Nutritive value: Cabbage is one of the most important leafy vegetables grown in the kitchen garden all year round. Cabbage contain 92 percent water, 4.6 percent carbohydrates, 1.8 percent protein and is a rich source of vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron. Raw green cabbage is considered highly effective as a remedy for stomach ulcers.
Soil and Climate: Cabbage requires a well drained medium to heavy soil having a soil pH value in the range of 6.0 to 6.5. Light soils applied with a lot of compost materials can well support cabbage growth. Acidic soils prevent the availability of boron and molybdenum to the crop causing deficiency diseases. Cabbage is generally cultivated in the winter season because cabbage prefers a cool climate. However, under a mild climate, it can be grown all year round. Cabbage heads develop well in temperatures between 15 and 25°C.
Important Varieties: Golden Acre, Pride of India, early drum head, etc., are the popular varieties of cabbage grown in almost all seasons.
Planting and Irrigation: Cabbage is grown in all the seasons. However, the best season for cabbage seedling transplanting is from October to January. Seedlings require 3 to 4 weeks to become ready for planting. The process of seedling raising should be started one month before plantation. Cabbage is a shallow rooted short duration vegetable crop producing a large quantity of biomass that require a large quantity of compost mixed with bone meal and neem seed cakes. Care should be taken to mix organic manure in the upper layer of soil specifically in the root zone. The crop should be provided with irrigation immediately after transplanting. Watering should be done once in 7 to 8 days in winter and once in 5 to 6 days in summer.
Plant Protection: The cabbage crop is mostly attacked by aphids, leaf miners and leafeating caterpillars that can be controlled initially by spraying systemic insecticides and, at later stages, when the crop grows towards maturity botanical insecticides can be used to protect the vegetable from insect infestation.
Harvesting: At harvesting time, the cabbage heads become compact and the outer leaves turn yellow. According to the variety grown, cabbage harvesting starts from 60 to 90 days on transplanting the seedling. Cabbage heads are cut at the stem base and outer loose leaves are removed before the head is used as a vegetable.