Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is considered an important part of a well-balanced diet. It is usually eaten fresh or combined with other food. It contains protein, carbohydrates, vitamin and different minerals which are essential body requirements.
Cabbage is the most widely grown crucifer locally. It grows best in a cool and moist climate like Baguio. It can be grown successfully in the lowlands during the cooler months of the year. It thrives best in sandy or sandy-loam soil for rapid growth. For late maturing varieties where large yield is an important consideration, clay loam or silty loam soils are preferred. Cabbage strives best on slightly acidic soils. (Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014)
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Climate and Soil Requirements
Climatic conditions for growing cabbages would be dependent on what variety is used. Most cabbage varieties grow well in mid and high elevations during dry season. Some varieties also perform well during the wet season. While in low elevations, there are also some varieties that can perform well during the dry, cool months.
Its temperature requirement usually ranges from 15 – 20 °C but may vary according to its variety used. Cabbage can be planted in most soils, but clay loams to sandy loam are best. A soil pH best suited cabbage ranges from 6.0 – 6.8.
The land must be plowed and harrowed several times to pulverize the soil. Beds should be raised 30cm high and 1 meter wide. The distance between beds should be 25 cm.
If furrow irrigation is used, the optimal bed width is 30 cm. If hand watering is used, the bed width could be increased to 1 meter.
Seedbed Preparation: Soil mixture of one part burned rice hull, part coir dust, 1 part garden soil, 1 part compost should be prepared. Strerilize the soil by burning rice straw or application of boiling water
Construction of Temporary Roof: Construct temporary roof to protect the seedlings from too much heat during the dry season and excessive rains during the rainy season. Gradually remove the roofing materials as the seedlings grow to expose them to full sunlight.
Care of Seedlings: Water the seedbed once a day during the first three days after sowing. Apply starter solution by dissolving 1 tbsp urea in 1 gallon of water. Water the seedlings immediately. Harden the plants 7-10 days before transplanting by exposing the seedlings to full sunlight and gradually withdrawing water until the seedlings reach temporary wilting
Transplanting: Water the seedbeds and gently uproot the seedlings. Seedlings are transplanted at 40 x 60 spacing to produce bigger and heavier size. Spacing can be reduced to increase population per hectare. Basal fertilizer may be applied at 10g 14-14-14-/hill. Irrigate before and after transplanting. Mulch with rice straw, rice hull or plastic mulch to prevent weed growth and conserve soil moisture. It is best to intercrop with bunching onion, bulb onion, garlic, kutsai, tomato, marigold, or other crops to minimize insect pests.
Manure or compost should be combined with commercial fertilizer and applied in the soil before planting during the growing period. Application of 14-14-14 at the rate of 30g per plant should be done 3-5 days after transplanting. Fifteen days after the basal application, apply urea at 10-15 g per plant. Second sidedressing should be done 15 days after the first sidedressing with the same amount.
Cultivate and water the plants alternately before heading stage. Weeding should be done when the seedlings are about 6 to 8 inches tall.
Another applicable method of weeding cabbage is by cultivating the space between the rows and hills. Shallow cultivation is also recommended to prevent root injuries of the plant. First weeding should be done one week after transplanting. The frequency of the succeeding weeding operations will depend upon the growth and emergence of the weds. Clean culture is highly recommended.
Irrigation can be applied either by hand watering or by furrow irrigation. Adequate hand watering should be done immediately after sowing, during germination and after transplanting. Weekly irrigation is recommended.
During the dry season, irrigate before transplanting. Repeat every 7-10 days for furrow irrigation and 2-3 times per week for sprinkler irrigation. Mulching helps minimize irrigation frequency.
1. Diamond Backmoth (Plutella xylostella L.)
Nature of damage: The young light green larvae first feed on the leaves as miners, then progressively feed by making small holes.
Control: Spray with insecticides at recommended rates. Another is to use neem leaves to control pests at the rate of 500g neem leaves/liter of water
2. Common Cutworm (Spodoptera litura)
Nature of damage: Feed on young and mature leaves of the host making large holes on leaf blades
Control: Spray with insecticides
3. Cabbage Moth (Croccidolomia binotalis)
Nature of damage: Larvae feed on the leaves with preference on the growing point or bud and bore into the forming heads.
Control: Use neem leaves extract to control pests
Nature of damage: Soft-bodied insects that cluster on young leaves and lower side of old leaves.
Control: Remove the affected plant parts and burn. Spray with insecticides.
1. Damping off
Nature of damage: Falling down of seedlings just after germination. The base of the plant stem is drying out.
Control: Avoid too much watering. Spray fungicide.
2. Head Rot
Nature of damage: Caused by fungus present in the soil. Attacks the plants before early head formation and maturity. Infected plants start to decay at the base of non-wrapper leaves which become wilted and pallid. The plant turns brown then black and decays.
Control: Remove the affected plants/ plant parts and bury or burn. Avoid soiling of cabbage leaves during cultivation. Irrigate the field regularly to keep the soil temperature low. Apply fungicide at the base of the plant.
3. Anthracnose of Pepper
Nature of damage: Anthractose may occur in the field and develop as a post- harvest decay of pepper fruits. Typical symptons appear on mature fruits such as small water-soaked sunken lesions that expand rapidly. Lesions may be covered with raised, dark, fungal tissues which may appear in concentric rings.
Disease Management: Be sure to clean seeds. Practice crop rotation. Fungicides like Mancozeb or Benomyl may be used.
4. Cercospora Leaf Spot
Nature of damage: Early symptoms appear as small, circular, water-soaked spots on leaves which later enlarge up to 1 cm or more in diameter. Typical lesions are brown and circular with small to large light gray centers and dark brown margins. Several spots may coalesce causing the entire leaf to turn yellow and drop without yellowing.
Disease Management: Collect and burn all leaves and stems.
Pest and Disease Management
Cabbage heads are ready for harvesting 55-60 days after transplanting. That is when the heads become firm and compact. Include several wrapper leaver for protection. Discard and bury rotting heads or heap in compost pits. Treat the base of the marketable heads with lime or alum solution to prevent rotting.
The heads will split when over mature; rapid growth due to excess moisture and fertility will also cause splitting.
Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014