Head cabbage, brukselka, cauliflower and broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. capitata, B. oleracea var. gemmifera, B. oleracea var. botrytis, B. oleracea var. italica)
Cruciferous vegetables, which are about 30 species, they come from wild cabbage that grows from Asia to Western Europe. The genetic center of this species is probably in the Mediterranean. Cruciferous vegetables were already known in ancient Greece and Rome. Only cauliflower and Brussels sprouts began to be cultivated later. Most cabbages are biennial; in the first year, they form edible heads, in the second, inflorescences and seeds. The exceptions are cauliflower and broccoli, transformed into inflorescences forming in the first year of cultivation, the so-called. Roses, are the edible part. The broccoli rose is not white, like a cauliflower rose, but greenish-violet and does not need to be protected from the sun's rays. It consists of clearly formed buds, from which yellow flowers develop later. After the rose is cut, side roses appear on the main stem. Broccoli roses, compared to cauliflower, they have a more pungent taste and greater nutritional value. Recently, two-year-old varieties of cauliflower and broccoli have also been bred. Brassica plants have a very strong root system, ranging in savoy and white cabbage to 1 m deep. Thanks to the richly branched root system, plants make better use of nutrients and water also from the deeper layers of the soil. All kinds of cruciferous vegetables require a lot of space and are fertile, and above all, moist soil. Due to the high water requirements, the best results in the cultivation of brassica are achieved in the northern coastal regions, about constant, high air humidity. The heat requirements of these plants are not high, only cauliflower and delicate kohlrabi varieties do not like too low temperatures; but kale tolerates it perfectly. Cruciferous plants need a lot of light, although they form heads faster in the fall, when the nights are cold, a. the sun does not heat that much.
Shift position. Cruciferous plants can be planted one after another not more frequently than every 3-4 years. This is especially true of cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, swede and savoy cabbage. Legumes are the best pre-crops for them, especially peas and beans. Soil requirements. Medium-compact soils can be considered the best, with high humus content, pH approx 7. On acidic soils, plants grow worse and are more susceptible to diseases and pests. For early varieties, lighter soils are preferable, and heavier for the late ones. Fertilization. Brassica plants make good use of organic fertilizers. They are grown in the first year after a well-decomposed manure compost. Too fresh manure promotes the development of a dangerous pest - cabbage cream. Really Imporant, especially for cabbage, the proportions of the basic nutrients are correct, which are preserved in cattle manure. For cauliflowers and broccoli, additional fertilization with bird droppings is beneficial. A good top dressing fertilizer is nettle manure diluted with water in a proportion 1:5 and Algifert, Polymaris and plant conditioner - Oscorna.
Soil cultivation. It is necessary to loosen the soil frequently. Each soil crust or trampling must be immediately removed by shallow loosening of its surface. This improves plant growth and inhibits weed growth. Mulching the surface gives good results, e.g.. cut grass.
Preparations. In autumn or spring, the soil is sprayed in the afternoon with a solution of the cow's preparation to stimulate biological processes in the soil. Spraying the soil surface with this preparation is repeated just before or after planting the plants. After 6-8 weeks, a silica preparation is applied in the early morning hours. It is advisable to spray the plants a second time with this preparation 2-3 weeks before harvesting. This time, spraying should be in the afternoon. This will improve the taste and dry matter content and the storage capacity of the cabbage.