Why does white cabbage crack and how to avoid it?
White cabbage is the most popular variety of this vegetable, so it is not surprising that it can be found in almost every summer cottage. Unfortunately, like other plants, it is susceptible to negative influences from the outside, and one of the most common problems is cracking of the heads "on the vine." Why this happens and how to prevent such troubles - you will learn more about this later.
Cabbage Cracks Why This Happens
There are many reasons for cracking cabbage heads, but most often this is due to the following phenomena:
- Violations of irrigation rules, which led to excessive accumulation of moisture in the heads. Perhaps you did not water the crop for a long time, and then poured into the soil a large amount of water bursting inside the vegetable. Prolonged rainy weather, especially accompanied by temperature spikes, can lead to the same result. Gathering moisture, all the leaves begin to grow intensively, but young and juicy lower leaves make it faster than the upper ones, because of which the forks simply break.
- The prolonged presence of heads on the garden bed is another reason that their surface is cracking. Overripe vegetables always burst, but often this happens with early varieties, the aboveground formation of which ends when the roots still continue to supply moisture upward.
- Sudden changes in temperature, which can also serve as a basis for violating the integrity of cabbage. This usually happens in late August or early September, when summer heat is increasingly replaced by autumn coolness. For example, if the temperature values did not rise above + 20 ° C for a long time and the head growth managed to slow down, even a short-term increase in the values to + 25 ° C can lead to a sharp resumption of growth of the lower leaves, which leads to cracking.
- Varietal characteristics of plants . Resin varieties are more sensitive to temperature changes, so they crack much more often. This can be avoided by timely harvesting, a signal to the beginning of which will be a change in the color of the upper leaves. Varieties Marathon, Albatross, Kolobok are considered one of the most resistant to cracking heads.
If, in addition to cracking the surface on the heads of cabbage, traces of wilting and graying of the ends of the leaves are noticeable, it is time to think about the possible development of ailments: vascular bacteriosis, keel of cabbage or fusarium wilting, the negative effect of which increases significantly in hot and dry periods.
Did you know? Sour cabbage soup was not always called first courses. In Tsarist Russia, this name meant special spicy drinks made from cabbage and a bit like kvass. In most cases, they consumed such a drink after taking a bath or with a hangover, as it perfectly tones up and added strength.
Sources of diseases are usually infected seeds and uncleaned plant debris, so it is very important to observe crop rotation at the site and to deal with weeds in a timely manner. It will not be superfluous to additionally treat the seeds before planting in the Fitosporin-M solution: you need to take at least ¼ tablespoon of the drug per 0.5 l of water.
The right ways to protect cabbage
You can deal with cracking cabbage only with timely prevention, based on compliance with all requirements for the care of plants. First of all, this concerns the organization of irrigation and the selection of a scheme for feeding plantings, but monitoring the condition of the heads themselves is of no less importance.
The main measures for caring for the heads of cabbage provide for their sufficient feeding and moisturizing, but temperature control and the timely shading of plantings from scorching sunlight will be equally important. This can be done using burlap, stretched over the bed, and regular watering with a sprinkling method that will help to moisten the entire plant evenly and prevent it from drying out.
Important! If you notice signs of putrefactive processes on the cabbage, you should immediately remove such a head from the garden bed, even if it has not yet burst. Even one plant can become a source of infection for the rest, so you should not risk the quality of the entire crop.
Do not forget about the timely removal of weeds. Growing up, they create a shadow, preventing the cabbage from drying out normally in the sun. In addition, with increased soil moisture, the activity of pathogens that contribute to the development of diseases increases. To prevent crops from possible decay will help preventive treatment with a solution of chemicals (for example, "Fitosporin") and a few simple steps.
Properly organized watering is the main condition for moderate hydration of the crop. Of course, cabbage can be attributed to moisture-loving crops, but this is not a reason to water it more than once every 2-3 days in moderately hot weather and every other day during strong summer heat. If during the period between irrigation there was heavy rain, the next application of the liquid should be postponed for another few days.
Did you know? A close relative of white cabbage is its red-headed version, which is great for home experiments: try putting a small amount of chopped vegetable in a bowl of water and add a little soda or vinegar. In the first case, the plant turns blue, and in the second it becomes raspberry.
Check if the plant needs additional moisture, you can use a small test. At a depth of 10 cm, take a little earth and squeeze the soil in your hand: a tightly crumpled lump that keeps its shape when you unclench your fist indicates sufficient moisture, but if the earth crumbles into dust, you will have to water the plantations.
Find out why cabbage leaves turn yellow.
Approximately 3 weeks before the intended harvest, the introduction of liquid is recommended to be stopped. Natural precipitation will be quite enough for optimal soil moisture, but if there are too many of them, you will have to take care of the system to remove excess moisture and break the heads a little, turning them 50-60 degrees in each direction.
Top dressing of early and late varieties of white cabbage should be a mandatory component of caring for it throughout the growing period.
- The first feeding of dive seedlings is carried out on 8–11 days after it is moved to separate pots. In this case, it is worth using liquid mineral fertilizers made from potassium chloride (3 g), ammonium nitrate (7.5 g) and superphosphate (12 g) diluted in 3 l of water as nutrient mixtures.
- Re-fertilizing young plants is carried out approximately 2 weeks after the previous feeding, and this time use 2-3 g of ammonium nitrate, diluted in 1 liter of water.
- If you wish, you can carry out the third top dressing of seedlings (3-4 days before planting the crop in open soil), using a solution of two liters of water, 4 g of potassium chloride, 6 g of nitrate and at least 15 g of superphosphate.
The application of any fertilizer should be combined with the next watering, so as not to burn the rhizome of young cabbage. After transplanting plants into open, not previously fertilized soil, the first top dressing can be performed 16 days after planting. The best time for this procedure is a cloudy day or late evening, preferably shortly after the next watering. As for specific nutrients, it is better to start with nitrogen-containing mixtures, presented in organic or in mineral form.
Important! You can not overfeed the cabbage with nitrogen-containing fertilizers. They are used only during intensive growth and filling of heads of cabbage so that the heads do not burst from overfeeding.
A good solution in this case is a solution of 20 liters of water and 1 liter of a liquid solution of mullein, which after mixing is poured under each bush (0.5 l each). For the same amount of water, you can also take 40 g of superphosphate or 2 matchboxes of nitrate; True, in the latter case, the cabbage will not need to be added, but sprayed.
Cracked Cabbage Storage Tips
If, in spite of all your efforts, the cabbage heads are still cracked, no matter what, you have to cut them off immediately so that slugs and other pests do not settle in the resulting space. Such a crop is not suitable for laying for long-term storage, but it can still be used for starter or pickling vegetables. In addition, some housewives prefer to dry the cabbage in order to further prepare cabbage soup and second courses from it.
Learn how to store cabbage in the cellar.
Properly prepared cabbage heads in this way can be stored in a dark room for about a year if all the sheets were well dried in an oven or dehydrator. You can fold the blank in dense paper bags, or sealed glass containers. Often, chopped cracked cabbage is sent for storage to the freezer, after washing and drying it at room temperature.