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Why transplant cabbage?


 
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Cindrella ella
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject: Why transplant cabbage? Reply with quote

Hello again everybody, got a quick query. Like many other gardeners I am stuck for planting space in the garden, my eyes are too big for my garden and I end up buying too much seed and plants.
Over the next few days I'm sowing some cabbage seed that I bought and I wondered can I just sow and harvest from the same spot withouttransplanting. whats the reason for sowing from seed then transplanting, did anybody ever question it or is it just me. Razz
Will I get on ok chancing it.
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hI Cinderella

I havent grown cabbage myself, but here are some reasons why we transplant...

usually you can start seeds and seedlings off in protected environments indoors or in propagators in march and april. this allows the weak seedling to establish in optimum conditions.

Planting out in march or april, the soil temp is just too low, winds are still about, and frost is possible. All tehse will kill a tender plant particularily soil temp.

by mid may everthing has heated up sufficiently to allow planting out of seedlings, with a high degree of assurance that the seedling will take and survive.

I took a chance on s trong loking tomatoe plant about a month go and out it outside in a pot and put a plstic cloch over it, it lasted about a week then keeled over. Just too cold at night. similarily leeks and onions keedl over on me, when planted out, when they were too tender.


for what I am planting at the moment ( squash, leeks, corn on the cob etc) they are propagated from seed in an electric propagator, ( 2 weeks) then moved to an unheated greenhouse, untill mid may, then when big and string enough, they will be hardened off by getting them used to not so cosy conditions for about a week, then into the ground with everything in mid may.
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Cindrella ella
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear ya Michael196, that old frost is the bane of my life. I suppose what I am getting at is that now things have started to warm up I am sowing outside with little space to spare, I am wondering can i get a crop of cabbage without tying up two areas through transplanting.
Surely cabbage grows in the wild without transplanting so why not in our gardens. I kow the seedlings can get spindly and maybe that is why people transplant to bury them a bit deeper. but can I do that in the same area? Sow from seed, lift the seedlings then transplant into the same soil a bit deeper. Anybody tried that?
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brassica seeds are actually better sown outside, it allows them to toughen up for what frost you might get. However, the main reason for transplanting brassica plants is to encourage cabbage to form a heart, buttons on your sprouts and heads on your caulies etc. If left to grow where the seed is sown, cabbage and sprouts are of poor density, usually not making heads at all. Transplant when they are at 5-leaf stage for best results and ensure after transplanting that the soil is well firm. Soil that is too loose will also encourage loose heads, cauliflower running straight to seed, and sprouts that more resemble baby cabbage up the stem. Transplanting should be done by making a hole with a dibber, I made my own out of an old wooden spade handle, ideal thickness for dibbing plants like these and leeks. The plant should be dropped into the hole, after checking for root fly grubs and possible clubroot infection, then the soil should be washed in with your watering can, the soil then well firmed around the plant.
Cabbage etc as we know them, don't grow wild, they are a man made product.
Bill.

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Cindrella ella
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liparis wrote:
However, the main reason for transplanting brassica plants is to encourage cabbage to form a heart, buttons on your sprouts and heads on your caulies etc. If left to grow where the seed is sown, cabbage and sprouts are of poor density, usually not making heads at all. Transplant when they are at 5-leaf stage for best results and ensure after transplanting that the soil is well firm.


Thanks for that Liparis, it cleared up a lot. So in theory I could lift them from the bed then transplant into the same bed with the dibber making sure the soil is firm and well fed. Wink I know I am pushing it to get the reply I would prefer. Laughing
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Laughing You could, but you may be pushing it right enough. A vegetable seed bed shouldn't really be formed from an area where the plant's permanent position is going to be. First off, your seed bed is prepared differently, their isn't as much nutrient in it, just enough to germinate and grow on for a few weeks. Secondly, it's worth remembering that you want to avoid cabbage root fly so your better moving them away from the seedbed, check there are no larvae etc and then plant. OK I know you aren't going to avoid it completely, but your always better doing what you can as prevention is half the battle against these things. There will always be pro's and con's as to moving plants from one site to the next, but you have to weigh it up. But the real answer to your query is, lack of space, so do it, as long as you transplant.
By the way, don't leave transplanting too late, stems become woody and nutrients then have difficulty getting up the stem to your leaves and you will end up with similar problems.
Bill.

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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cabbage seed and caulis and sprouts can be sown in the the position they are to crop without the need for transplanting. usually two or three seeds are sown at the desired spacing (eg 12-14 inches) and the surplus plant or plants are removed leaving only one plant per station to mature. This was how some commercial growers managed before the advent of the modular or cellular propagated plant,
michael brenock (horticultural advisor) rtd
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