For the first time, Peking cabbage was introduced into the culture in China, it was a very, very long time ago: according to some sources, more than 4000 years ago, according to other, more accurate, more than 5500 years ago. This vegetable is very widely used in cooking, lends itself well to frying, stewing, cabbage is added to a variety of soups, consumed raw. From China, Beijing cabbage came to Korea, Japan, and the countries of Southeast Asia. It is interesting that in Europe about Beijing cabbage really "well" learned only 60 years ago and is now grown in almost every garden, and of course, on an industrial scale, especially in America. About the features of growing Beijing cabbage, our article.Planting Beijing cabbage.
Description of Peking cabbage
Peking cabbage is a completely unpretentious vegetable crop; during the warm period, it may well give the vegetable grower not just one, but a couple of crops. The advantage of Beijing cabbage is also the fact that it is not so difficult to grow it, and even beginner gardeners usually cope with it.
Caring for Beijing cabbage is simple, it is not a capricious culture, it grows very actively, is well preserved, has useful properties and good taste.
Beijing cabbage looks like a cross between white cabbage and leaf lettuce, but it still belongs to the cabbage family. The head of this cabbage is not elastic, like that of a white cabbage, it is elongated and has quite a few oblong and shriveled light green leaf blades.
The use of Beijing cabbage in cooking
Due to its very pleasant taste, Peking cabbage is often used as a plant for salad. Leaflets are not only eaten fresh, but often serve simply as decoration of dishes, as if emphasizing the taste of cooked food. Beijing cabbage contains a large amount of fiber useful for the stomach and intestines, a whole complex of minerals and vitamins.
There is a lot of Chinese cabbage dish or with its use, whole cookbooks are published, where in each recipe the main ingredient is Chinese cabbage.
Features of growing Beijing cabbage
Peking cabbage, in addition to the advantages described above, has many other things: it has ripened very quickly, it takes from 45 (early varieties), 60 (mid-ripening varieties), to 80 (late varieties) days to harvest Beijing cabbage.
Peking cabbage also has its own problems: in addition to the enemies, which we will definitely discuss below, this is a tendency to form arrows with flowers, which then give seeds. Even when sowing seeds (not seedlings), cabbage can throw an arrow and bloom; Naturally, in this case there can be no talk of any refined taste or presentation.
How to avoid the shooting of Beijing cabbage?
In order for Beijing cabbage to forget about flowering, one should plant seedlings or sow the seeds of this plant at a certain, most suitable time. Typically, Beijing cabbage "goes" to the arrow when daylight hours are very long; therefore, sowing seeds and planting seedlings is necessary when the daylight hours are short - this is the very middle of spring, that is, April or mid-summer, closer to early August.
It seems that the daylight hours during this period are quite long, but believe me that these are optimal periods for cabbage, and it will not throw out the shooter.
What is the best way to grow Chinese cabbage - seeds or seedlings?
By the way, we mentioned that Beijing cabbage can be grown in two ways: by direct sowing of seeds into the ground and through seedlings, that is, after growing it indoors, and then planting it in the ground. You can immediately say that growing Beijing cabbage by sowing seeds into the soil is also a good way, but it is advisable to use it for residents of the southern regions, while residents of the central and cooler regions need to take care of growing seedlings first. But we are sure to tell in this material about that and about another method of growing Beijing cabbage.Seedlings of Beijing cabbage.
Growing Beijing cabbage through seedlings
Let's start with growing through seedlings. What is important and need to remember? Firstly, seeds for seedlings can be sown twice a year, that is, the first time around mid-March or a couple of days later and the second time around mid-June, but with a shift towards July also for a couple of days.
The second crop of Beijing cabbage (summer) is usually stored better than the first. Remember: the culture is capricious in terms of diving and on the planted area is sick for a long time, slowly takes root, so we would advise sowing the seeds immediately in peat-humus pots from which transplantation is not required. Pots decompose in the soil when planting in the soil, thereby the root system is not injured, and seedlings take root more quickly.
It is better to fill the pots with a mixture of completely decayed organic matter, turf land, river sand and garden soil in equal proportions with the addition of 500 g of wood ash per 10 kg of substrate. When sowing Beijing cabbage, lightly water the soil and deepen the seed by a centimeter, no more. Next - place the pots with seeds in a room with room temperature (+ 20 ... + 22 ° C).
If you want the seeds of Beijing cabbage to sprout faster, then soak them for 24 hours on a gauze moistened with any safe growth regulator - Epin, Heteroauxin and the like, and then place the seed pots on the bottom of the drawer and cover the food box film.
Try so that the temperature in the room does not change, spray the surface of the soil in pots from the spray gun, preventing it from drying out. If you do everything right, then in four days, and sometimes earlier, shoots of Beijing cabbage will appear. Immediately after their appearance, the film must be removed, and the containers placed on the southern windowsill.
