Cabbage belongs to the Brassica family, also known as the cruciferous family.
• The soil should have a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 6.5.
• It’s best to have well-drained soil with a good amount of organic matter, such as sandy loam or loam.
• To ensure accurate fertilization, it is recommended to conduct a soil analysis.
Cabbage is a crop that thrives in cool seasons, with the ideal temperature range for growth being 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. When temperatures exceed 25 degrees Celsius, head formation is hindered. Adequate and evenly distributed rainfall is essential, especially during the early stages of crop growth. If moisture levels are low, irrigation should be used to supplement and alleviate moisture stress.
Choosing a Variety
When deciding which cabbage variety to cultivate, farmers should consider several important factors. These include the time it takes for the crop to mature, its potential yield, resistance to pests and diseases, ability to withstand field conditions, uniformity of maturity for a single harvest, and market demand for the specific variety.
Proper spacing between cabbage plants is crucial and depends on the chosen variety and market requirements.
Spacing recommendations vary for different varieties: large-headed varieties should have a spacing of 60cm x 60cm, medium-sized varieties should be spaced at 60cm x 45cm, and small-headed varieties should be spaced at 30cm x 30cm.
• It is advisable to use raised beds to promote root development and ensure proper drainage.
• The width of the bed should be around 1 meter, with a convenient length of no more than 100 meters. The height of the bed should be approximately 15 centimeters.
For optimal results, Greenlife recommends the following TLO (Treatment, Liquid, Optimal) combination:
Trinity Gold® 452WP: Mix 100g with 20 liters of water to control soil-borne diseases like Damping off.
Loyalty® 700 WDG: Mix 10g with 20 liters of water to control soil-borne pests.
Optimizer®: Use 20ml per 20 liters of water to break seed dormancy and promote uniform growth.
Seedlings are ready for transplanting after 4-6 weeks in the nursery, depending on temperature conditions. It is recommended to moisten the seedlings one hour before transplanting. Plant the seedlings at the same depth as in the nursery, around 15cm. To reduce transplanting shock, use 10ml of Optimizer per 20 liters of water.
Pest and Disease Management
Cabbage is vulnerable to various pests, including diamondback moth (DBM), aphids, and cabbage sawfly. Common diseases that affect cabbage include black rot, fungal spots, and bacterial soft rot.
Diamondback Moth (Plutella xylostella):
The larvae of diamondback moths emerge from their tunnels during the first stage, molt underneath the leaf, and then feed on the lower surface of the leaf.
To control this pest, use 10ml of Escort® 19EC and 3ml of Integra® per 20 liters of water.
Cabbage Leaf Sawfly (Athalia rosae):
Cabbage sawflies are occasional but significant pests that infest brassicas. These caterpillars are black/green and have a black head.
To control cabbage sawflies, use 10ml of Escort® 19EC and 3ml of Integra® per 20 liters of water.
Cabbage Aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae):
Aphids feed by sucking sap from cabbage plants. Their continued feeding causes yellowing, wilting, and stunted growth.
To control cabbage aphids, use 8mls of Lexus® 247SC and 3ml of Integra® per 20 liters of water.
Cutworms can be identified by their smooth skin, greasy gray color, and their “C-shaped” posture when disturbed. Moths lay their eggs on grasses, weeds, and other host plants. Cutworms feed at night, causing significant damage to young plant stems and foliage. During the day, they retreat to underground burrows.
To control cutworms, use 10ml of Pentagon® 50 EC per 20 liters of water.
Black Rots (Xanthomonas campenstris)
This disease is easily recognized by the presence of large yellow to yellow-orange “V”-shaped areas that extend inward from the leaf’s margin. The infected area also exhibits black veins.
To manage black rot, use 50g of Green Cop® 500WP and 3ml of Integra® per 20 liters of water.
Caused by Hyaloperonospora parasitica, previously known as Peronospora parasitica, downy mildew appears as a fluffy or powdery-white mass of spores on the undersides of cabbage leaves. This is followed by black speckling and puckering on the upper surface. Leaves prematurely turn yellow and fall off the plants.
To manage downy mildew, use 50g of Trinity Gold® 452WP and 3ml of Integra® per 20 liters of water.
Seeds may become infected as soon as moisture penetrates the seed coat or shortly after the radicle begins to extend. This results in immediate rotting below or at the soil surface, known as pre-emergence damping-off. Infection leads to lesions at or below the soil line. The seedlings may suddenly discolor, wilt, or simply collapse and die.
To manage damping off, use 50g of Trinity Gold® 452WP and 3ml of Integra® per 20 liters of water.
Head rot is caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. The disease is characterized by water-soaked spots that first appear on the lower or upper leaves of cabbage. As these spots enlarge, the affected tissue becomes soft, and the outer leaves may start to wilt. As the disease progresses, a white cottony growth becomes visible on the leaves.
To manage head rot, use 50g of Green Cop® 500WP and 3ml of Integra® per 20 liters of water.
Alternaria Leaf Spot
Alternaria Leaf Spot is a common cabbage disease caused by the fungal pathogen Alternaria brassicicola. The main symptom is the presence of yellow, dark brown to black circular leaf spots with concentric rings resembling a target. In some cases, the centers of the lesions may fall out, giving the spots a shot-hole appearance. These spots can merge, forming larger areas of necrosis, and lead to leaf drop.
To control Alternaria Leaf Spot, use 20ml of Chariot® 500SC and 3ml of Integra® per 20 liters of water.
The amount of fertilizer required depends on the soil analysis and soil type. During the early stages, a substantial amount of phosphorus is needed to support root establishment. This can be supplied through foliar feeding using either Goldchance Super Start (14:28:18) at a rate of 50g per 20 liters or Lavender (24:24:18) at a rate of 20ml per 20 liters.
During the vegetative stage, a high nitrogen requirement is necessary. This can be met through foliar feeding using Lavender at a rate of 20ml per 20 liters or Goldchance Super Growth at a rate of 50g per 20 liters.
For proper head formation, potassium is crucial. This can be achieved by foliar feeding Lavender at a rate of 20ml per 20 liters.
Effective weed control is essential for optimal production of Brassica leafy vegetables. Weeds compete with the crop for nutrients, water, and light, leading to reduced yields.
Early-season weed control is particularly important as weed competition can significantly impact crop vigor, uniformity, and overall yield.
To manage weeds, Greenlife recommends using Commander® 240EC, a pre-emergence herbicide. Apply it 2-3 days before transplanting at a rate of 50ml per 20 liters of water.
Cabbage can be harvested once the heads have formed. For the best yield, cut the cabbage heads when they are firm to hand pressure but before they crack or split. Mature heads are susceptible to cracking or splitting after heavy rainfall, rendering the internal tissue unusable.