you sow in three steps, after three to four days each.
Mid-season cabbage is planted in the twenties of April, until the beginning of May, crops are kept on the windowsill, and only then they dive into a cold nursery. However, you can immediately sow in this nursery, if you cover the soil with "Lutrasil".
Late varieties are sown in early April, and later, like early cabbage, dive into cold nurseries. In this case, the plants should already have three to four ordinary leaves.
Suitable soil for growing cabbage
This vegetable prefers fertile and neutral soil. If you have to grow seedlings on a windowsill, do not be too lazy to prepare a special soil mixture of equal parts of peat, turf and sand. It is advisable to immediately disinfect it by calcining or treat it with a 1% manganese solution. In the future, this will save the seedlings from many diseases.
The soil will be truly nutritious if you add one tablespoon of superphosphate and dolomite flour to each bucket, two tablespoons of ash. Mix the resulting mixture well and rub with your hands.
Cooking cabbage seeds for planting
- First of all, do not be greedy: select only large seeds for planting.
- You will save plants from infectious diseases if you prepare them correctly. To do this, place them in a gauze bag, immerse them for 20 minutes in a container with water heated to 50 degrees. Then place the seeds on a platter, cover with a cloth and place on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for 12 hours. This will speed up the germination of the grains.
- And just before sowing, prepare a nutrient solution (dilute 1 teaspoon of sodium humate or liquid fertilizer "Ideal" with a liter of water) and soak the seeds overnight. In addition, it would be good to additionally disinfect the seed with a biological preparation. In shops for summer residents, there are Fitosporin, Baktofit, and Planriz for sale.
- The last stage of preparing seeds for sowing is to rinse them in clean water and dry them.
We sow cabbage seeds for seedlings
You have prepared and filled shallow containers or boxes with potting mix in advance. Now you need to level the ground and water it with a pink solution of manganese. Make grooves 1 cm deep and plant the seeds one to two centimeters apart.
Sprinkle them with earth and cover the boxes with glass or plastic wrap. Before sprouting, do not forget to sometimes raise the shelter for ventilation.
If the room temperature is at least 20 degrees, you will see shoots in three to four days. Immediately, the boxes with plants must be transferred to a cooler place, where they will be for at least a week. During this time, remember to water and loosen the seedlings carefully.
Pickling cabbage seedlings
As soon as you notice one or two real leaves on the shoots, proceed to the pick, which will increase the feeding area, improve lighting, and strengthen the root system of the seedlings.
You can transplant into cups or pots. The first step is to cull sick and weak plants. And in healthy ones, you need to remove a third of the root and carefully plant it in prepared containers.
Further, the seedlings will take root well if they are in a heated room, at a temperature of at least 18 degrees. Reduce the temperature to 15 - 16 degrees should be gradual.
How to care for cabbage seedlings?
- The plants started to grow. So it's time to feed them. Mullein diluted in four parts of water will serve as top dressing. Add superphosphate to this mixture. Repeat the same feeding in two weeks.
- The seedlings should not be elongated, and for this, on sunny, windless days, they can be taken out into the yard or on the balcony and even left there overnight if the air temperature is above zero. It can also be kept in a cold greenhouse if covered with foil. Plants need this hardening.
- Make sure that the seedlings always stand in a well-lit place.
- Water the dried soil regularly with water at room temperature. But a week before planting, watering must be stopped. This will inhibit excessive plant growth.
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Planting cabbage seedlings in open ground
Usually, seedlings of early cabbage are planted in open ground from April 25 to May 5. When planting, they adhere to the following scheme: 45 cm is the distance between the rows, 25 cm is the distance between the plants.
Late-ripening cabbage is planted later, May 10 -1 June. The planting scheme is somewhat different: between the plants - 35 cm, between the rows - 60 cm. Choose a cloudy day for planting, and if it turned out to be sunny, postpone the work to the afternoon.
Check the seedlings again: do not plant weak and sore-looking plants. The best are strong, stocky specimens.
After planting, the seedlings are often affected by the cabbage fly, so it is advisable to treat it with a solution of karbofos (0.1%) before planting.
Pour the prepared holes with plenty of water (about a liter in each). Bury the seedlings to the real leaves.
In the first days after planting, try to spray the seedlings with water from a watering can two to three times a day. In April and May, the sun's rays are quite strong, therefore, in order to avoid burns, it is advisable to shade it at first.
Summer residents who have experience in growing seedlings at home or in a greenhouse claim that this is a rewarding business. Do not be lazy, show attentiveness and patience - and an excellent harvest is guaranteed. How can you do without cabbage? The queen of vegetable gardens contains carbohydrates and proteins, minerals, vitamins, it is good in any form - raw, sauerkraut, stewed. And if it is also grown by your own hands, and, therefore, does not contain nitrates, it has no price!
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