Care for seedlings of Beijing cabbage consists in watering (taking into account soil moisture) and providing plants with a daylight time of 12-13 hours, no more. For additional lighting, LED lamps are well suited.
After the appearance of four or five well-developed leaves, which is usually observed in Peking cabbage after 25-30 days, seedlings (after one week of hardening) can be planted on the site.
Hardening is an important stage; it consists in the gradual adaptation of plants to more severe conditions. Great if you have a private balcony or porch. When the plants form the corresponding number of leaves, the seedlings can be taken out for a couple of hours, the next day, the time spent by the seedlings on the balcony or terrace can be doubled, and so bring this time to a day.
After hardening, Beijing cabbage is permissible to plant on the beds, for this you need to pick up a loose bed, always well-lit, without stagnation of irrigation water. When planting, be sure to consider those crops that were previously grown on this bed, for example, Beijing cabbage grows remarkably after onions, garlic, carrots and potatoes, but after cruciferous plants it is bad.
Growing Beijing cabbage without seedlings
To do this, you first need to prepare the soil, however, as when planting seedlings in open ground, dig a shovel for a full bayonet, break up lumps, loosen it, first making sure that before that the beds were occupied by worthy predecessors, or the soil was steamed.
After the beds are placed in a beautifully lit place, devoid of any, even a small shadow, it is necessary to sow the seeds of Beijing cabbage in the holes or grooves, each centimeter buried by two centimeters, no more. After sowing, it is advisable to water the soil either with a spray gun or from a watering can, but with a nozzle having very small holes.
Important! Do not forget to place seeds and plant seedlings of Peking cabbage at an optimal distance, usually 35 cm between plants and 40 cm between rows.
If you sow Beijing cabbage in dry weather, then after watering, the soil surface should be slightly sprinkled to literally keep moisture, literally dusting with wood ash, furnace ash or soot. If the weather is cool and there may even be frost, then the crops need to be covered with a transparent film. When sowing seeds into the soil of open ground, seedlings will have to wait twice as long as when sowing in peat-humus cups.Seedlings of Beijing cabbage planted in the garden.
How to care for Beijing cabbage?
So, we found out that Peking cabbage prefers a relatively short day, but loves to grow in a well-lit place, loves the abundance of water in the soil and tolerates well, you can even say - loves, coolness. If the street is cold for summer - from +16 to + 19 ° C, then for Peking cabbage it is just right. Both high temperature, when "burdocks" grow, and low, when cabbage does not grow corny, can sharply reduce yields.
Given all this, we recommend that you immediately stock up on non-woven covering material and arcs of hard wire, and if it is cold, then cover the plants. Such an impromptu greenhouse can save cabbage from sudden changes in temperature, slightly increase the air temperature or lower it a little - respectively, the shelter needs to be installed at night or on the day. In summer periods, characterized by an excessive amount of precipitation, such a shelter can save Beijing cabbage from rot, because, as we have already said, it loves moisture, but not its excess.
When caring for Chinese cabbage, loosening the soil, without waiting for the formation of soil crust, watch for the timely removal of weeds. It is better to remove them by hand after rain or watering the soil, then they are pulled out with the maximum number of roots.
After removing the weeds, the soil can be mulched, for this a centimeter layer of wood ash, furnace ash or furnace soot is suitable, but you can also use ordinary dry soil. You can start loosening the soil and mulching in about 25-30 days after emergence or 15-20 days after transplanting.
Important! When irrigating Beijing cabbage, try to use rainwater.
Her Beijing cabbage simply adores: under a drain, substitute a barrel of 300 liters and paint it black, then the water will warm up in a day, that is, the use of watering will be double. You can water it either every other day, but little by little, about 2-3 liters per square meter, or you can do it once a week, but pouring a bucket of water per square meter.
Peking cabbage dressings
How many times you need to feed Beijing cabbage depends on the time of planting seedlings or sowing seeds in open ground. If seedlings of Beijing cabbage (or sowing seeds) were planted (carried out) in the spring, then it is better to carry out three dressings; and if in the summer, then two is quite enough.
Fertilizers are best applied in dissolved form. As fertilizers, you can use nitroammophoskos (a tablespoon per bucket of water, the norm is 2-3 liters per square meter), or a variety of natural infusions.
For example, you can fertilize plants with mullein, diluting it ten times, after which, after insisting for a couple of days, start watering with this solution - two liters is enough for a square meter. An infusion of bird droppings is suitable, only it needs to be diluted 20 times and let it brew for three days, the consumption rate is the same. Peking cabbage responds well to an infusion of weeds, especially nettles - you need to mow about a kilogram of fresh, young nettle and pour a bucket of water, let it brew for a week, dilute it twice, and you can water it, spending five liters of this infusion per square meter.
If you want Beijing cabbage to form a dense ovary, then use an infusion of boric acid. To prepare it, literally a gram and a half boric acid should be dissolved in a bucket of water and allowed to infuse for 24 hours, then refuel with a spray bottle and treat the plants directly on the foliage in the evening.Beijing cabbage in the garden.
