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Peking cabbage (petsai) is an elongated vegetable of the cabbage family. The plant is biennial, but cultivated as an annual. Grown first in China, then appeared in Japan, USA, Europe and Russia.
Next, we will tell you what it is - Peking cabbage or, as it is also called, Chinese cabbage. What are the features of its cultivation: soil care, watering, temperature. When to harvest and how to store it properly. What pests and diseases of a vegetable should be feared. And also, you will learn about its beneficial properties and who should not use it.
At first, vegetable selection was carried out only by amateurs. The first professional breeding experiments began only after the appearance of Peking in Japan in the 40s – 60s of the last century. In the Soviet Union, the first variety of Peking cabbage - Khibinskaya 5 - was bred at the Polar Experimental Station in the 70s. Today the Dutch are considered the best varieties.
Loose juicy tender Peking leaves are collected in a head of cabbage, reminiscent of Roman salad Romaine, from 30 to 50 cm. Each leaf has a flat or triangular white median vein, the edges of the leaves are jagged or wavy. On the cut, the head of cabbage is yellow-green. The color of the leaves ranges from yellow to bright green.
Important! Peking cabbage with dark green leaves is not suitable for food due to the high content of nitrates.
In the photos below you can see what it is - Chinese or Peking cabbage, what a vegetable looks like.
Benefit and harm
The benefits of Peking cabbage have been known since ancient times in the East, and modern research confirms it.
- Chinese cabbage is rich in fiber, so it can effectively cleanse the gastrointestinal tract and eliminate constipation.
- It creates a feeling of satiety, filling the stomach, so you can safely eat it at night if you do not want to fall asleep with a feeling of hunger: you will not add extra pounds.
- For the same reason, it is useful to introduce it into the diet in case of metabolic disorders and obesity: while the stomach digests a juicy vegetable with a minimum calorie content, the body has to burn the accumulated fats. As a pleasant addition, the skin will be cleansed.
- For gout, cabbage binds and removes uric acid salts from the joints. It also relieves swelling and pressure surges.
- Peking is recommended for diabetics, as it can lower blood sugar.
- For elderly people with Alzheimer's disease, Chinese cabbage is recommended to be consumed daily in small quantities to saturate the body with the necessary substances that counteract the development of the disease.
- In diseases of the nervous system, Peking cabbage plays the role of a natural tranquilizer without side effects.
- For those who suffer from frequent headaches, Chinese cabbage is indicated regularly.
- The vegetable supports the functioning of the liver, therefore it is recommended to use it for both acute and chronic hepatitis.
- Potassium in cabbage supports the work of the cardiovascular system, and lysine relieves blood vessels of bad cholesterol.
- In winter, salads with Chinese cabbage will strengthen the immune system and enrich the body with vitamin C.
- By eating Chinese cabbage, you can get rid of anemia and chronic fatigue.
- The antioxidants in Chinese cabbage protect the body from the development of malignant tumors, especially breast cancer.
Reference. The ban on the use of Peking cabbage may be associated with the abundance of ascorbic acid in it. Also, you should not eat it a day before surgery, even if it comes to a visit to the dentist.
Read more about the benefits and dangers of Chinese cabbage separately.
Vegetable in the diet of children and nursing mothers
In the first months of a child's life, it is advisable for mother to use boiled and stewed Peking cabbage without seasonings and spices. Then, if there are no undesirable reactions in the baby, you can add fresh, but in a small amount. In most cases, the vegetable is digested normally., and completely without fear, a young mother can eat it already six months after giving birth. You will find all the details on this topic in another article.
Can I give it to animals?
Dogs are happy to eat this vegetable fresh, boiled and stewed, it is usually well absorbed. You can also give it to farm animals without fear. Turtle and rodent owners can also treat their pets to crispy cabbage leaves. Fresh Chinese cabbage is also useful for Achatina snails.
In all cases, it is strictly forbidden to give a vegetable in salted form and even more so pickled. We wrote about Peking cabbage in the diet of animals here.
Comparison with other types of vegetables
Different types of cabbage have their own benefits. Peking cabbage (Chinese cabbage) can be used as a lettuce, which cannot be said about other types of vegetables. Compared to other types of cabbage, it is more tender. At the same time, it has a longer shelf life and keeps vitamin C in its original state much longer. Read more about how it differs from other varieties here.
In general, this culture is quite early ripening, early varieties ripen in 40-55 days, medium - 55-60, late - up to 80 days. The Dutch varieties are considered the best, and in order to harvest from spring to autumn, several different varieties can be planted.
- Early varieties - Khibiny, Orange mandarin, Cha-Cha.
- Mid-season - Glass, Wizard, Pomegranate, Nika.
- Zoned - Swallow, Swan, Alyonushka, Vesnyanka, Pava (Russian selection).
- Hybrid varieties - Small miracle, Manoko, Tenderness, Bilko, Vorozheya, Hydra, Prince.
There are specificities in the cultivation of Peking cabbage.
On a note. Peking cabbage is a short day crop and it is important not to be late sowing to avoid shooting. If this moment is missed from the beginning, there will be no harvest.
The vegetable is planted in one of two ways:
- Sowing in the ground in the middle of spring and using mini-greenhouses.
