Overall cabbage is perceived for its exceptionally nutritive characteristics and thus it’s anything but a significant piece of a few dinners. The last decade has seen the prevalence of cabbage in Nigeria rise dramatically, preceding this time, it was significantly considered as a segment of rich individuals’ food. By the by cabbage cultivating in Nigeria, in contrast to the remainder of the world, is very on the low with a few people frightened of enjoying cabbage cultivating because of a few reasons.
A foremost justification the low guilty pleasure in cabbage cultivating is the possibility that the climate of most urban areas in Nigeria will keep the yield from flourishing admirably, in this manner making the rancher misfortune as opposed to acquire. Lately in any case, a gathering of tough ranchers ascending all over the nation have attempted to refute this idea by effectively enjoying cabbage cultivating. Ranchers in both the South-West and South-East have done trial programs, looking for the most ideal approach to develop cabbage for ideal yield and their endeavors have demonstrated that surely cabbage can be planted anyplace in the country without the dread of helpless yield, as long as appropriate cultivating rehearses are clung to.
Prior to going further in this article, clarify howbeit in a touch of detail what cabbage is, instead of accept everybody is side by side of this data. Cabbage is a foliaceous vegetable of the plant family, Brassica oleracea; by foliaceous I mean verdant. It is significantly developed or developed for the utilization of the stem or leaves. It is seen that people are for the most part drawn to eating the stem, otherwise called head, while the leaves are utilized for a few different purposes. The leaves despite the fact that rarely devoured by certain individuals are for the most part given to herbivores (sheep, goats, cows, bunnies, and so forth) as food or used to frame fertilizer compost, for the individuals who have no need of these, they generally arrange the leaves. Studies have shown that the cabbage crop flourishes better in cool climates, with a wet climate. Temperatures of between 55 – 60F are known to best suit the normal types of cabbage, nonetheless a few animal types are known to flourish under lower temperatures of around 20 – 25F.
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Cabbage cultivating is steadily turning into a significant kind of revenue in Nigeria as it has been as quite possibly the most productive types of vegetables to develop. The yield has become progressively well known in light of the fact that it is one of the significant fixings utilized in the planning of salad which is one of the significant suppers devoured particularly during bubbly seasons in the country. Cabbage can be burned-through in a few alternate manners, it tends to be steamed, seared, eaten in pottage, utilized for food enrichment, among other a few tempting choices. Cabbage is known to contain a solid measure of calcium which is vital in people for the improvement of solid bones and teeth, for this reason it is likewise utilized in taking care of snails to assist with creating solid shells.
In the event that you have come this far perusing this article my speculation is that you are looking for information on the most proficient method to begin your very own cabbage ranch. This article vows to give you sufficient data applicable to this theme, if it’s not too much trouble, go along with me on this excursion.
As stated earlier, cabbage requires cool and moist environment to thrive and grow fast, this does not mean that they cannot be planted anywhere, it just means you have to create the right environment for them. Cabbage is cultivated majorly from seeds and it is expedient to use high quality seeds as they have a higher rate of accelerated germination. They are also more resistant to pests and diseases, as well as tend to produce larger cabbage heads. Below are a few farm practices which can help in optimal yield if adhered to:
- Before planting ensure you choose a piece of land which is sandy-loam in nature and which is well enriched with organic content.
- Ensure that you plant when the weather is most favorable for the crop to thrive. Since you already know that the crop thrives in cool and moist weather, then it becomes evident that the best weather for this in Nigeria will be the rainy season.
- Before planting on the main farm, it is advised to first plant them in a nursery. When they have matured to a certain stage you can then transplant them on the farmland.
- Take time to seek out good and efficient seed variety to ensure that your farming yields great results. For cabbage farming, the seeds could make or mar your farming experience.
- It is also advised that to obtain optimal yield, quick maturing cabbage and pest and disease resistant variety you should choose a hybrid cabbage. This will definitely yield better results for your farming experience.
- Ensure you apply fertilizers, most preferably organic fertilizers, at every stage in the cultivation of the crop.
- Be sure to harvest early enough to prevent botching or yellowing of the leaves.
Even though a land consisting majorly of sandy-loam is mostly recommended, you should know that cabbage can grow on any soil. Sandy-loam however brings about optimal performance in the crop so it is most preferable. Once you have made your choice of land and it has been acquired, the next step is ensure the land is properly cleared of all weeds and shrubs. You can decide to fumigate the land with pesticides to ward off any forms of pesticides too. Following this, you should plough the land to loosen the top soil, this operation can be carried out with a shovel or hoe if it is a small land. If the land is quite large, you might require a tractor and a plough, and depending on the hardness of the soil, the land can be ploughed once to thrice. On the final stage of ploughing you can add some animal or inorganic manure to the soil simultaneously, this will help prepare the soil for planting. Finally you should prepare the seed beds for the planting of the cabbage, while doing this you can add some manure as well.
