How to grow Cabbage

Cabbage is a green leafy vegetable grown throughout the world. Growing cabbage can be a challenge, and some varieties tend to need a lot of care and attention. Cabbage needs a cold environment for growth and is susceptible to pest attacks. Consider pest control strategies that compliment cabbage like composting or use of plant covers. If you like the vegetable, with the careful attention, you can grow it in your home garden.

Proper planning and care can provide up to two crops in a year.

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Planting cabbage

Finding cabbage seedlings may be difficult in your area, but you can germinate cabbage indoors at >70 degrees. It is best if you sow the seeds in containers and transplant before the last frost. Alternatively, you can sow seeds directly a few weeks before the last frost – if planting in the fall plant 8 weeks ahead of the first Winter frost.

Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart in straight rows. If you want the full-size plant heads, plant them at least 20 inches apart. If you plant closer, the heads will grow smaller in size.

Mulching

Mulching is essential to retain the moisture and regulate the soil temperature. Make rich mulch from leaves and wood pulp and mix it with the soil to put around the plants.

Make sure do not plant the broccoli and cauliflower near the cabbage as they all belong to the same family. Planting them together can deplete the soil form the nutrients and attract the same diseases and pests.

Cabbage Care

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When the plants attain a height of 5 inches, make sure that they are at the required distance. After the transplantation is over, you can fertilize the soil for three weeks. Also, make sure you mulch and water the soil regularly to keep it moist.

There are many pests like cabbage maggots, cabbage worms, and cutworms that attack the cabbage plants. The pests like slugs chew ragged holes in the cabbage leaves. Growing in the right conditions, crop rotation and the using the disease resistant cultivars protects your cabbage plants from pests and diseases.

Using a barrier like a plant cover or copper edging can keep posts like slugs and snails at bay.

You can also grow the Dill weed plants between the cabbage plants, which attract the wasps that kill the pests like cabbage worms and maggots.

Harvesting

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Check whether the cabbage heads are fully grown and became firm. Most varieties of cabbage take around 70 days to develop the firm heads. If the heads have become hard, you can cut them using a sharp knife leaving the stalks and roots.

To get two crops from your cabbage plants, leave the outer leaves and roots after cutting the cabbage head. The stalks and roots will produce new heads which you should not harvest until they grow to the size of a tennis ball.  When grown to the required size cut them to use as a vegetable or salad.

Final Note

Cabbage grows well in cold weather. You need to time its planting correctly, traditionally in the early Spring or late Fall. Growing cabbage can be fun and easy, but you need to protect your crop from a range of pests.

How to grow Microgreens

Microgreens are among one of the fastest-growing crops. Go to any food stall or restaurant and you will likely find one of these microgreens adding color, and flavor to most of the dishes. These tiny seedlings are perfect for windowsill gardens. To grow these microgreens indoors, one must have crucial things available at his place.

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Go through this brief article to get an insight into the steps that you will need to follow when growing microgreens at your house.

Find the Container

To begin with, you have to have a container to grow the microgreens. Gently sprinkle the moistened potting soil throughout the container. The layer of potting mix must be around 2 inches from the base. Then take a cardboard and gently flatten the soil. Take note that it must not be overdamped.

Sprinkle the Seeds

Once the potting mix is scattered and leveled in the container, take the seeds and sprinkle them uniformly on the surface of the mix. Again, either with your hands or a cardboard, press the topmost layer to flatten it. Take care of the force that you exert, because too much of it can cause issues.

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Cover the Seeds

In most of the cases, seeds need a layer of soil over them to start germinating. Here for the microgreens, you need to cover them with a thin layer of soil. You can also use vermiculite for the same. Vermiculite keeps the seeds damp by absorbing the water.

Time to Shower with the Water

Do it gently so that water soaks the vermiculite and does not wash away the seeds. After watering the seeds, place the container in a sunny location, preferably south-facing windowsill. Hang on for a week or perhaps a day or two more than that to let the seeds germinate.

Cover the Container

To maintain humidity, you should cover the container with a lightweight sheet of plastic. Not only does it promote germination, but it also encourages the growth of seeds into sprouts. All this while, mist the soil once or perhaps twice every day to keep it moist. Don’t let it get too wet because it might hinder the growth of the microgreens. Also, keep the container in a light heat source like a mat or a pad so that the seeds can start.

Taking Care of the Plants

When the seeds are finally germinated, take off the plastic cover and remove the heat source as well. Make sure that the planting medium stays damp during the period. Water it from the bottom by pouring it into the tray in which the plant container is placed. This allows the soilless mix to absorb the water and help microgreens grow properly.

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Ensure that it Gets enough Sunlight

Microgreens grow properly only when they receive at least four hours of direct sunlight every day. If the season is relatively colder, the exposure time has to be increased. If there’s not enough of the natural one at your place, you can use grow light as well. Use one which has comparatively lesser heat output for a simple reason that you don’t want to overheat the plant. If the leaves of microgreens appear to be leggy or pale green, it’s a sign of lack of sun exposure.

When to Harvest

Depending upon the type of seed, the greens in your home get ready to be harvested in two to four weeks after plantation. When you see the first true leaves unfurl, take it as a sign that the time has come to harvest the microgreens. Take a scissor and snip the plants just above the soil line.

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Now chop them and use them to garnish your salads, veggies, and other dishes. They make a healthy addition to the food items while giving them a beautiful sight at the same time.