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The question of when to plant Peking cabbage is not rhetorical, even for an experienced gardener. It is not a fact that you can grow it if you have good harvests of white cabbage. Without knowing the peculiarities of the culture, instead of heads of cabbage, you can get loose plants with a bunch of peduncles covered with yellow flowers.
Why planting dates are important
Peking cabbage is a cold-resistant crop; to form full-fledged heads of cabbage, it needs an air temperature of around 20 ° C. High temperatures from 25 ° C and above lead to the ejection of peduncles, in this case the head of cabbage is not formed.
The formation of heads of cabbage is influenced by the length of daylight hours. Peking cabbage prefers a short day - no more than 12 hours, longer (13-14 hours) sunlight causes the plant to bloom, leading to loss of yield.
In industrial greenhouses, automation controls the temperature and illumination, therefore, Chinese cabbage is grown in them all year round. A summer resident in open ground conditions needs to proceed only from the weather conditions of his climatic zone. Therefore, the timing of planting Peking cabbage in open ground is important for him.
For seed germination of Peking cabbage, an average daily air temperature of about 5 ° C is sufficient. Therefore, cabbage can be planted in open ground in early spring. Heads of cabbage can form at a fairly low temperature of 15 ° C.
In our climate, Peking cabbage grows well in the fall. In temperate climates, it can be sown again in summer. It is impossible to announce the sowing dates common for all summer residents - in our country there is too much difference in weather conditions.
When to sow Chinese cabbage for seedlings
We figured out that even in the absence of a greenhouse, any summer resident can get 2 crops of Peking cabbage. For summer consumption, cabbage is preferred to grow as seedlings. When buying seeds, you need to pay attention to the ripening period of the variety or hybrid. This characteristic is important to know when determining the date of sowing seeds for seedlings.
Seedlings of cabbage are ready for transplanting in the ground at the age of 30 days; by this time, it should have 4 to 5 good leaves. In the middle lane, they begin to sow seeds to get their own seedlings in early April. For Siberian regions, these terms can be shifted two weeks in advance, and summer residents of the south can do it 3 weeks earlier.
It is important to remember that Peking cabbage shoots with sharp temperature fluctuations, therefore, when determining the timing, proceed from the average temperature regimes of your region. For the first experiment, it is better to get a Dutch hybrid with an early ripening period. Hybrids tend to shoot less, and early ripening ensures heads of cabbage form before hot weather.
How to grow seedlings at home
Peking cabbage does not like picking, this must be taken into account when growing seedlings. The mistake of many summer residents is that, by analogy with white cabbage, they sow seeds in a common box. Plant the seeds in peat cups for a successful seedling.
To guarantee, we sow not one, but three seeds in one glass. When the seedlings begin to grow, it is easy to identify the strongest plant and remove the rest by pinching the stem at ground level.
It is convenient to grow seedlings in peat cups, they facilitate transplanting seedlings into the ground. It is not necessary to remove the cabbage from the cups, they will gradually get wet in the soil and will not interfere with the development of the root system. The roots are not injured during transplantation.
For seedlings of Chinese cabbage, it is necessary to prepare a loose, fertile mixture, fill the cups with it. You can prepare the substrate for planting yourself. Here are two proven ratios:
- take 2 parts of coconut substrate and 1 part of mature humus;
- take 1 part of low-lying peat and 1 part of sod land.
Sprinkle the seeds with the mixture, in a layer of 2 cm. Place the germination containers in a warm, dark place. They are transferred to the light only after the emergence of shoots. They appear quickly, only a few days pass from the moment of planting.
The room where the seedlings will grow should be cool. If kept at room temperature (25 ° C), it will be weak, thin, unsuitable for outdoor cultivation. Seedlings are grown on a loggia or in an unheated room at a temperature not exceeding 8 ° C. Summer residents, who often visit the country, should grow seedlings in a greenhouse or in a greenhouse.
Seedling care comes down to watering. They take warm water for irrigation. Watering should be moderate. If over-watered, it can suffer from blackleg. Ensure sufficient lighting throughout the day. After 19 hours, the seedlings can be shaded to provide them with short daylight hours.
