Despite the fact that cabbage is one of the most popular vegetables, the cultivation of its seedlings is not obtained for all summer residents, especially for beginners. The fact is that young cabbage plants need a lot of light and coolness. In apartment conditions, it is hot and dark. It is impossible to obtain high-quality seedlings with this method of cultivation. And without strong, healthy seedlings, it is difficult to count on a good harvest. Gardeners with experience know that it is better to sow cabbage for seedlings in greenhouses or greenhouses. And some even grow cabbage by direct sowing of seeds into the ground. About seedling cabbage and talk in the article."Lazy" cabbage, or We grow cabbage without seedlings
Advantages of the seedless cabbage growing method
The most important positive moment when growing cabbage without seedlings is the creation of optimal conditions for plants, and, therefore, obtaining a good harvest in the future.
For growth and normal development, cabbage seedlings need a temperature in the range + 12 ... + 15 ° С. And for seedlings and even less - cabbage seeds begin to germinate at +5°C. Fortified seedlings can withstand short-term frosts down to -3 ... -4 °C. And the difference between day and night temperatures has a beneficial effect on cabbage plants - they grow strong and hardened. Grown in rather difficult conditions, cabbage is immediately adapted to them, it will be easier to resist pests and diseases.
Read also our article. We grow tomatoes without seedlings - varieties, advantages and disadvantages of the method.
Another positive point when growing cabbage - plants grown without picking, build up a powerful root system. Such cabbage will need less watering. As you know, cabbage is a moisture-loving plant, and it is difficult to grow good heads without watering.
The reduction in the apartment of containers with seedlings is also an important factor. This will allow to pay more attention to other plants grown for seedlings in an apartment.
What cabbage can be grown in seedling method
As a rule, most often grown without seedlings kohlrabi cabbage, white-headed and Beijing. Cauliflower and broccoli more heat-loving and poorly tolerate temperature drops and drops. It is possible to sow them directly into the ground, but at a later date, when steady warm weather sets in.
Cabbage is a plant with a long period from germination to harvest. Therefore, in central Russia, it is advisable to sow early or mid-early varieties of cabbage in a non-seedling way. Later varieties may not have time to make good heads of cabbage.
Dates of sowing cabbage and preparation of beds
The timing of sowing cabbage in open ground depends on the weather and climatic conditions. Tentatively, they stretch from mid-April to the second or third decade of May. Kohlrabi and Beijing cabbage can be sown until the month of July, gradually occupying vacant beds.
To accelerate seed germination and create optimal conditions for young plants, shelters must be provided. Shelters are set in advance so that the soil warms up before sowing. During the period of seedling growth, they help maintain optimal temperature and humidity for seedlings.
Basically, two types of structures are used for this: arcs with a film stretched over them or cut-off (without bottom) bottles of 2-5 liters. Unlike the garden bed, which is limited by the amount of covering material, makeshift bottle shelters can be installed at any distance, anywhere.
For sowing, it is important to choose the right place. The site must be sunny, preferably elevated, with a slight slope.
It is very good if the previous crops in the garden were: onions, legumes, cucumbers, carrots, beets. You can not plant cabbage after cruciferous - mustard, radish, radish, arugula.
Read more about crop rotation in article 5 of the simple crop rotation rules.
For growing cabbage without seedlings, as with the traditional seedling method, the soil acidity indicator is very important - it develops very poorly on acidic soils. And in the presence of the causative agent of the disease in the soil - the keel is greatly affected. Therefore, if the acidity is increased, it is necessary to add “deoxidizers” in advance: lime, and preferably dolomite flour. Dolomite flour contains magnesium, which is necessary for plants for mineral nutrition, and also contributes to the accumulation of sugars in plants. It can be applied before sowing, while lime must be applied in advance, preferably in the fall.
For details on the use of dolomite flour on a site, see article 10 of questions and answers about dolomite flour.
As fertilizer, humus or compost can be added to the garden - 3-4 kg per square meter. As soon as weather permits, the bed needs to be covered so that the earth warms up.Preparing seeds for sowing is an important point in the cultivation of seedling cabbage.
Preparing seeds for sowing
Preparing seeds for sowing is an important point in the cultivation of seedling cabbage. First of all, you need to calibrate the seeds - choose the largest.
Since the growing season for cabbage is quite long, it is advisable not to take risks and take fresh seeds for sowing, with obviously good germination. Otherwise, you can lose time waiting in vain for seedlings. Germination of cabbage seeds lasts 4-5 years. If you have doubts about the sowing properties of seeds, then they can be checked in advance for germination using one of the available methods.
For details on how to check seeds for germination, read the article How to determine the germination of seeds.
