These vegetables are all hybrids of the same plant, Brassica oleracea; over the millennia man has selected and hybridized the brassica species, which also naturally tend to hybridize, in this way we now have various plant hybrids available, most of which are used for food; in fact, the brassica family includes savoy cabbage, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard, turnips, radishes, rapeseed. Several hybrids have originated from the single species Brassica oleracea, including savoy cabbage, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. They are therefore very similar varieties, all deriving from the same species of wild plant, which are therefore grown in a very similar way and with the same cultural needs.
How to grow them
Before planting the cabbage we have chosen, it is good to work the soil in depth, enriching it with well-ripened natural fertilizer, or with slow-release granular fertilizer; the soil must be well worked, rich in organic matter, and very well drained.
Once we have prepared the plot we will go to plant our cabbages; generally it is preferable to plant the small plants directly, so as to arrange them in rows, spaced about 45-65 cm from each other. The small plants are prepared in seedbeds, so that the seeds can be placed in a sheltered place, and not directly in the garden.
After having planted the small plants, water the soil, and then wait for the plants to develop, watering only if the soil remains excessively dry for a prolonged period of time. About 70-90 days pass from the day of the plant to the day of harvest.
Cabbages are grown during the cool months, from October to early 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 planted in January- February. Since the cultivation takes place during the coldest and rainy months of the year, in general it is not necessary to intervene with watering, even if it is good to be careful so that the soil does not remain completely dry for excessively prolonged periods of time.
Cabbage - Brassica: Diseases of cabbage
It can happen that some pests ruin our cabbage crop; the most common fungal diseases are often due to cold and persistent humidity on the ground, such as basal or collar rot, gray mold or downy mildew; this type of parasites develop mainly in very cold places and with large winter rainfall, or even due to lack of ventilation. This type of fungal diseases are prevented with a treatment of the plant based on copper and sulfur, to clean the soil from any spores of pathogenic fungi.
The animal parasites that most often affect cabbages are aphids, which generally develop in autumn and spring; in fact, during the winter these insects do not resist low temperatures. Usually then the aphids tend to nest on the outermost leaves of the cabbages, which are generally discarded when cleaning the vegetable for consumption, so they hardly nest on the edible parts of the plant.
On the other hand, when the young cabbage plants are planted, we will have to pay great attention to snails, which are voracious consumers of the aromatic leaves of cabbage; we can defend ourselves using the typical anti snail baits on the market; there are also particular bands in plastic material, which create a real barrier around the plot, preventing snails from reaching the plants.