Cabbage along with potatoes is one of the most common vegetables on the table. That is why any person who first received the land, immediately thinks about growing it in his own garden. And begins to grow seedlings. Since, the main types and varieties of cabbage in the middle lane are almost impossible to grow without seedlings. Plants usually sprout quite quickly and amicably, and then with a high degree of probability one of three scenarios unfolds: either the plants are pulled into a thread and die during the first two weeks, or grow frail, stretched, and before planting in the ground, several bushes remain at best. that do not yield any crop. Finally, in the third variant, some of the elongated plants somehow live up to the landing in the ground, but half die after the landing, and from the rest grows some frail kochanchik, which can not be compared with the market, or at least the store.
The following year, the situation risks recurring, although the gardener, who has learned from bitter experience, will ask everyone for help with such a description of the problem: “Cabbage seedlings stretched out, what to do in such a situation, how to save it?”
Then, probably, she will try to create various special conditions for the seedlings, that is, to feed them, to process the growth inhibitor "Athlete" and to use other wisdom. But if cabbage sprouts stretched out, then it is often very difficult or almost impossible to do something. Of course, a lot depends on how much she managed to stretch out and at what particular period of development. About all the intricacies of growing cabbage seedlings will be discussed later in this article.
Features of cabbage physiology
Cabbage - especially the cabbage species - is a very cold-resistant plant. Although she hails from the southern countries of Western Europe and North Africa, but after numerous crosses, her cold tolerance was firmly deposited in her genes. Therefore, it will suffer more from high temperatures than low temperatures.
- Interestingly, at normal room temperature + 18 ° C- + 20 ° C, cabbage seeds germinate fairly quickly and together, after 3-5 days the first shoots may appear. If the ambient temperature on average is about + 10 ° C, then germination will slow down dramatically and can be from 10 to 15 days.
- If the temperature during germination falls to zero and even lower (but not below -3 ° C), then the seeds of the head cabbage will still germinate, but they will do this for a very long time — about two to three weeks, and maybe a month.
- But then in the seedling stage, the cabbage can transfer short-term frosts to -5 ° С without any particular problems. Adult cabbage plants (some varieties: white, red, Brussels sprouts, broccoli) are able to withstand frosts down to -8 ° C. When warming, they are restored and development continues.
- But at temperatures above + 25 ° C, most types of cabbage feel already depressed. If the weather is hot, more than + 35 ° C, then the cabbage just does not form a head.
- Everyone knows that cabbage needs a lot of water for good growth. But not everyone knows that the need for moisture she is not the same at different periods of development. For sprouting cabbage seeds need more than 50% of water of their weight. But then during the formation of the first few leaves, the need for moisture decreases and waterlogging may not only hinder the growth and development of seedlings, but also lead to its death. When the cabbage starts to make a head, it again needs the maximum amount of water. And, finally, in the last month before cleaning, watering must be removed, since a large amount of moisture during this period will lead to cracking of heads and poor preservation.
- It is also important to remember that cabbage is very light-requiring, and even light-demanding plant. Long daylight hours can accelerate the growth of seedlings or the formation of heads, and with a lack of light, shoots will stretch and weaken.
- Finally, it must be borne in mind that all types of cabbage are very demanding to feed. They need a complete set of all nutrients and trace elements, and in an easily accessible form.
Features of growing seedlings of cabbage
What is the secret of growing good cabbage seedlings? Experienced gardeners know that this is far from the simplest matter. Perhaps, among all the vegetables, the cultivation of cabbage seedlings can be called the most difficult, despite the general unpretentiousness of the crop. And the main problem is precisely the cold resistance of cabbage. After all, usually cabbage seedlings are grown at home, in apartments, where the temperature rarely drops below + 18 ° C + 20 ° C, and more often it is much warmer than + 25 ° C and even more. And if the apartment does not have a loggia or a balcony, then the seedlings are necessarily drawn out, and it becomes impossible to do anything in such conditions. Unless to use the refrigerator, which, by the way, some successfully do. But this is possible with very small amounts of cabbage seedlings and in the early stages of its development. After all, cabbage except cold, is also vital light.
So, what conditions are necessary for the successful cultivation of cabbage seedlings.
Seed and soil preparation for sowing
As for cabbage seeds, then if they were bought in a store, then, as a rule, there is no need to prepare them specifically for sowing.
It’s better to keep your own seeds for several hours before swelling in a solution of Fitosporin or Baikal. This will disinfect them from various fungal infections and strengthen their immunity. Many additionally harden the seeds, but with respect to the cabbage in this operation a little sense, since it already well enough maintains low temperatures.
