Is it advisable to use inorganic fertilisers in cabbage nursery bed preparation? How do I go about planting?
Cabbages are an important vegetable in Uganda. They are also an emerging money crop because of the widening market both locally and regionally. Despite its heat tolerance, the crop needs tender care for its proper growth.
A nursery bed helps the crop to grow since at the tender age climatic conditions may scotch it up. Cabbages are semi-high value vegetables. With 20,000 heads in an acre, a farmer can earn a gross of around sh20m since, the average price is sh1,000 per cabbage.
A well-drained soil enhances quick germination with in a period of 5-7 days.
Cabbages require fairly well drained, fertile loam soils with a PH of 6-7. To know thepH, you need to carry out a soil test. Soil testing is done at most government research centres.
The land has to be broken down to ensure proper root improvement, aeration of the roots and water up take to a reasonable degree. For best result, one needs to prepare the ground with organic materials to act as fertilisers before thinking of transplanting.
Yes, you can use inorganic or organic manure at the nursery bed. Manure is one of the essentials for proper growth in the nursery bed therefore basal fertilisers such as DAP, among others insecticide and fungicide give a healthy seed backed up with lighting with fine soils mulched with dry grass, before water is applied using a watering can. This should be done reasonably without flooding the seeds. The seedlings are ready for transplanting within four weeks.
For purposes of aeration of the soil, the field ought to be ploughed 2-3 weeks in advance at least 8 inches deep. This ensures high chances of survival and better establishment in the main garden.
A close range of incorporate rotten farmyard manure, DAP, and TSP fertilisers ought to be used depending on the type of the soil. Harrowing the field 2-3 weeks later after ploughing prepares soil well.
Keeping the field free from weeds reduces competition for light, space and nutrients among others hence reducing pest and diseases infestation.
Cabbage diseases include black rot, black leg, downey mildew and white rust which attack both the leaves and roots, these are controlled by carrying out crop rotation, proper hygiene, and use of recommended fungicides. Common pests include nematodes, cutworms and aphids.
Harvesting season is characterised with firm and fully formed head weighing up between 4.5-5kg these have to be harvested as soon as possible to avoid cracking of the heads.
Leave four wrapper leaves to keep cabbage fresh in the market. Proper care for the heads is important to avoid bruises, for that matter one is well assured of the market there outside.
Currently, a cabbage costs between sh1,000 and sh2,000 in most city markets. Ugandan cabbages are also exported to Kenya and South Sudan.