Beijing cabbage in Russia has already caught up in popularity with its distant relative - white cabbage, and has taken the lead in some indicators. So, it is not necessary to plant it with seedlings, you can get by with seeds, which greatly simplifies the cultivation of Beijing cabbage in the open field. The second important advantage is that it forms heads much faster, that is, you do not need to wait for autumn to harvest. The third wonderful quality of this vegetable is that it can be used for salads, and for hot dishes, and for pickles, which has already been appreciated by thousands of chefs. Usually Beijing cabbage is not capricious, but for some gardeners, instead of forming heads, it throws out only inflorescences that no one needs. What's the matter here? What secrets do you need to know to get a good harvest?
Beijing or Chinese?
Growing Beijing cabbage in the open field, subject to a few simple conditions, even beginners in gardening can do it. Some difficulties may arise only onthe very initial stage - buying seeds, because sometimes on bags sold in all specialized stores, you can see different names and the same picture of a vegetable.
Everyone knows that Beijing is the capital of China. Therefore, it is logical that Beijing cabbage and Chinese cabbage are one and the same, but there are two varieties of this vegetable. One is lettuce, or bok-choy, the other is head-forming, or pet-sai. Bok choy does not form heads, only leaves that form in a rosette around the main bud. For the sake of these leaves, unusually useful from the standpoint of medicine, it is cultivated. In Russia, it is bok-choy that is most often called Chinese cabbage, and pet-sai - Beijing. It is also good for he alth. So, it contains a lot of vitamins A, C, B, PP, there are carotene, citric and ascorbic acids, proteins important for the human body.
So that the cultivation of Chinese cabbage in the open field does not bring unexpected surprises, let's get acquainted with the appearance of this vegetable. If all sowing and care standards are met, the crop is loose oblong heads of cabbage up to 35 cm long. At the base, each leaf has a large fleshy central vein, whitish in color. Its shape is most often triangular, and the dimensions are such that they make up about 20% of the sheet or more. The rest of it is rather delicate, pale green, less often green or rich green, slightly convex, with jagged edges. In the context, the head of cabbage has a yellowish-green color. Peking seedscabbages are small, like tiny balls. This vegetable loves moisture, light and heat, but is able to withstand frosts on the soil down to -4 degrees Celsius. This does not apply to young seedlings of Beijing cabbage, which need to be provided with positive temperatures.
Features of cultivation
Beijing cabbage has many features. One of them is very fast germination. Therefore, growing Beijing cabbage in open ground from seeds is considered the most convenient way to cultivate it. The main condition that must be observed is the temperature regime. The fact is that Beijing cabbage gives full-bodied heads only in the air temperature range from +13 to +22 degrees Celsius. In cooler weather, this foreign vegetable actively forms arrows, in higher weather it does not tie good heads and also throws out flower stalks. Planting dates in each region should be oriented to climatic conditions, taking into account the fact that seeds germinate no longer than a week at an ambient temperature of up to +5 degrees and about 4 days at a temperature of +13 degrees. On average, cabbage is sown outdoors in spring from mid-April to mid-June, but experienced gardeners advise sowing at intervals of about 2 weeks in order to have a long harvest.
How to plant seeds properly
Growing Chinese cabbage outdoors in spring is the most convenient way to get a high yield. For beds allocate a well-lit place with a light neutralsoil.
Seeds are placed in the ground to a depth of no more than 2 cm, and preferably from 1 to 1.5 cm. In Chinese cabbage, very large lower leaves grow before the formation of heads, which subsequently die off, but in the process of growth they are very interfere with each other. Based on this, the distance between future cabbages should be at least 30 cm. It is almost impossible to withstand it by sowing small seeds, therefore, in the future, seedlings must be thinned out. In order for the seedlings to appear faster, as well as to protect them from possible frosts, it is advisable to cover the crops with a film.
Growing Beijing cabbage in the open field is rarely difficult. After the emergence of seedlings and their thinning, proper watering comes first in importance. Beijing cabbage loves moisture and does not form good heads of cabbage if it is lacking. However, with an excess of water, it begins to rot. It should be watered abundantly, but in such a way that the water does not stagnate, and on especially hot days, arrange rain irrigation for your plants. Important for cabbage and weeding, as well as shallow loosening of the soil. This vegetable is fed 2 times per season with a solution of slurry or mullein.
Not only with seeds, but also with seedlings, cultivation of Beijing cabbage in the open field at home is practiced. This is done for earlier maturation.harvest or for multiple harvests per season. Engage in seedlings of Beijing cabbage begin in the second half of April. This plant does not like transplants and picks, so each seed is immediately placed in a separate cassette or in a peat pot (tablet). You can also sow 2-3 seeds, so that after germination, leave the strongest seedling and remove the rest. As soon as the seedlings hatch, the containers with seedlings are transferred to a well-lit, but not hot place (ambient temperature - up to +18 degrees), so that the sprouts do not stretch too much. Otherwise, it will be problematic to land them. Seedlings are planted on the bed with a clod of earth, without injuring the root system.
Holes are made from one another by 25-30 cm. Half a glass of ash and a pinch (up to a teaspoon) of complex fertilizers are added to each. Sprouts are ready to move to open ground when 5-6 leaves appear on each. In the first days after planting, young plants need to be covered with a film at night from sudden changes in temperature. It will be ready to harvest in 3 weeks.
Growing in summer
Because Chinese cabbage ripens very quickly, it can be harvested twice during the season, re-sowing seeds from late July to mid-August. In June, it is not sown, which is due to the length of daylight hours, which should be no more than 12-13 hours for the formation of heads. Outdoor cultivation of Chinese cabbage in July is not much different from the process in the spring.
The only thing that gardeners should additionally do is to artificially shorten the length of daylight hours for their cabbage by covering the plants with lutrasil. You also need to ensure sufficient watering and prevent the soil from drying out. To obtain seeds, cabbage is planted in months when the sun shines for more than 13 hours. It doesn't matter how hot the air temperature is.
Beijing cabbage shooting
Almost all gardeners plant Chinese cabbage for heads. But sometimes, instead of forming heads, the plants begin to throw out flower arrows, and the harvest does not work. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary, in compliance with all norms, to carry out the cultivation of Beijing cabbage in the open field. The photo below shows what the rows should look like before the last thinning. With this method of planting, excess plants are not thrown away, but used for cooking.
Arrows may appear:
- with too long daylight hours;
- dense plantings;
- lack of nutrients in the soil;
- insufficient watering in hot weather.
Sometimes cabbage is naughty when it is transplanted. This happens when gardeners, thinning out plantings, try to save extra plants by transplanting them to another place.
Pests and diseases
Growing Beijing cabbage in the open field in the country or in the backyard is usuallypasses without difficulty. Important: it is undesirable to plant this crop after other cruciferous plants (radish, radish, mustard), which reduces the risk of diseases characteristic of these crops. Among the pests, most often cabbage is attacked by fleas that can completely destroy seedlings. To combat insects, the bed should be sprinkled with ashes. They like to feast on cabbage leaves and slugs. If they are seen on the site, special traps are arranged for them. Another pest is cabbage, laying eggs on the back of the leaves. If such clutches are found, they are destroyed manually.