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Summer residents love to grow juicy cabbage in the garden because of its beneficial properties and practicality in use. But it is often noticed during the growth process that the seedlings go up, that is, they stretch out. There may be many reasons for this, they must be found out immediately and measures should be taken, otherwise there will be no good harvest.
Many lovers of this vegetable are interested in what to do if the seedlings are growing up. Cabbage grows intensively, it always lacks sunlight, mineral nutrients and fertilizers, space, so it starts to stretch. But in no case should this be allowed, since it slows down the process of head formation.
It is necessary to determine what kind of culture it is, what its features, and what conditions it loves. This will help in identifying the causes of the stretching foliage. Only then can this cause be eliminated, which interferes with the normal development of culture.
Description of this type of vegetable
Cabbage is a deciduous plant on a stem, its lower leaves forming a head of cabbage. It is loved for its abundance of vitamins and its use in cooking cabbage soup, hodgepodge, salads and pickles. It is eaten raw and boiled. Cabbage normally belongs to Russian weather conditions, so it can grow in open ground, only it is planted mainly with seedlings. The warmer the conditions on the windowsill, the faster the seeds will germinate.
Although after germination and further, this plant prefers mainly a cool temperature.
When seeds sprout, they need to provide everything they need for germination: the right temperature, fresh air, humidity, light, nutrients. If any of the requirements is violated, then there will be no further good harvest. The sprout begins to stretch strongly precisely because of improper care immediately after planting the seed.
Usually, no more than 50 days pass before planting in the country. Therefore, you need to start sowing in late March - early April. Before planting, it is better to soak the seed in a special solution to accelerate growth and nutrition.
How to plant
After planting the seeds, cover the container with a transparent film, and keep it until germination. Then we open the processes. The best temperature for germinated seeds is no more than 15 degrees. Therefore, if the house is hot, it is necessary to ventilate the room. It is advised to plant when the heating is turned off.
Planting in the soil occurs when four leaves appear, and the sprout becomes more than ten centimeters. It is dense, strong and flawless.
This culture is very fond of plentiful watering, only in the fall, before cutting the heads of cabbage, you need to stop it for several days.
Heads of cabbage will be large, even, juicy, if you use top dressing in time, loosen the ground, spray from harmful insects. Of the fertilizers, the vegetable prefers ammonium nitrate, nitrogen minerals, humus.
Insects often attack this vegetable, so it needs special protection from them. The most dangerous pests for cabbage are beetles, whitefly butterflies, flies, moths.
Reasons for striving upward in cabbage
Often, inexperienced gardeners first encounter such a problem that cabbage seedlings are stretched out before or after planting in the ground. There are several reasons for this phenomenon.
- Incorrect temperature in the room where the seedlings are standing. She needs coolness and airing, the temperature will be normal - at least 18 degrees during germination of seeds, up to 12 degrees when they begin to sprout, and 15-17 - before they are planted in the garden.
- Very little light. If the plant stays in a dark room for a long time, in the shade, then it will stretch out, it will seek to look for the necessary source of light, the leaves will climb up.
- Insufficient nutrients and fertilizers. If the land is barren, then the cabbage grows high. The soil should be prepared in the fall, fertilized, loosened.
- The purchased seeds turned out to be fake, it happens that cabbage is crossed with something else. And so the leaves grow tall and the heads of cabbage small.
- Strongly overgrown root system. When planting, the root should be cut off so that it does not grow, and the energy was spent on the growth of the head of cabbage.
- Too abundant watering, or vice versa, lack of moisture.
- An excess of fertilizer can lead to overgrowth of foliage, but not to the development of fruits.
- Little space in the garden. Seedlings must be planted 30-35 cm apart.
- Nearby, in the neighborhood, those crops grow that are forbidden to plant, as they take away useful substances. You need to plant something that does not have large roots: carrots, onions, herbs, legumes.
- A lot of weeds around, not loose soil will lead to an insufficient supply of nutrients.
The summer resident must determine the reason why the seedlings stretch upward. He must study why cabbage is pulled out in the garden, know what to do to avoid it. To avoid negative consequences, it is worth paying more attention to the care of the culture from the very beginning.
How to stop pulling
Those who have met a bad experience in growing cabbage need to learn how to eliminate the result that happened. If the cabbage is stretched out, then what to do? If, nevertheless, it is found that the foliage is growing more and more, then you need to start taking action. If the cabbage has not yet been planted in the garden, then before planting, you can prune the root outgrowths that are too large.
