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These vegetables are all hybrids of the same plant, the Brassica oleracea; over the millennia, man has selected and hybridized the brassica species, which also tend to hybridize naturally, so that we now have a variety of plant hybrids, the May part of which is used for feeding; indeed, the brassica family includes cabbage, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard, turnips, radishes, and rapeseed. From the single species Brassica oleracea various hybrids have originated, among which the cabbage, the cabbage, the cauliflower and the broccoli. They are therefore very similar varieties, all deriving from the same species of wild plant, which are then cultivated in a very similar way and with the same cultivation needs.
How to grow them
Before planting the chosen cabbage, it is advisable to work the soil deeply, enriching it with a mature natural fertilizer, or with slow-release granular fertilizer; the soil must be well worked, rich in organic matter, and very well drained.
Once the plot is prepared, we will put our cabbages down; generally it is preferred to place the small plants directly, in order to arrange them in rows, spaced about 45-65 cm from each other. The small plants are prepared in seedbeds, so as to be able to place the seeds in a sheltered place, and not directly in the garden.
After planting the small plants we water the soil, and then we wait for the plants to grow, watering only if the soil remains excessively dry for a prolonged period of time. From the day of planting to the day of harvest about 70-90 days pass.
The cabbages are cultivated during the fresh months, from October to the beginning of spring, and there are many varieties, from those that are planted at the end of August, up to those that prefer cold climates and therefore must be buried in January- February. Since the cultivation takes place during the coldest and most rainy months of the year, in general it is not necessary to intervene with watering, even if it is good to be careful that the soil does not remain completely dry for excessively long periods of time.
Cabbage - Brassica: diseases of cabbage
It may happen that some parasites ruin our cabbage crop; the most widespread fungal diseases are often due to cold and persistent humidity on the ground, such as basal or collar rot, gray mold or mildew; this type of parasites develop mainly in very cold places and with great winter precipitation, or even due to lack of ventilation. This type of fungal disease is prevented by a treatment with a copper and sulfur based implant, to clean the soil of any spores of pathogenic fungi.
The animal parasites that most often affect cabbages are aphids, which generally have an autumnal and spring development; during the winter, in fact, these insects cannot withstand low temperatures. Usually then the aphids tend to nest on the outer leaves of the cabbages, which are generally discarded when the vegetables are cleaned for consumption, therefore they are unlikely to lurk on the edible parts of the plant.
When, on the other hand, the young cabbage plants are planted, we should pay great attention to snails, which are voracious consumers of the aromatic cabbage leaves; we can defend ourselves using the typical anti-snail baits on the market; there are also special bands in plastic material, which create a real barrier around the plot, preventing the snails from reaching the plants.