Cabbage

Cabbage : Brassica oleracea

Introduction

Cabbage originated from the South and Western part of Europe. Annual world production is about 21million tones of fresh heads from 1.1 million hectares. In Sri Lanka cabbage is one of the important vegetable is cultivated in large extent mainly in the up-country as a year round crop. In the low country it is only during Maha season. Among the other vegetables cabbage is one of the easiest crop to established and manage thus most of the people grow this crop in their home gardens. It is also an important economical and rotational crop in the major vegetable growing areas.


Nutritional value -(per 100 g of edible portion)

Moisture (g)

91.9

Energy K cal

27

Protein (g)

1.8

Fats (g)

0.1

Carbohydrate (g)

4.6

Calcium (mg)

39

Phosphorous (mg)

44

Iron (mg)

0.8

Carotene (mcg)

1200

Thiamin (mcg)

60

Riboflavin (mcg)

90

Niacin (mg)

0.4

Vitamin C (mg)

12.4

Waste as purchased

15%

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization - Annual Report, 1992

World status of the crop

Area

Extent (ha)

Average yield
(t/ha)

Europe

364,000

26.35

America

226,000

28.10

USSR

257,000

22.20

Asia

914,000

18.03

Source: The cabbage Industry. Htm.1998

Recommended Varieties
Varieties


Green Coronet, Exotic F1, Hercules, Gloria F

Head characteristics and Cultivated areas

Variety

Head characteristics

Recommended areas

Green coronet

Firm
Light green
Oval shape

Up country

Exotic F1

Medium firm
Flattened round
Head weight

Low country and mid country

Gloria F1

Firm
Flattened globe
Head weight

Up country

Hercules

Uniform blue green
Very firm
Semi globe
Head weight

Up country


Nursery management

  • 3 m x 1 m size raised bed (about 12 - 15 cm raised) is recommended.
  • The area should be:
    - Opened for sun shine,
    - That should not be cultivated Brassicacea family crops early.
    - Soil should not be an acidic.
  • First clean the field and break the large clods into small particles and make fine texture soil.
  • Then prepare the bed.
  • Apply paddy husk and straw layers on the surface of the bed and fire from the opposite of the wind direction to sterilize the bed.
  • Apply 3 - 4 Kg of organic manure and mix well with soil.
  • Put seeds about 1 cm deep on the lines that maintain 10 cm space with the lines.
  • Apply fungicide to control Damping off and Anthracnose.
  • Water to the bed and mulch it by using paddy straw.
  • Then cover the beds by using polyethylene that should not be transparent to avoid sun rays and rain.
  • Remove the mulch after 5 - 6 days.
  • Germination period will be 5 - 6 days.
  • Remove the polyethylene cover 10 days before planting to hardening.
Field Establishment

Climatic requirements

Optimum climatic conditions are

  • 15 oC - 20 oC temperature
  • Elevation is above 800 m.


Optimum soil conditions

  • Well drained soils are suitable.
  • pH range is 6.0- 7.0

Seed rate

200 - 250 g/ha

Planting spacing

50 cm between rows and 40 cm within rows. (50 cm x 40 cm)
40 x 40 cm - for medium size heads

Crop age

90-105 days


Planting

  • Up - country:
    Healthy 30-35 days old seedlings should be transplanted on flat beds.
  • Mid country:
    Seedlings may be planted on flat beds or ridges.
  • Plant one seedling per hill.


Crop Management

Fertilizer application

A) For Nuwara Eliya district.

Time of application

Urea Kg/ha

Triple Super Phosphate (T.S.P)Kg/ha

Murate of Potash (M.O.P) kg/ha

Basel dressing

-

275

75

Top dressing 1 (after 2 weeks)

110

-

-

Top dressing 2 (after 2 weeks)

110

-

75

Top dressing 3(after 8 weeks)

110

-

-

The total

330

275

150


  1. B) For other districts

Time of application

Urea Kg/ha

Triple Super Phosphate (T.S.P) Kg/ha

Murate of Potash (M.O.P)
kg/ha

Basel dressing

110

275

75

Top dressing 1 (after 3 weeks)

110

-

-

Top dressing 2 (after 6 weeks)

110

-

75

The total

330

275

150

Seed rate

200 - 250 g/ha.