We remove everything that blocks the sunlight. Cabbage doesn't like shade. Better to plant it in an open area. If the seedlings that have not yet been planted begin an active striving for light, then they need to provide it: create artificial light on the north side, hang a lamp on. It is worth trying to feed the vegetable, nitrogen and potassium fertilizers should always be enough. If the cabbage lacks nutrients, then the leaves begin to stretch. But it is important to remember that there should be no satiety.
You can stop watering for a while if the reason lies in it. Cabbage should not be poured, otherwise the head of cabbage will not be juicy and hard, and the foliage will grow thickly. It is also necessary to periodically loosen the ground, weed the beds, remove weeds, spray from harmful insects. Seedlings are aired and hardened in spring, placed on a balcony or terrace.
If overgrowths appear in the container with seedlings, then you can cut off the upper shoots with leaves, put them in water, wait until they germinate. This is the process of dividing and slowing down the growth of the cabbage. And there will be more seedlings.
There are artificial drugs that slow down the stretch. These can be purchased at specialty garden stores. They are bred according to the instructions, then watered at the root or sprayed on the foliage during a certain period of growth.
In order to slow down an elongated seedling, you need to determine the cause of this, and then prevent it, and make sure that this does not happen again.
Prevention and favorable conditions for growth
In order not to stretch foliage, it is necessary to initially fulfill all the requirements for planting. It is necessary to start in the fall, when everyone is digging up land at their dachas. They plan the landing in advance and prepare the soil in advance. Before severe frosts, manure, peat, sand, superphosphate and potash fertilizers are added to the ground, and in the spring they are dug up again and watered with diluted urea. Top dressing is first done every two weeks, and then once a month to accelerate the maturation of the heads.
The earth should be light, loose, soft. It should not contain clay, waste, mixtures of heavy metals. The land must be loosened, weeded, removing unnecessary grass. It only takes vitamins from cabbage. Loosening and hilling should be done carefully around the vegetable so as not to hurt the stems and roots.
You can purchase an acidity meter for the soil, as this plant does not like too acidic soil. The acidity should not exceed 7 units.
Before the cabbage is planted in the garden, several important nuances need to be completed so that all the seeds sprout successfully. Capacity, variety, climatic conditions affect ripening. You need to look at the quality of the seeds in the store, they can slip a fake, and then the seedlings and harvest will be of poor quality. Check the expiration date printed on the package. Ask your consultant for details about the variety.
A place for seedlings is chosen such that no species of cruciferous or cabbage have grown on it before, tall plants and bushes are also not needed. Such a place is completely unfavorable for the ripening of heads of cabbage, and the foliage will begin to stretch. It is good if you previously grew cucumbers, carrots, onions, beans, peas, wheat, oats.
Caring for seedlings in a container
Temperature and light are very important for germination of the shoots. The norm of daylight hours is 12 hours, if the window where the seedlings are located is on the north side, then you can hang a lamp or lamp over it so that it does not stay in the dark for a long time. And in order to adjust the desired temperature, you need to ventilate the room or take out a container with sprouts outside. In April, the weather already allows you to do this.
It is necessary to make sure that the room is constantly humid, and also to ensure good watering of the seedlings on the windowsill. Watering is necessary twice a week, but you need to touch the ground with your hands so as not to overdo it. In the garden it is enough to water once a week, but abundantly. Before harvesting, stop watering, otherwise the heads of cabbage will rot and poorly stored.
Two weeks after germination, it is imperative to break off the top leaves, this will slow down the stretching process. If the seedlings are too long, then the head of cabbage may not form, and the cabbage in the garden will die soon. After planting in the dacha, the cabbage is shaded, twigs of needles or other shrubs are placed next to it to cover young sprouts, but as soon as it adapts in a new place, they open sunlight, throw out the branches.
All these efforts will help to achieve effective yields and crispy, healthy fruits. Do not neglect the rules of care, they are different for each vegetable crop.
When growing cabbage in the garden, you should carefully look after it, provide all the necessary conditions for its growth from the very beginning, as soon as you open the package of seeds. If the cabbage seedlings are strongly stretched, then it is difficult to return them to the desired position, and the head of cabbage will no longer become so juicy and large. Therefore, you need to monitor this in advance, so that later you do not puzzle over what to do.