I get this a lot. “Why only tomatoes?”. Mostly my Mom and Wife. Ok Seriously, why only tomatoes? My answer is.. a) tomatoes are forgiving. b) tomatoes are needed daily c) they yield forever!. Don’t they?
Lets say I grow onions, It takes pretty long time to be ready for harvest and guess what? 3-4 months of growth gives me an onion or two per pot and that is used up in a day!. That I feel is less productive. I would have done two different veggies in that time. For a guy, who is so particular about his container real estate, it matters a LOT. So, I kind of stick with Toms, Peppers, Chillies and quick growing/yielding varieties.
Anyway, I wasn’t interested in cabbages either, until I came across a variety that yields quicker in 2 months. Guess what happened. Seeds sown in small pots the very next day! 😀
In this post, I present to you the variety called “Earliana”.
“57 days. Brassica oleracea. Plant produces small 2 lb round cabbage. This variety takes less time to mature than other varieties. It will cut your growing time in half! Suitable for home gardens” says a description on one of the seed selling sites.
Cabbages are transplanted or can be sown directly too. I had sown them in small trays and after I saw two true leaves. I transplanted them to small pots. In the small pots, shown below, the transplants spent a good 1 month. The leaves show, don’t they?
Step 1: Get the transplants ready.
Step 2: Choose a container.
Creativity is your limit in choosing a container. But again, choosing old shoes and egg shells are unrealistic. Choose a container that is 12″ wide and 12″ deep. I simply choose the dustbin buckets like the one pictured below. It holds approx 8Litres of medium. The blue protruding thing you see is for the drainage. Thats is generally called as “Tank Joint” and in bangalore you have to ask “Tank nipple”. ( Dont get me started on that name). The one I use is 3/4th of an inch and is an inch from the bottom. Why so much fuzz… whats wrong with a simply poke-few-holes-in-the-bottm technique? If you are using a terrace or balcony you will know. The drainage water when it comes through the side, it is more controllable. I can connect all the outlets of all the buckets and let it into one drum saves water. Also, since the drain hole is 1inch from the bottom, it always stores some amount of water inside which prevents the plant from wilting off in hot weather.
Step 3: Get the soil mix ready.
By soil mix I meant the potting mix. It can be a potting mix that you made yourself, or purchased from outside. The picture shown here is a 50-50 mix of Coco peat ( Coir Pith) and Compost.
Step 4: Carefully remove the seedling from the pot.
This step is very important. The whole point is to remove the plant from its pot without any disturbance to its roots. If your medium is coco peat based then the plant will come very easily. You keep your hand in such a way that the plant stem is in between your fingers and your palm holds the top soil. This prevents the plant stem from breaking and the media from falling off.
You can see the pot full of roots but they are not pot bound so no worries.
Now gently turn the plant while holding the root mass with your hands.
Step 5: Place the plant and add more potting mix
Fill 3/4 of the container with potting mix and keep the seedling on top and gently add potting mix to the sides and with care, compact the top at the same time not damaging the plants roots.
Thats it! the transplanting is over. Its time to water them and keep them in a place where there is no direct sunlight. Once they are hardened they will be kept where it receives atleast 6 hours of sunlight.
I transplanted 3 seedlings. Here they are.
Though this post is titled “Transplant cabbage”. This applies to most of the seedlings.