How sometimes everyone wants a garden to become a luxurious flower garden from something purely functional and to delight the eye not only with its yield, but also with its unique beauty. This is not so difficult to achieve using the principle of mixed plantings. In this case, the vegetables can be beautifully planted in the form of various floral patterns and combine them with beautiful and fragrant defenders against all sorts of pests. An interesting solution that will help diversify both the garden and the flower gardens is planting the so-called ornamental cabbage. It can be planted in flower beds and along the paths, forming a border from it, and even in the garden.
Comment! The most curious thing is that the decorative cabbage is not only edible, but also very useful.
It contains a large amount of selenium, which is an excellent natural immunomodulator. To remove bitterness, its leaves can be frozen before eating.
In foreign countries, to which we are so used to being equal, we have grown this cabbage for a long time and form stunningly beautiful flowerbeds from it. In Russia, the fashion for decorative cabbage is also beginning to gain momentum, although in private gardens it is not used very often. But it is not as difficult to grow as many other flowers. Its only feature is that in apartments without balconies to grow good seedlings, most likely, will not succeed.
The easiest way is to grow ornamental cabbage from seeds if you have a private house with land and a greenhouse. But if you have been living in the country house since May, then it is quite possible to try growing it by direct sowing of seeds into the ground. But first things first.
What is decorative cabbage
Under the common name of decorative cabbage, combined several varieties of leafy cabbage, which are derived from fodder leafy forms. Plants are biennials, while in the first year, an elegant rosette of leaves or even cabbages is formed, and in the second year they bloom and you can collect seeds from them, if, of course, you do not grow hybrid forms. Plant height can be very diverse, as well as shapes and colors.
- Varieties that form large up to 80 cm, colored sockets on a shorter stem. The leaves themselves can be solid, and slightly wavy, and corrugated, and strongly dissected. See the photo below.
- Varieties that make up small coaches on a thin, fairly high stem, reaching a height of 70-80 cm. These varieties of decorative cabbage most of all resemble small palm trees. The color and shape of the leaves can also be very diverse.
- Varieties, on a long high stalk, sometimes from one to one and a half meters in height, covered with various forms of corrugated leaves, resembling some exotic trees, as in the photo below.
The maximum effect of decorative plants reach by autumn. Color shades start to appear especially brightly after the first frosts. And, given that decorative cabbage plants easily tolerate transplantation at almost any age, then in the autumn any places in flower beds, flower beds or vegetable gardens can be decorated with them, where summer plants have already bloomed and grew.Tip! In order to move the bush of ornamental cabbage, it is necessary to carefully dig up from all sides and with a large clod of earth to move to a new place. After transplanting plenty of water.
When it is possible to plant decorative cabbage when growing it from seeds?
The main varieties of decorative cabbage belong to mid-season and late-ripening groups. This means that it usually takes from 140 to 160 days from the emergence of seedlings to the achievement of the so-called technological maturity. If we keep in mind the decorative cabbage, then usually the rosettes of leaves from it open at the end of summer - in August. And from September to October, and in some regions to November, they will delight with their truly luxurious appearance.
Therefore, the earliest dates when it makes sense to plant decorative cabbage on seedlings, is the middle of March.Attention! But you should immediately take into account that cabbage is a very cold-resistant culture.
And the main problems with its cultivation will be associated more with excess heat than with its lack. Therefore, if you are going to grow cabbage seedlings at home, in a warm or even hot apartment, it is better to immediately give up this idea and wait until the end of April or the beginning of May. In these terms, it is also quite possible to plant ornamental cabbage on seedlings. Moreover, if you do not have the opportunity to provide seedlings with additional lighting, then it is better to postpone the sowing of cabbage seeds to a later date, when daylight hours will increase.
The process of planting cabbage seedlings
When planting cabbage most often the question arises - how to do it. In order to grow good cabbage seedlings they use two main methods: with picking and without picking.
Landing with a pick
This method is used primarily in those cases if there is a desire and ability to grow a sufficiently large number of seedlings of decorative cabbage. Ornamental cabbage is a very unpretentious plant. The only problem at the seedling stage can be the defeat of various fungal infections for which all types of cabbage are weak. To avoid this problem, it is necessary to subject to special treatment both the soil for sowing and the seeds.
Attention! If cabbage seeds were purchased in a specialty store, they usually do not require special preparation, since they have already been processed in production.
You should definitely soak your homemade cabbage seeds before planting for a few hours in phytosporin solution.
As for the soil for sowing seeds, it can be bought either ready-made in a store, or prepared by yourself.
