A Very Well-Shaped Cabbage Head
A Very Well-Shaped Cabbage Head

Headed Cabbage - Field Planting Cabbage

Field Planting Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) is another link in the long and heavy chain of articles with which the editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia’ has the ambition to firmly tie the few remaining readers of the series.

A series that – we have no reason to hide it – is clearly dedicated to the cultivation of this extremely popular and beneficial leafy vegetable.

On the other hand, if the chains fail, then this monumental series of articles will only be embalmed.

The know-how – we also have no reason to hide it – is there.

At the Agricultural mummy articles.

The use of suitable transplanter machines will quickly, efficiently and economically cover large arable land.

Planting Cabbages by Transplanter Machine
Planting Cabbages by Transplanter Machine

Preplant Works

As with all crops and Headed Cabbage, proper field preparation is a key factor for good growth and maximum crop yield. The preparation of the field for planting Cabbage – not in chronological order – includes:

  • The plowing
  • Disking and milling
  • The final soil surface configuration of the field
  • The integration of organic materials and pre-plant fertilization (base dressing)
  • The incorporation of green manure crop (if exists)
  • The formation of crop favorable soil pH, especially in the case where the phytopathogenic Plasmodiophora brassicae soil fungus, which causes the club root of crucifers, has appeared in the area of cultivation

Headed Cabbage – Field Planting Cabbage

Formation of Favorable Soil pH

The timetable for the preparation of the field can start up to 90 days prior to the planting Cabbage. 

This is the amount of time required to correct soil pH and involves liming the field to produce a neutral or slightly alkaline soil reaction, which significantly reduces the activity of Plasmodiophora brassicae.

Among the materials used for the liming of the field are lime, limestone and dolomite.

Headed Cabbage – Field Planting Cabbage

Green Manure

Since prior cultivation for green manure of Cabbage has taken place, 30 days before its planting, these plants are turned and covered by deep plowing (30-40 cm).

At this point it is worth saying two things:

  1. Cabbage belongs to those crops which are particularly favored by green manure, as well as by the presence of organic residues from the previous crops.
  2. It has been noticed that the highest yields of Cabbage are achieved if the previous crops are Tobacco or Fescue.

Headed Cabbage – Field Planting Cabbage

Adaptation of Cultivation Practice According to the Soil Type

Cultivation of the field is differentiated and adapted according to its soil type, ie whether it is light or heavy in texture.

So, when the soil is more sandy and its organic content is few, then deep plowing (30-40 cm / 12-16 in) is avoided and only normal (up to 20 cm / 8 in ) is done.

On the contrary, when the soil is loamy (or havier), then before planting Cabbage, take place at least two deep plows designed to improve its structure.

The soil type also determines to a great extent the time period during which these cultivation works will take place.

This means that in the light soils, the necessary cultivation works are near the planting Cabbage period, ie the previous 20 to 30 days, while in the heavy soils it is possible to start the previous 60 days.

Headed Cabbage – Field Planting Cabbage

Planting Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) - Field Plowing
Planting Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) - Field Plowing

Course of Cultivation Before Planting Cabbage

In general, the course of cultivation is as follows:

  1. Deep or Normal Plowing when the soil has enough moisture and incorporating 20 to 40 tons per hectare of digested and disinfected manure or compost.
  2. Normal Plowing, which also incorporates the pre-plant fertilization of the crop.
  3. A few days before planting Cabbage, it is appropriate to disking (if it is a very heavy soil) or milling.

Headed Cabbage – Field Planting Cabbage

Features of the Well Prepared Field

All of the cultivation work carried out prior of the planting Cabbage are intended to prepare the field in such a way that it has at least four characteristics:

  1. Excellent drainage
  2. Weed-free
  3. Friable soil without the presence of surface crust
  4. Excellent porosity

The significance of these soil features is great. And if the absence of weeds and excellent drainage have an almost self-evident value, the lack of surface soil crust and excellent porosity may need to emerge.

The absence of surface soil crust prevents irrigation or rain waterlogged, and thus somehow guarantees the excellent circulation of the necessary air in the rhizosphere area of the Cabbage plants.

Excellent soil porosity, on the other hand, allows – among other things – the unobstructed growth of roots. And although Cabbage has a surface root system, when its roots can be easily grow in depth, this is best exploited by the plant, which is reflected in an increase in crop yield.

Headed Cabbage – Field Planting Cabbage

Cabbage Crop in the Begining of Head Formation
Cabbage Crop in the Begining of Head Formation

Establishment of Headed Cabbage Crop

The establishment of headed cabbage crop is done in two ways:

  1. By direct sowing in the final positions
  2. By transplanting

The first way – along with the advantages and disadvantages of the method – was described in a previous article on the Cabbage seeding.

The second way – in all likelihood – will be described here.

The transplanting of seedlings takes place when they have obtained 4 to 6 real leaves. The soil of the field where it is to be planted is shaped in flat beds or raised beds of usually two rows. It is recommended that seedlings be transplanted with cool weather to minimize transplanted shock.

Headed Cabbage – Field Planting Cabbage

Planting Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) with 8-rows Transplanter
Planting Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) with 8-rows Transplanter

Planting Cabbage Spacing

The planting Cabbage spacing depend on whether the variety selected is early or late.

For early varieties, the recommended spaces are smaller and the number of plants per hectare can range from 35000 to 40000. This population density leads to smaller heads of growth but also to higher per hectare yields.

In general, it could be said that the recommended planting Cabbage spacing for early varieties is 33 cm (13 in) on the row and 75 cm (29.5 in) between the rows (1 to 1.5 kg head weight – up to 40000 plants per hectare), while for late ones, the recommended planting Cabbage spacing is 45 cm (17.7 in) on the row and 90 cm (35.4 in) between the rows (up to 3 kg head weight – up to 25000 plants per hectare).

Finally, in the case of sowing in raised beds of two rows, the recommended planting Cabbage spacing on the row is 30 cm (11.8 in) and between the rows 50 cm (19.6 in) while the raised bed width is 1 m (39.3 in).

Headed Cabbage – Field Planting Cabbage

Planting Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) - Cabbage Crop In Florida
Planting Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) - Cabbage Crop In Florida

References

The References to the profound article Field Planting Cabbage will proudly presented by the Blackfoot band with their Spendin’ Cabbage song.

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Blackfoot - Spendin' Cabbage
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  1. Stepanovic, M., Bjelic, V., & Dragicevic, V. (2000). Effect of crop density on morphological characteristics and yield of cabbage. Acta Horticulturae, (533), 205-210.
  2. Ware, G. W., & McCollum, J. P. (1968). Producing vegetable crops. Danville, IL: Interstate Printers & Publishers.
  3. Χα, Ι., & Πετρόπουλος, Σ. (2014). Γενική Λαχανοκομία και Υπαίθρια Καλλιέργεια Λαχανικών [General Horticulture and Field Cultivation of Vegetables]. Βόλος: Πανεπιστημιακές Εκδόσεις Θεσσαλίας.

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