Transplanting seedlings into open ground
Cups are taken out to the balcony or outside for tempering. Start about 14 days before transplant. The soil on the ridges should warm up well. The place is chosen on the condition that it is illuminated by the sun from morning until lunchtime, in the afternoon there is partial shade.
Cucumbers, carrots, and onions are considered good predecessors. If possible, do not make a ridge after cruciferous - beets and tomatoes. When digging, the soil is fertilized with humus and ash. The finished ridge should stand for a couple of days, after which holes are made on it. Recommended landing pattern:
- between two rows 50 cm;
- between the centers of the holes in the line 35-40 cm.
The distance between two plants should be sufficient, closely planted seedlings are more likely to get sick, they tie heads of cabbage worse, and are more prone to flowering.
It is good to shed the wells the day before or two days before the transplant. Seedlings, without getting out of the planting cups, place them in the pits in the center of the holes, pour warm water. In the spring, night frosts are possible, many summer residents prefer to install plastic arches with covering material over the seedlings planted in spring.
Arcs can be left even in June. The benefits of them are great:
- protect from frost;
- prevent overheating;
- serve as an obstacle to cruciferous fleas and other pests;
- the arcs can be covered with material that does not transmit light to reduce the duration of daylight hours.
After transplanting, the seedlings can be covered from direct sunlight for a couple of days, in the dark they adapt faster in the open field.
Summer sowing dates and its features
For winter consumption, Chinese cabbage can be planted during the summer. The relevance of the landing dates remains. In addition, the correct selection of the variety is important. Summer planting of Peking cabbage in the open field should be done with seeds, observing the crop rotation.
You can plant seeds in holes as seedlings or in grooves. The holes are placed at a distance of 35 cm from each other, put in each of 3 to 5 seeds, sprinkle with earth, dust with ash. When the sprouts grow up, they leave one of the strongest ones, pluck out the others.
They often plant in furrows, maintain an interval of 10 cm. After 2 leaves appear on the plants, the first thinning is carried out. The procedure is repeated as the cabbage grows. As a result, the distance between two seedlings should be 35-40 cm.
Variety selection and planting dates
In those regions where night frosts occur already in September, cabbage is planted in the 15th of July. Due to early autumn, late varieties will not have time to form heads of cabbage suitable for storage. You need to choose mid-ripening varieties, they are stored a little longer than early ripening ones.
For lovers of kimchi, a spicy Korean snack, the weather cannot be an obstacle. They can leave room for cabbage in the greenhouse. Autumn planting in protected ground will not depend on the weather. By October, even in Siberia, heads of cabbage will be formed on any kind of cabbage, be it at least mid-ripening, even late-ripening.
Late-ripening varieties are suitable for storage in the cellar. At temperatures close to 0 ° C, heads of cabbage retain their useful properties and presentation for 3 months. Late varieties are suitable for fermentation. In regions where autumn is long and mild, late-ripening cabbage is successfully grown outdoors.
In mild climates, cabbage can be sown a second time from late July to early August. Give preference to hybrids, as in the spring planting. The correct choice of variety and adherence to planting dates reduce the likelihood of shooting.
Reasons for shooting
Once again about the errors leading to the premature formation of peduncles:
- The first and most common reason is incorrect planting dates. If in doubt, then sow an early-maturing variety for the first time. He will definitely not have time to form an arrow.
- The second mistake is a dense planting of cabbage and ignoring thinning work. With a dense planting, the plant does not receive the necessary nutrients for the formation of a head of cabbage.
- Transplanting seedlings into cold soil, the summer resident makes a third mistake. The stress from the transplant lasts longer than usual, the cabbage stops growing and therefore the head of cabbage does not form.
- Settled hot weather can ruin crops. When the air temperature is above 22 ° C, the cabbage patch should be protected from the sun in the middle of the day.
- Delay in heading also causes spaying and reduced crop quality.
Decide if Chinese cabbage can be planted in your climate. It doesn't matter if you didn't have time to sow it in the spring. The whole summer is ahead, plant it in July, then autumn will delight you with a noble harvest. Considering the tremendous benefits of this vegetable for our health, time will be well spent.