Seasonal & Off-seasonal Cole crop cultivation
Cole crops consist of large group of vegetable which are originated from a common parent, wild cabbage called colewart. It consists of Cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Cauliflower, Brocccoli, Knolkhol, kale, Red cabbage, Brussel sprout etc. Cole crops are good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and several minerals like potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, and iron. Cole crops are originated from Western Europe and the northern shore of Mediterranean Sea whereas Chinese cabbage is originated from China. Among the different crops grown in Nepal, cabbage and Cauliflower consists of greater extent which are cultivated as seasonal crop during the winter and early spring season and off- seasonal crop during the rainy season in Terai and Mid Hills of Nepal.
The recommended varieties of cauliflower and cabbage are mentioned below:
- Kathmandu local
- Dolpa Snowball
- Snow best
- Sarlahi Deepali
- Snow queen
- Super white top
- Pusa Deepali
- Early snowball
- Round head or ball head type: Golden acre, pride of India, Copenhagen market, Green Express, Mammoth Rock Red, Pusa Sambandh etc.
- Flat head or drum head types: Pusa drum head, large drum head, pusa mukta (resistant to black rot)
- Conical head type: Jersey wakefield, Charleston wakefield etc.
- Savoy type: Chieftain, Drum head savoy etc
- Red cabbage: red acre, red rock etc
- Hybrid cabbage: K-K cross, K-Y cross etc
Climate & Soil:
Cole crops are cool season crops which thrives in relatively cool moist climate. It can withstand extreme cold and frost where its optimum seed germination is obtained at 12.8 – 15.6 degree Celsius. The optimum temperature for growth and development is 15-20 degree Celsius. Temperature above 25-degree Celsius growth of plant is checked, and minimum temperature for their growth is above 0 degree Celsius.
Cabbage and cauliflower can be grown in all types of soil but soil with high OM, high fertility and good drainage is preferred. In clay loam or silt soil, larger yield may be obtained from late crop. it does not grow well in acidic soil and the optimum pH of soil for these crops is 6.0-6.5.
For off season vegetable production, seedling production of cauliflower and cabbage needs to be carried out with poly tunnel with good ventilation or green house or tunnels (like that of tomato: for healthy and good quality seedling production during the rainy season in Terai and Mid-Hills. It is not even optimum for cauliflower production in Daman, Tistung and Palung during summer months. Beds should be covered (thatched roof) during hotter period of day.
Condition for late crop in mid hills and plains are suitable for raising seedlings in the beds, since the period has optimum temperature, moisture and better sunshine. After ploughing the field making fine tilth free of weeds, beds of 1m width and 20-25 cm raised with desirable length are prepared. The seeds are sown in the raised nursery beds which should be sterilized br formaldehyde (10%) or some fungal treatment (Bavistin 1 gm/liter of water). The seed for early sowing should be treated with some fungicides such as captan, thiram @ 2 gm / kg of seeds to save young ones from damping off. The seeds are sown in line at 5 cm apart, beds covered with straw or mulch and irrigated with rose can. Prickling is done at 2-3 leaf stage for hardy and healthy seedlings, seedlings are transplanted in about 4-5 weeks at 4-5 leaf stage.
Manuring & Fertilization:
Cabbage and cauliflower are heavy feeder crops. They require heavy manuring where the recommended well decomposed FYM 20 tons per hector during the land preparation phase. Similarly, inorganic fertilizer is applied in the ratio of 200: 120: 80 kg NPK per hector where half dose of N & full dose of P & K are applied during transplanting. The remaining half dose of N is applied in 2 split doses i.e. about 4-6 weeks after transplanting and during curd formation stage.
Along with that 10-15 kg of Borax and 1-1.5 kg per hector of sodium or ammonium molybdate per hector as basal dose for avoiding buttoning, browning and whiptail disorders of cauliflower.
Sowing and transplanting:
Seedlings with 5-6 true leaf stage after 4-5 weeks are transplanted in the well-prepared field and light irrigation should be given immediately after transplanting.
|Geographical region||Variety group||Sowing time|
Transplanting can be carried out after 4-5 weeks of sowing.
Seed rate & Spacing:
The seed rate and spacing according to early, mid and late cultivars are as below:
Early variety: 500-600 grams seed/ha & Spacing: 60 cm * 50 cm
Mid variety: 400-500 grams seed/ha & Spacing: 60 cm * 60 cm
Late variety: 400-500 grams seed/ha & Spacing: 75 cm * 60 cm.
Early crop requires irrigation twice a week and later crops once a week. During the late stage of the early season crop and the early stage of the mid-season crop, irrigation is only given if there is long gap in the rain.
Weeding is very important aspect in cabbage & cauliflower due to wider spacing high fertility and frequent irrigations. Frequent shallow hoeing is done in these crops & earthing up is necessary to facilitate proper root development. Two earthing up is done first at 4-5 weeks of transplanting and 2nd before initiation if curd formation.
Blanching in Cauliflower:
Preventing of curds of cauliflower from direct sunlight that makes the curd white and improve flavor and tenderness is simply called blanching. The common practice in blanching is to bring the outer leaves over the head and tie them with a twine or rubber band. Blanching should be done only when the head (curd) has grown fully, leaves should not be left tied over for 4-5 days.
Harvesting & Yield:
They should be harvested when they attain the proper size and compactness i.e. according to the market demand as well. Small sized head of cabbage is preferred in the market nowadays than large sized heads. Leaves should be trimmed 2-2.5 cm projecting above the head or curd before sending in market. Securely pack the cauliflower heads than cabbage for transportation.
The average yield of early varieties ranges from 12-15 tons/ha and that of mid and late varieties is 20-30 tons/ha for cauliflower and 25-30 tons for early season whereas 35-49 tons/ha & 39-59 tons/ha for mid & late season varieties of cabbage.
Store the harvested product at 85-87% Relative humidity and 0-1.7 degree Celsius.
Seed production techniques: