White cabbage occupies a place of honor in our beds and can give a head start to most vegetable crops in terms of yield. However, in order to get weighty and high-quality cabbages at the end of the season, the cottager has to pay special attention to cabbage from spring to autumn and first of all to satisfy its irrepressible appetite.
This lover of a dense meal needs fertilizing at all stages of development and with insufficient nutrition begins to be capricious already at the stage of active growth of seedlings. And in this article, we will focus in detail on the features of feeding cabbage in the open ground and find out how to butter the garden lady and lure her rich harvest.
Significant elements of power
Cabbage has a poorly developed root system — all its strength is in the foliage. The more lush it is, the more chances of success — getting dense heads. It is important not only to help the lady to grow numerous large leaves, but also to make them at a certain stage curl into a ball, that is, to form a head. A well-chosen diet helps to influence this — timely feeding with suitable fertilizers. In order for the work not to go to waste, you need to clearly understand what elements of nutrition and at what stages of development are necessary for this vegetable culture.
Nitrogen is responsible for the active formation of the leaf plate — this is what you need to focus on when feeding plants in the first half of summer. The growth of foliage does not stop even after, at the stage of filling the heads, but at this stage it is necessary to balance its action with other elements of nutrition. At this time, it is important to observe the rules for applying nitrogen fertilizers and do not overfeed the cabbage, otherwise it will endow with loose heads and become vulnerable to diseases. From the menu of late-maturing varieties, this macronutrient is completely excluded at the end of the season, so that the crop has time to Mature and is well stored.
When cabbage goes to tying heads, its appetite increases, and, in addition to nitrogen, it begins to ask for potassium. This macronutrient helps cabbage leaves to curl up in a tight ball, contributes to the accumulation of sugars in them (that is, improves the taste), and at later stages of plant development becomes the key to a good keeping quality of the crop. That is why during the period of filling the heads of potash fertilizing should be given priority.
The need for cabbage in this element is lower than in nitrogen and potassium, but phosphoric feedings should not be neglected. Phosphorus helps to strengthen the root system of plants and the formation of more dense and high-quality heads, so it should not be forgotten at the early stages of plant development, as well as during the ripening of the crop.
When there is a lack of calcium, the yield of cabbage falls, its taste qualities leave much to be desired, and the crop is poorly stored. The merit of this element is the resistance of the lady to fungal diseases, so the owners of sites with acidic soil type (where there is a shortage of this mineral), it is important to take care of the liming of the bed intended for planting this crop in the fall.
Cabbage does not need a large amount of magnesium, but its lack in the soil immediately makes itself felt: the leaves turn yellow and stop developing. Magnesium feedings are shown on sandy soil, where there is often a deficit of this element, as well as when applying increased doses of potassium to the soil.
Due attention is paid to Bor: the lady loves him very much. This microelement is especially useful during the filling of heads, since it increases their density, and also reduces the risk of forming hollow stems and rotting the core of heads during storage.
Cabbage also reacts poorly to the lack of molybdenum in its menu, which is often a sin in areas with an acidic type of soil. This microelement is responsible for the normal absorption of nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium by cabbage, which means that it indirectly affects the development of both underground and aboveground parts of the plant. Since the availability of molybdenum for plants increases as the pH of the soil increases, special importance should be given to the preparation of the bed for planting and its deoxidation at a lower pH level.
Note: cabbage responds very well to natural organic fertilizers, which, in addition to essential humic acids, contain a complex of easily digestible macro-and microelements. That is why experienced gardeners when feeding this crop pay special attention to manure and chicken droppings, which are used to prepare humus and liquid nutritional cocktails. Our lady will not refuse to taste compost and an infusion of fermented grass. In the absence of such natural products, cabbage is treated with ready-made complex preparations.