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Cabbage Cultivation Farming

Cabbage Farming

Cabbage Farming

Cabbage Farming Business

Cabbage is a vegetable which is adaptable to a wide range of climatic conditions and it performs better in different soils and this makes it to be popular. Cabbage farming is done by both smallholder farmers and medium scale farmers, mostly in local and peri-unban areas. Cabbage has the following nutritional elements; Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A, C & E, Minerals, Riboflavin, Nicotinamine and Ascorbic Acid. This agribusiness article will give in detail on how cabbage is grown as well as its climatic conditions for good yields.

Climatic Conditions or optimal ecological requirements

  1. Cabbage does well on an altitude of 700 to 2,200 meters above the sea level. In low altitude areas, the crop should be grown during the cooler months of the year for best results.
  2. Cabbage requires more water compared to other vegetables. Make sure you grow cabbage in an area having rainfall of at least 500 mm of and it has to be well distributed throughout the growing period.
  3. Cabbage performs better at a temperature range of 16 to 20 °C. As you can see cabbage performs better under cool temperatures. When the temperature is above 25 °C it hampers the head formation.
  4. Cabbage performs better on a well drained sandy or silt loam soils with high organic matter content and high water holding capacity and the optimal soil pH range from 6.0 to 6.5.

Propagation

Cabbage is propagated from seeds.

Soil preparation

Before planting make sure the land is cleared or cultivated eight weeks before planting. Make sure the ground is ploughed deeply, immediately before planting, with a disk harrow or other suitable implement to a depth of 450 to 600 mm. Remember also to fumigate the soil two weeks before planting time if necessary, to control nematodes which may become a threat to the cabbage plants.

Planting

Cabbage can be planted in two ways, either by direct-seeding or by transplanting of seedlings. If you plant through direct seeding, use about 2 kg of seed per hectare. If you want to plant cabbage through transplanting, make sure the seedlings are transplanted as soon as they reach the desired size and only well-hardened, young, stocky plants should be used. Make sure the soil is moist before the transplanting is done. Plant populations of 40000 to 45000 per hectare is recommended for large scale farmers. For small scale farmers grow about 80 000 to 100 000 plants per hectare.

Cabbage nursery

If you want to plant cabbage through transplanting, make sure you sow the seeds first in a well established nursery and this will have the following advantages; more favourable and even germination, improved irrigation control and crop monitoring during the sensitive germination and seedling stage and weeds are controlled easily on the nursery beds.

Take note that you can use also use flat-cell trays or in Jiffy pots to produce cabbage seedlings.

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Make sure the site which is used for cabbage seedlings has good moisture, good aeration and the temperatures does not exceed 30⁰C. Make sure you check the nursery bed twice daily to make sure that optimum conditions are maintained during the germination and seedling development. Soon after emergence, make sure that the seedling are exposed to adequate sunlight to support good strong growth. Cabbage seedlings are ready for transplanting in 4 weeks after sowing day. Make sure you observe the following before transplanting is done; stop fertilizer applications seven days before transplanting, make sure you reduce the amount of water applied to it two days before transplanting and make sure you transplant the seedlings in the cooler part of the morning or evening

Transplanting

Cabbage seedlings are transplanted into a well prepared rows having a space of 40cm between plants within the rows. Make sure the roots are not disturbed during the transplanting.

Fertilization

Cabbage requires supplemental fertilization in the form of manure or compost since it is a heavy feeder and this fertilizer has to supply the following nutritional elements; nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Make sure you test the soil to know the right fertilizer program to be applied. Cabbage requires 200 to 250 kg nitrogen per hectare.

Cabbage water requirements

Young cabbage transplants or seedlings have a lower water requirement, but take note that the water requirement increases rapidly as the cabbage is growing. Make sure the soil has right moisture all the time. Waterlogging can cause different diseases so keep on monitoring the moisture content. Make sure you irrigate the cabbage immediately after transplanting or sowing. Any application of soluble fertilizer as fertigation should be done under a normal irrigation and make sure you continue irrigating for 5 minutes after fertigation to flush the system.

Plant protection

Make sure you use the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control the pests and diseases easily. Where possible, make sure you plant pests resistant varieties and this will give your crop a natural resistance to pests and diseases which will minimize the cost.

Mulching

Make sure you do row covering immediately after transplanting and left up for 10 to 15 days to be able to protect your crop from numerous insect pests, such as caterpillars, aphids, leafhoppers, leaf miners, beetles and white-flies.

Crop rotation

Avoid planting cabbage repeatedly or more than once every 3 to 4 years in the same field to avoid build up of pests and diseases.

Crop monitoring

Make sure you monitor cabbage plants against pests and diseases every week.

Harvesting

Make sure you harvest the cabbage when the heads has attained their full size and become firm and hard but tender. The cabbage is harvested by hand with a knife or sickle. Large scale farmers are able to harvest cabbage mechanically and this is done once. Make sure the heads are cut off in such a way that a few of the large, open wrapper leaves are left for protection around the heads.

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