- The sunniest and warmest area is selected.
- The soil is loosened.
- Holes are prepared.
- Pour into each handful of humus, then 1-2 seeds.
- Sprinkle with 1 cm of earth and watered.
- When shoots appear, the most developed of them are left, the rest are pinched.
- Through seedlings in early spring by transferring (or in peat cups). The seeds do not need to be soaked before planting. Seedlings will appear even at a temperature of + 4-5aboutC, just keep the seedlings on the window and water. The plants are ready for planting in the ground when five leaves appear on them. Watering is stopped for 2-3 days so that the earthen lump dries up and the roots do not suffer during transshipment.
From the video you will learn how to sow Peking cabbage:
The soil for this vegetable should be light, fertile, rather loose and moisture-permeable., ideal is loam. If the soil on the existing site is not so, you can prepare it by adding humus or rotted compost to increase nutritional value and non-acidic dry peat, which will improve drainage performance.
The holes should be located at a distance of 25-30 cm from each other, to save space, you can place them in a checkerboard pattern.
Reference. For growing seedlings, it is better to use humus with coconut substrate in a 1: 2 ratio or turf with peat in equal amounts. When sowing seeds of Peking cabbage in open ground, add 0.5 liters of humus to each hole.
When planting seedlings, you need to carefully dig up the site. The beds should be narrow, with small trenches in between.
Watering Chinese cabbage, care must be taken not to form an earthen crust around the seedlings. In this case, either a very careful loosening of the soil will help, which is very laborious for the gardener and unsafe for the roots, or more effective and simple mulching, which is used much more often. You need to water the plant at the root, so that the water does not get on the leaves and does not cause sunburn. The water should be warm.
This is an extremely important issue for the successful cultivation of Peking, since the daylight hours should not exceed 12 hours. But, starting from the vernal equinox, the length of the day increases rapidly. At the same time, the plant loves the sun very much, it grows poorly in the shade, so you have to make sure that the sun is exactly as much as necessary. To this end, its quantity is regulated by covering the beds from evening to morning with an opaque film.
The optimum temperature for growing Peking is 13-20aboutC. At a lower temperature, it will not be able to grow; at a higher temperature, the head of cabbage will not form. To avoid the harmful effects of possible frosts, the seedlings are covered with a cloth immediately after planting.
Fertilizers are usually not required for Chinese cabbage, nitrogenous ones are especially recommended to be avoided. Only during the period of heading formation can liquid organic fertilizers be used: a solution of humates, fermented herbal infusion or mullein in small quantities.
If the site allows, you can plant seedlings or seeds with an interval of 2 weeks, so the crop can be harvested throughout the summer season. Summer landing can be done at the end of August.
Attention! The basic rule is that the crop should be harvested in dry weather. Otherwise, the heads of cabbage, despite all the precautions, will rot.
Mature clean heads of cabbage with a height of 20 cm or more are subject to collection. They are cut off with a sharp knife. Late varieties are dug up along with the roots.
From the video you will learn how to properly harvest Peking cabbage:
The storage room for the Peking harvest should be cool and dry, with a temperature not higher than +2aboutC. Vegetables should be stored in wooden boxes or on shelves. From time to time, it is necessary to check the stocks for the appearance of rot.
Diseases and pests
Peking's main enemies:
- slugs and cruciferous midges.
The fight against them should be started at the stage of preparing the site for planting:
- do not plant Chinese cabbage in the beds where mustard, radish and other cabbage previously grew;
- shower the bed with wood ash;
- cover plantings with non-woven fabric;
- spray the seedlings with a mixture of mustard powder, tobacco, ash and red pepper.
Pests can be scared away by planting next to the cabbage:
- lay burdock leaves between the beds.
Reference. If the measures taken are not sufficient, chemicals are used.
- Fungal infections (downy mildew, gray rot) affects cabbage, which is over-watered at high temperatures. It is necessary to reduce watering and treat the plantings with special means.
- Keela develops on stems and roots. Plants bend, bulges appear. Diseased plants must be removed in a timely manner, and if it is possible to preserve the crop, then within 3 years it is necessary to refrain from cultivating cabbage in dysfunctional beds.
- Blackleg - the scourge of predominantly young plants. The development of infection can be prevented by decontaminating the land and observing the rules for caring for seedlings.
This vegetable is good for preparing first courses, side dishes and, of course, for fresh salads. It is also salted and pickled. You will find many recipes for making Chinese cabbage in this material, and in order to make these dishes tasty, we will advise you in a separate article on how to choose it correctly.
This vegetable, without a doubt, is a real storehouse of nutrients. But there is diseases for which it is contraindicated:
- gastritis - with increased acidity in its raw form (for use with gastritis - here);
- stomach ulcer;
- pancreatitis (read about the use of this vegetable for pancreatitis);
- increased acidity;
- bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract.
Fiber and vitamin C, which are found in large quantities in vegetables, can irritate diseased organs and aggravate the course of the disease.
Peking cabbage perfectly adapted to life in areas of the middle lane. In general, for novice gardeners, the experience of growing this vegetable will be a simple and useful experience, and eating a self-grown crop brings not only benefits, but also special pleasure.