For the prevention of diseases, it is advisable to conduct a seed disinfection operation before sowing. To do this, you can use the preparations "Fitosporin", "Fitolavin", "Gliokladin" or the well-known potassium permanganate.
Now in garden shops there are special products with a combined effect, for example, the drug "Zircon". It allows you to increase seed germination, plant resistance to adverse growing conditions and at the same time serves to prevent fungal diseases.
Often already prepared seeds are sold in stores, they do not need to be pickled and soaked. As a rule, these are quite expensive seeds of imported hybrids or varieties.
To accelerate the germination of seeds, they can be kept for 24 hours in a damp tissue at a temperature of + 20 ° C, and then sown.
Sowing seeds in open ground
Depending on the type of cabbage, the seeds are sown as follows:
- with the ordinary method of planting: 50-60 cm, the distance between rows, 30-40 cm - between plants;
- with square-slot: 50X50, 50X60, or 45X70.
Early varieties grow much more compactly, middle and late varieties require much more room for growth.
Before sowing, it is necessary to moisten the marked holes a little. For the prevention of diseases, you can pour it with a solution of "Fitosporin", prepared according to the instructions.
3-4 seeds are sown in each hole to a depth of 2 cm. Cabbage rarely shows 100% germination, so you need to sow with a margin.
Crops need to be covered with a film or other selected shelter.
How to care for crops and seedlings
Cabbage loves moisture; without it, seedlings will develop poorly, you need to remember this and monitor the condition of the soil. After sowing, you need to keep the soil moist, but do not flood it. Otherwise, seedlings may die from the disease "black leg".
Periodically, you need to ventilate the crops. To do this, you can open the film in hot weather or remove the caps from the bottles.
After the appearance of the seedlings of two true leaves, you need to leave the strongest sprout, and remove the rest. As you grow to a young plant, you can gradually sprinkle the earth.
In the future, care for such seedlings differs little from caring for cabbage planted in the traditional way. It needs to be loosened, fed with fertilizers.
In order to optimally use the bed with a shelter, it will be possible to sow early ripening green crops between rows with cabbage: lettuce, spinach, radish. Or use a place to grow seedlings, for example, annual flowers.
Shelters can be removed when 3-4 real leaflets form on the cabbage.Caring for seedling cabbage is no different from caring for cabbage seedlings grown through seedlings
The difficulties of growing cabbage seedling method
One of the problems of growing cabbage without seedlings is the need to ventilate crops in hot weather. It is difficult for those summer residents who come only on weekends. And on a hot day, tender young plants can suffer greatly from the scorching spring sun.
The solution may be to use covering material rather than film, but in this case it will be possible to sow later. Under the film cover, unlike the covering material, the soil warms up much earlier.
Perhaps someone will benefit from our personal experience. We also can’t often come to our garden, so we use double shelter. First, we pull the covering material on the arcs, and the second layer - the film. Such a shelter retains heat and moisture very well, and plants are protected from the bright spring sun.
As the plants grow and the onset of stable warm weather, we remove the film, leaving covering material. In this way we protect many cultures. Heat-loving - peppers, eggplant - closer to autumn, you can again cover with a double layer, then the harvesting period is significantly extended.
Another important point - cabbage is very strongly attacked by pests. The delicate leaves of seedlings are damaged by the cruciferous flea. This small pest is able to destroy the entire crop of cabbage. Protecting seedlings is easier than fighting this pest later. The flea is scared away by the smell of garlic, coriander, caraway seeds, marigolds - they can be planted near a bed of cabbage. This pest really does not like the smell of tobacco, therefore, dusting of rows between rows of tobacco dust is effective.
You can also not remove the covering material and continue to grow cabbage under it, then the pest wintering on cruciferous weeds will not be able to get to the bed with cabbage. At the initial stage of cultivation, the covering material will protect the plants from the cruciferous flea, and later from the cabbage white.
The roots of plants can damage the bear. This is a very dangerous pest, it gnaws and destroys many plants. And in the spring, while there is nothing yet, the bear will certainly get to the young cabbage plants. You can protect seedlings by digging into the ground jars with a cut bottom with a volume of 500 ml or more. In these jars and you need to sow the seeds.
Another small technical point, but perhaps its ignorance may cost you seedlings. If you choose shelter with cropped bottles, in bad weather, with a strong wind, they can blow away. And then young plants can die, being without shelter. It is better to stick a small peg in the ground before covering the crops so that it prevents the bottle from falling off from the wind.
Dear readers! Knowing about possible difficulties, it is easy to think through the stages of solving problems and prepare for them. In general, this cultivation of cabbage without seedlings can be attributed to the "lazy methods" of growing garden crops. Such methods are gaining increasing popularity, because they allow gardeners to greatly facilitate their work.