Thousand seed weight

3.4 g - 4.5 g

Spacing

50 cm between rows and 40 cm within rows. (50 cm x 40 cm)
(40 cm x 40 cm)

Weed Control

Hand weeding 2 & 4 weeks after planting

Irrigation

Irrigate daily until plants are fully established, then every 2 days for 2 weeks, and every 4 days thereafter depending on rainfall. Mainlining proper soil moisture level during head forming stage is necessary.

Pest & Disease Control

All pesticides application should cease 3 weeks before harvest

Weed control

Weeding manually at 2 and 4 week after planting.

Harvesting

a.) Harvesting can begin 90 - 110 days after transplanting and it depends on variety as well as environmental conditions.
b.) Harvesting should be practiced in the morning and avoid heavy sun rays.
c.) Harvest the head with 2 - 3 rolling leaves.
d.) Potential yields 25 - 75 MT/ha, that depends on variety as well as location.


Insects and pests

Pest

Damage symptoms

Management/Control

Black cut worm Agrotis spp.

The young plants are seen fed upon and cut at base. The leaves and developing cabbage heads are riddled with holes. The caterpillars hide during day time and come out to feed at night. It coils itself and feigns death when disturbed.

A) Non chemical control

  • Ploughing the soil
  • Flooding the soil

B) Chemical control

  • Just after planting treat one of following insecticide around the base of the plants to saturate the soil.

- Trichlorofon 50% 1700ml
- Profenophos 50% 1030 ml
- Prothiofos 50% 1400 - 2100 ml

Cabbage caterpillars.
Plutella Xylostella Hellula undalis Crocidolomia binotalis

Leaves show feeding holes with or without webbing and soiled with excreta.

A) Non chemical control
No none chemical control
B) Non chemical control

  • Treat one of following insecticide. First spray with first sign of damage and repeat at 2 weeks if necessary.

- Chlorfluazuron 5%
EC 1100 - 1900 ml
- Quinalphos 25%
EC 1400 - 2100 ml
- Profenophos 50%
EC 1050 - 1400 ml


Disease control
1. Club rot (Plasmodiophora byassicae)
a.) Symptoms
i. Swelling or malformations on the main laterals roots.
ii. Malformed root growth.
iii. Failure to form heads.
iv. Stunted plants
b) Control
i. Treat nursery beds and fields with Morut, a soil drench.
ii. Apply 2 - 4 t/ha of lime to raise soil pH
iii. Dip seedlings in a Mancoseb solution before transplanting
iv. Avoid continuous cultivation of crusifera crops.

2. Damping - off and seedling blight


a.) Causal organisms
i. Alternaria brassicicole
ii. Pythium spp.
iii. Fusarium spp.
iv. Rhizoctonia solani


  1. b) Control
    Avoid heavy.
    ii. Use recommended fungicide.
    iii. Control root moisture.

    3. Black rot (Xanthomonas campestris)


a.) Symptoms
i. Bleaching of veins along leaf margins, extending towards petioles and the
main stem.
ii. Yellowing, wilting and drying of leaves
iii. Defoliation.


  1. b) Control
    Destroy infected crop residues
    ii. Use crop rotations with non - susceptible crops.
    iii. Seed treatment - immerse seeds for 30 minutes in water heated to 50 0C.

    4. Cabbage Yellows (Fusarium oxysporum)
    a.) Symptoms
    i. Foliage becomes pale yellow green shortly after transplanting.
    ii. Older leaves curl downward, turn partially brown and shed.
    iii. Main stem becomes barren of foliage and often curved to one side.
    iv. Plants die before maturity.