- To do this, take ½ part of the usual garden land (not only from the beds where vegetables grew before). It is best to take the land from under the fruit trees.
- ½ part of completely decomposed humus is added.
- 100 g of vermiculite or sand and 1 tablespoon of wood ash are added per 10 kg of this mixture.
For complete disinfection, the soil for planting decorative cabbage must first be well steamed in the oven in order to destroy all sources of infections. After complete cooling, the soil is spilled with phytosporin solution to a wet-wet state and left for several hours. Only then can you start sowing seeds directly.
The sowing technique of ornamental cabbage seeds is as follows:
- The boxes prepared in advance are filled with moist treated soil, so that the layer thickness is at least 5 cm.
- The ground is slightly compacted and grooves about 0.5-1 cm deep are made with a suitable object.
- The distance between the grooves is 3 cm.
- Prepared decorative cabbage seeds are laid out using a match or toothpick along the grooves so that the distance between them is at least 1 cm.
- On top of the grooves are filled with the same soil and slightly compacted, so that there are no air pockets in the ground.
- From above the planting is once again watered a little, so that, as a result, the soil remains well-moistened, but not wet.
- The box is covered with foil and tied with a rubber band around the perimeter to create a small greenhouse effect.
- The box is placed in a warm place with a temperature of + 18 ° C to + 24 ° C.
- Light at this stage of seed germination is optional.
Already 3-5 days after sowing the seeds, the first shoots of cabbage may appear.
They say that it is better to see once than to read many times, and with the process of planting cabbage on seedlings, the video below will help to visually illustrate all the details of this process:Attention! Immediately after the emergence of seedlings of the ornamental cabbage, you must move to the coolest place.
It would be ideal if you can find a place for seedlings with a temperature of about + 8 ° С- + 10 ° С, but in any case the temperature should not exceed + 14 ° С- + 16 ° С. Cabbage seedlings also need a large amount of light. But to water it at this stage is not particularly necessary. If you did everything right when planting, then the land should be moistened with moisture to the moment when it will be necessary to pick it out. In extreme cases, the cabbage can sometimes be sprayed with a spray bottle, but not watered. This technique will provide additional safety of plants at this stage from fungal diseases, especially from the black leg.
After 8-12 days, when the first true leaf begins to form, the seedlings need to pick out.
To do this, prepare the required number of cups or pots, with a minimum volume of about liter. They are filled with soil, the composition is similar to that in which the seeds were sown and again spilled with phytosporin solution.
In all containers, a groove is made with a stick or pencil, about 2-3 cm in size, since the seedling root is rather long. Each sprout of cabbage is carefully dug using a plastic disposable spoon and placed in a prepared well. Make sure that the root is not bent to the side when planting. The sprout can be deepened into the ground practically up to the most cotyledon leaves. Then the ground around the sprout gently compacted. All plants are transplanted in the same way. In the ground, plants of ornamental cabbage are planted starting from the end of April and in May.
Landing without pickingComment! If you do not need a lot of seedlings of ornamental cabbage, then in this case it is better to sow its seeds immediately into separate pots without further picking.
This process, in fact, is not much different from sowing the seeds described above, except for one nuance. When sowing, two or three cabbage seeds are usually placed in each pot. A few days after emergence, only one strongest sprout is left in the pot. The rest is neatly cut with nail scissors at ground level. If there is little seed and you feel sorry for them, you can try planting sprouts at once in separate containers. There is a possibility that some of them will take root.
Sowing cabbage in the ground
As mentioned above, the best way to grow good seedlings of ornamental cabbage is sowing seeds directly into the ground. This can be done in the middle band from the end of April. For this, a bed with loose and fertile soil is prepared. It is covered with thick non-woven material on the arcs. Immediately before sowing, the ground is spilled with hot water and cabbage seeds are sown in the prepared grooves using the same technology. Lightly sprinkled with light fertile soil, compacted and covered with non-woven material on top. Under these conditions, seed germination is strongly dependent on the ambient temperature and can take up to 2-3 weeks.
Tip! If the street is still cold enough, then you can plant the seeds less often, but then additionally cover each seed on top with a half plastic bottle.
Bottles can be removed after seed germination. The seedlings in such conditions can withstand short-term frosts down to -4 ° C. But it will grow strong, healthy, stocky and even able to catch up with indoor seedlings soon.
It is better to start watering it when opening the first leaf and when watering alternate the phytosporin solution with the solution of any complex fertilizer.
Thus, having mastered the cultivation of ornamental cabbage from seeds, you can easily decorate not only flower gardens, but also any place on your site with luxurious sockets of multi-colored flowers.