Planting your cabbage
When planting it is important to religiously follow the steps to ensure that you achieve optimal results. Firstly you should dig a hole of about two to three centimeters deep, following this insert about two cabbage seeds then cover the hole lightly. It is advised that this initial planting be done in nursery bags, rubbers or sack bags. This is necessary to raise the cabbage seedlings and help them grow within a properly controlled environment. After the first three to four weeks of the planting they can be transplanted to the main farmland. At this point of transplanting they should have attained a height of between 14 and 16 centimeters and should have developed between four to five leaves. It is important that you get the spacing between each plant right so they do not get choked, give a space of about 45 centimeters between each plant, while the rows should be about 45 – 60 centimeters apart. The spacing may also depend largely on the variety of cabbage being cultivated. Take note that early cabbage takes about 50-70 days, while mid-season cabbage takes 70-90 days, and late season takes 90-125 days. Since a moist soil is one of the major requirements of the soil used in planting cabbage, make sure that prior to planting the cabbage you should have properly wet the seed beds. The transplanting of the seedlings is best done in the evening period to keep them from the scotch of the sun or heat shock. Ensure that the soil pH should be between 6.5 – 7.5 for optimal results.
Irrigation and mulching of the cabbage farm
Depending on the season which the cabbage is planted, constant irrigation of the farm area might be required. Studies show that for optimal production cabbage plants need a minimum of about 3.8cm of water weekly. The best form of irrigation for the farming of cabbage is drip irrigation. You should know that cabbage can hardly withstand a drought so it is very important that you provide enough water for the plant when there is a shortage of rainfall or a total lack of it.
Mulching helps to keep the soil moist and prevent excess loss of water, especially in periods of intense heat which can lead to rapid evaporation of soil water. Ensure that you use compost to mulch the farm from time to time to prevent excessive water loss which could lead to poor yield of the cabbage.
Application of manure or fertilizer
Cabbage is known to consume a lot of nutrients during maturing stages, it is mostly likened to onions and garden eggs in nutrient consumption. For this reason, it is important that you constantly refresh the nutrient content of the soil by carefully applying manure or fertilizer at each stage of the development of the cabbage plant. At the initial stage, when preparing the seed beds before planting, ensure that you apply the manure heavily, after this when transplanting you should also apply manure. You should ensure this is done recurrently over the different development stages of the crop. Towards the later development stages of the vegetable, once they start to develop heads, the kind of manure required is one which is rich in potassium. This helps to keep the leaves in color as well as help the stems develop properly.
Pests and diseases associated with cabbage farming
The most common pests that attack cabbage plants are cabbage white, flea beetles, maggots, imported cabbage worms, loopers etc. On the other hand, the most common diseases that affect cabbage include, Fusarium yellows, club root, black speck, rot; fungal disease that builds in the soil. The major way to combat these is to plant resistant varieties, mostly hybrid species. It is also advised to practice crop rotation as well as mixed cropping. Another major issue that affects cabbage farms is splitting. This could occur following a heavy down pour or when irrigation is done immediately after serious stress from drought. To salvage the situation it is advised to cut some of the roots from one side about 25cm into the soil from the base of the plant using a spade. Another major cause of splitting is poor spacing of the plants, to avoid this it is advised to follow the spacing specifications stated above.
The different varieties of cabbage
The varieties of cabbage are divided into three major classes, early season varieties, mid-season varieties and the late season varieties. Asides these we have hybrid varieties which are seen to be more important, some of them include, Thai cabbage, F1 cabbage from Technism etc. These hybrid species are known to be able to withstand disease invasion and pest attacks, they also grow to maturity faster, probably within two months of cultivation.
It advised that cabbage is harvested once it reaches full maturity to ensure that it stays long in storage, maturation period is between two and five months, depending on the variety planted. You should attempt harvesting when the heads are fully matured and firm, or when the heads are closed and the leaves are wrapped around them and are in good shape. You are advised to use a knife to cut the head from the base of the plant, leaving about 3 leaves that will act as protection for the head from bruises or abrasions of any sort. After harvesting make sure to wash the cabbage and inspect to remove any insects before storing them.
Selling your harvested cabbage
You can locate any market in your locality to sell to market men and women who will in turn sell to their customers. You can also seek out supermarkets, salad shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. that will need cabbage.
Profitability of cabbage farming in Nigeria
There are several reasons why you should go into cabbage farming, some of them include:
- It is quite easy to indulge in.
- It does not require much capital.
- There is a very high demand for cabbage in the Nigerian market.
It is highly profitable and lucrative