    Note: All Fungicide and Insecticide Applications Should Cease 3 Weeks before Harvest.

    Problems with growing cabbages

Symptoms

Possible causes

Controls & comments

Cracking of cabbage heads

Excess water taken up by plant causes head to burst, Variety

Harvest heads as soon as mature
Sufficient irrigation
Plant recommended varieties

Poor heading

Overcrowding
Dry soil
High temperatures
Poor fertility

Plant at recommended spacing
Supply water
Soil test

Brown spots on leaves

Mycosphearella brassicola leaf spot (fungus)

Use fungicides (Tebuconazole-0.35ml/l), plant healthy seedlings, proper spacing, remove crop debris, Water management, remove infected plant parts,

V-shaped lesions on leaf margin

Black rot (bacteria) Xanthomonas campestris

Plant healthy seedlings, proper spacing, remove crop debris, Water management, remove infected plants, Use copper fungicides to avoid further infection.

Gray, powdery growth on lower leaf margin

Downey mildew (Perenospora parasitica)

Use recommended fungicides
(Tebuconazole-0.35ml/l),
Avoid excess water and dense seeding

Cabbage yellowing

Dry soil
Poor fertility
Fusarium spp. (fungal disease)

Water management
Soil test
Crop rotate,
Burning of soil debris
Drenching of Recommended fungicides (Formosalforte)

Brown colour spots with concentric curves

Cercospora leaf spots

Use healthy plant
Proper spacing
Remove infected plants
Use fungicides(Tebuconazole-0.35ml/l)

Swelling or Malformations on the main root and laterals, Malformed root growth

Club root (Plasmodiophora brassicae)

Plant healthy seedling
Remove infected plants
Burning of crop debris
Avoid continuous cropping of crucifers, Keep fields free of wild mustard. Addition to the chemical fertilizer use poultry manure (10t/ha) to minimize the infestation. Apply lime (2t/ha)

Pests
Cabbage leaf eating caterpillar

Plutella xylostella
Plusia eriosoma
Agrotis ipsilon
Hellula unda;lis
Crocidolomia binotalis
Spodoptera litura

Chlorofluazuron 50g/l EC(Atabron)-1.0ml/l Profenophos 500g/l EC (Selecron) -2.3-3.1 ml/l Etofenprox 100g/l EC(Trebon)-1.0ml/l Neem seed water extract (Neemzal)-20-40g/l
Azadirachtin 50 g/l EC 2ml/l


Harvesting & Post-harvest Technology

Harvesting

90-105 days after planting- Depend on the variety

Post - harvest

  1. Grade heads and handle them carefully to avoid mechanical damage
  2. Pack in well-ventilated bags if long distance transport is anticipated

Average Yeild

16 - 20 t/ac

Potential Yeild

40-75 t/ac


Peak production months
Maha - 15th February -30th April- Badulla and Nuwara Eliya, Kandy
Yala - 1st June - 30th September- Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Kandy

Economics & Marketing

Cost of production
Cultivated Extents and production

At present the crop is cultivated in an extent of 3800 ha annually and the total production is approximately 37500 Mt. The average yield is 11.2 Mt/ha. The major producing districts are Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Kandy and Matale.

Year

Extent (ha)

Production (Mt)

1990

2432

36322

1991

2747

39053

1992

2792

45349

1993

2907

34023

1994

2026

34822

1995

3051

34475

1996

3242

40119

1997

3356

37513

1998

3523

47384

1999

3854

52436

Source: Census and Statistical Division, Peradeniya

Fresh Cabbage Export from Sri Lanka

Year

Volume (kg)

Value (FOB)
(Rs. Mn)

1993

14,337

0.48

1994

21,334

0.70

1995

3571

0.11

1996

6033

0.25

1997

4,205

0.16

1998

8,98

0.69

1999

292

0.22

Source: SLEDB