Pests of Beijing cabbage and the fight against them
Now let's talk about the most malicious pests of Beijing cabbage; in our opinion, it is a cruciferous flea and slugs. Since Peking cabbage is often eaten fresh, and it ripens quite quickly, we would not recommend using pesticides, but we recommend using folk remedies.
First of all, these are:
- crop rotation (no cruciferous ones to Beijing cabbage in the garden should not grow);
- Compliance with the landing time, which we wrote about;
- the use of shelters that will reliably protect against pests;
- the use of ash (wood or furnace) or soot (any of these compounds, as soon as the seedlings are formed or immediately after transplanting, it is permissible to lightly powder the soil).
Before winter, always dig the soil to the full bayonet of a shovel without breaking the clods, and although the larvae of the pests are very tenacious, most of them will die from frost.
Sometimes even joint plantings help from pests, for example, often they do not touch tender cabbage leaves, if cucumbers, tomatoes or onions with garlic grow nearby.
In the most extreme case, no less than 25 days before the harvest, it is permissible to use insecticides that are only permitted and strictly follow the instructions on the packaging, but we recommend that you try to treat the cabbage with biological preparations such as Bitoxibacillin first, sometimes it helps a lot.
Now about slugs, they also cause considerable harm to Beijing cabbage, literally devouring it. Slugs “act” in the dark and sometimes gardeners don’t even understand who could have done this with cabbage.
Deeper can be lime in a variety of ways. One of the simplest is placement on the surface of the soil where Beijing cabbage, planks, pieces of slate, plastic, roofing material grow. As a rule, after a nightly feast, the slugs seek refuge, and such elements on the site seem to them a very reliable home. In the morning, you can remove everything that you laid out yesterday and collect slugs that have accumulated under shelters.
Another option is a wild mixture of wood ash - 250-300 g and hot pepper - about a tablespoon. With this composition, you can sprinkle soil around Beijing cabbage, before rain or watering, it helps, but then you have to repeat this procedure.
Gardeners note the effectiveness of the usual "brilliant green", just one bubble is enough for a bucket of water and this amount - about five square meters of soil.
Harvesting and storage of Beijing cabbage
Beijing cabbage is a rather cold-resistant culture, frosts up to -2 ... -3 ° C are not at all frightening to it, it continues to grow and develop, as if nothing had happened. Often, gardeners spend the second cleaning in mid-October in central Russia and in mid-November in its southern regions.
When sowing or planting Beijing cabbage in spring, you need to remove the cabbage, focusing on the condition of the head of cabbage: as soon as it becomes dense, and naturally, the period of time typical for this variety passes, then the cabbage can be removed by cutting.
Important! We want to remind once again that it will be Beijing cabbage that will be stored in the summer period of sowing or planting, spring cabbage should be eaten fresh or put into processing faster.
Beijing cabbage of summer sowing or planting period is well stored at a humidity of 80-85% and a temperature of + 4 ... + 6 ° С. Sometimes it is simply wrapped in cling film and placed in the refrigerator, so it is also stored for a long time.
Varieties of Beijing Cabbage
By the way, since we mentioned varieties, let’s very briefly name the new products of Beijing cabbage, the most famous seed producing companies, and at the same time we will orient you, dear readers, by the maturity dates.
So, early cabbage varieties, this is:
- "Medalist" (agricultural company "Search", the weight of the head is up to 1.6 kg);
- "Shanghai" (agricultural firm "Aelita", the weight of the head is up to 1.3 kg,);
- "Sentyabrina" (agricultural company "SeDeK", head weight up to 1.1 kg);
- "Miss China" (agricultural firm "SeDeK", head weight up to 1.0 kg);
- "Spring Beauty" (agricultural company "SeDeK", head weight up to 2.0 kg);
- Autumn Jade (SeFeK agricultural firm, head weight up to 2.9 kg);
- Naina (SeFeK agricultural firm, head weight up to 3.0 kg);
- "Lyubasha" (agricultural company "Search", the weight of the head is up to 2.1 kg).
Average ripening varieties of Beijing cabbage:
- "Harbin" (agrofirm "Gavrish", head weight up to 1.8 kg);
- "Aikido" (agricultural company "Gavrish", head weight up to 2.0 kg);
- "Orange heart" (agricultural firm "SeDeK", head weight up to 1.5 kg);
- "Pomegranate" (agricultural company "SeDeK", the weight of a head of cabbage is up to 2.3 kg);
- "Autumn Beauty" (agricultural company "SeDeK", head weight up to 2.4 kg).
AND late bean cabbage:
- "Spring jade" (agricultural company "SeDeK", the weight of the head is up to 3.0 kg).
Do you grow Beijing cabbage? What sort of? And what interesting dishes do you like to cook from it? Share your experience in the comments to the article!