But the preparation of the correct soil mixture for sowing cabbage is a very important and responsible matter. Since this culture, not only loves loose and fertile soil at the same time, it is also very susceptible to numerous diseases. Especially easy it is affected by them at the seedling stage. It is for this reason that it is categorically unacceptable to use garden soil for growing cabbage seedlings. After all, it can be infected with various infections and could be taken from the garden where cruciferous plants (radish, radish, rutabaga) grew. Cabbage is undesirable to grow in one place for several years in a row precisely because of the accumulation of harmful root excretions in the soil, especially since you should not grow cabbage seedlings in such a land.
The best combination for cabbage is the following: take 50% of sod land or good land from the store and add as much humus. Mix this mixture well, for looseness 100 g of vermiculite or perlite and 1 tablespoon of wood ash is added for every 10 kg of soil. If you doubt a little about the quality of the soil, it will be better to warm the ground thoroughly in the oven before use. This will get rid of all harmful germs. And then, in order to colonize it with useful microorganisms, without which it is difficult to imagine good growth and development, the earth needs to be shed with a solution of phytosporin or shine-1.
Sowing seeds and the first weeks of seedling growth
Only sowing on seedlings with a mandatory picking will be considered here, since this is the most optimal way to grow cabbage seedlings. The procedure itself picks seedlings well enough.
After the land for sowing is prepared, it is poured into special boxes, flattened and made small grooves with a depth of 0.5 cm. The grooves can be separated from each other at a distance of 3 cm. Seeds are placed in the grooves every centimeter, then gently fall asleep the same land. The box can be covered with a film to improve germination, and you can leave it like this. A box with sown cabbage seeds is left at a temperature of + 18 ° C + 20 ° C.
Under these conditions, seedlings usually appear 4-5 days after sowing.
If this is not done for one reason or another, the cabbage seedlings will definitely stretch out, and very quickly and in the future nothing good can be expected from it.
If you have at least some balcony at your disposal, you need to take cabbage seedlings there. If it is not glazed, and there is still a negative temperature outside, then you can cover the box with the seedlings with an improvised greenhouse. The best option for cabbage seedlings will be moving it immediately after germination in the greenhouse or in the greenhouse, if there is such an opportunity.
At such a low temperature, cabbage seedlings should be kept for about 10-12 days. After that, she needs a picking. Before picking, seedlings should be shed once again with phytosporin solution. You can replant in the same land in which the crop was produced.
For transplantation, containers or cups of about 6 to 6 cm in size are prepared. During a dive, each seedling is buried in the ground at the level of cotyledon leaves. It is desirable only for the plants to begin to form the first true leaf by this time.
After picking, seedlings for better survival can be held at + 17 ° C + 18 ° C, but after 2-3 days it is necessary to lower the temperature again, but to + 13 ° + 14 ° C in the daytime and to + 10 ° + 12 ° C - at night.
These temperature conditions will be ideal for the growth and development of cabbage seedlings before they are planted in the ground.
In addition to temperature, light is necessary for good seedling development, and not only the brightness and intensity of the light, but also its duration are important. White cabbage seedlings are needed from the very beginning of the development of a light day lasting at least 12 hours. But not all types of cabbage need such a day length. For example, a cauliflower grows better and binds more dense heads, if at the seedling stage she has a shorter light day. But broccoli, which is a type of cauliflower, does not need such tricks. She, too, loves rather a long light day.
How to help in a situation where seedlings stretched
Of course, if the cabbage seedlings are already stretched, then the question of how to save it, there is no definite answer. As mentioned above, if you live in an apartment without the ability to organize seedlings, at least with cool conditions, then it is hardly possible to do something. You can try to come to the land early and sow cabbage seeds directly into the ground. With good weather conditions, this can be done at the end of April. Middle and late cabbages, as well as all other varieties, will have time to ripen and give a decent harvest. Well, from the early varieties will have to be abandoned.
If you live in a private house and have the opportunity to build at least a small greenhouse for cabbage on your own, this would be the best option. For everyone else who has a balcony, you can try the following.
If the seedlings stretched out at an early stage, this is probably the most difficult. You can try all the elongated members of the cabbage family gently pick it out on separate containers. It is only necessary to take into account what was mentioned earlier.
- If the seedlings have at least one true leaf, it can be deepened to the most seed-colored leaves.
- If only cabbage leaves are present in cabbage seedlings, then it needs to be transplanted without a depression, but pouring a little bit of soil into the pot. In this case, with further growth of cabbage, the land in the pot can be simply filled.
A few days after picking, cabbage seedlings should still be placed on a balcony in cool conditions. But even under these conditions, only half of the seedlings will most likely survive.
If the seedlings were kept in relatively cool conditions and stretched, for example, from a lack of light, then the situation can be remedied by arranging additional lighting for the plants.
So, to save the sprouted cabbage seedlings is very difficult, therefore, it is better to organize the conditions from the very beginning in which it will be as comfortable as possible. She will thank for the care with gorgeous, juicy and tasty heads of cabbages.