5 unusual types of cabbage that must be grown
Much has been said about the benefits of cabbage, and that’s all about the case: a lot of vitamins, macro- and microelements, high fiber and amino acids. Our summer residents with pleasure and quite successfully grow this culture. But the “set”, as a rule, is limited to varieties of white cabbage of different maturity, broccoli and cauliflower. Meanwhile, the cabbage varieties, which ripen earlier, are already gaining popularity in our country, while the hassle of growing brings less. In this article, we bring to your attention 5 types of cabbage, which you may not have heard of yet, but which are definitely worth growing.
A large number of various recipes from white cabbage allow not only cooking tasty and healthy dishes, but also making preparations for the winter - canned, salted, fermented, pickled and frozen. Moreover, all methods are good, because they allow us to diversify and enrich our diet in the summer and in the winter.
But experienced gardeners know that it is not so easy to grow good white cabbage. Yes, and with color, and with broccoli often have difficulties. And although unknown species are almost exotic for us, we should not forget that once grapes were considered exclusively a southern plant, and now they are grown almost everywhere.
So, get acquainted with the "new" types of cabbage and turn your garden into an experimental site.
1. Chinese kale pak choi
Chinese cabbage pak choi is a close relative of our white and Beijing cabbage. The juicy leaves of pak choi have an amazing taste and aroma, and in their homeland this plant is called mustard or celery cabbage.
The leaves of the plant are rich in potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium and a lot of vitamins. The presence of citric acid, fiber, pectin compounds and biologically active enzymes makes pakchoy an indispensable product in dietary nutrition. In addition, low calorie content allows you to include this cabbage in a diet for weight loss.
In China and many other Asian countries, Pak Choy cabbage has been grown for centuries. A beautiful rosette of bright green leaves does not form a head, and the diameter of some varieties can reach 45 cm. The leaves of pak choi are very decorative and can serve as a real decoration of the garden.
But most importantly - this culture can be successfully grown in our country. Unlike ordinary white cabbage, pak choi is unpretentious, resistant to diseases and does not impose any special requirements on the soil.
In order to get early greens, you need to sow Pak Choi in early spring. It easily tolerates temperature drops and even slight frosts, but in hot weather and a long daylight it can go into the arrow. Therefore, sow pak-choy in spring or late summer.
Cut juicy leaves can be a month after sowing the seeds, so this culture can become a priceless early vegetable. Pak Choi deserves to be the base or component of many salads. In addition, like white cabbage, this cabbage can be stewed, boiled, fried and canned by all known methods.
2. Cabbage Romanesco
Cabbage Romanesco It amazes not only with its exotic look, but also with its excellent taste. A hybrid of cauliflower and broccoli, bred in Italy, has a delicate nutty flavor, and the name translates as "Roman cabbage."
Small green pyramids, tightly pressed to each other, resemble bizarre cacti. With good care, the plant by the end of the growing season often grows to 1 meter in height, and the heads weigh up to 0.5 kg.
But not only unusual appearance is famous for its romance. At home, this cabbage is considered a product of beauty and health. Due to the rich content of vitamins and various nutrients in an easily digestible form, this culture is considered a dietary product and is shown to literally everything - from small to large.
Due to the high content of folic acid, Romanesco dishes are recommended for pregnant women. This cabbage is superior to all other types and in the content of carotene, fluorine, selenium, as well as trace elements and antioxidants. Therefore, people who care about their health, necessarily include a romance in their diet.
Growing cabbage Romanesco is in many ways similar to cauliflower and broccoli. In the southern regions, the seedling method is often used, in which the seeds are sown directly on the bed. Sowing time depends on weather conditions, but, as a rule, in May it is already warm enough for sowing.
By the way, do you know that white cabbage can be grown in a seedless way? Read our article “Lazy” cabbage, or We grow cabbage without seedlings.
In areas with cold climates and short summers, Romanesco cabbage is best grown in seedlings. In open ground, seedlings are planted after the threat of return frosts.
You can get a good crop of Romanesco cabbage only on non-acidic soil, therefore, when preparing beds for this crop, lime, ash or dolomite flour is added to the soil. Further care is simple and differs little from growing other types of cabbage - weeding, watering, feeding and hilling. It is also necessary to monitor the appearance of pests, since cruciferous fleas, caterpillars and other insects can significantly spoil the crop.
From Romanesco cabbage, you can cook a great variety of delicious and healthy dishes. As well as cauliflower, broccoli is stewed, fried, added to soups, mashed and frozen for the winter. Frozen fruits retain most of the vitamins, and dishes prepared from them are just as tasty and healthy as from fresh vegetables.
3. Mizuna cabbage
Another unpretentious cabbage - mizuna - will be appreciated not only by avid gardeners, but also by residents of megacities, because this culture can easily be grown even on the windowsill.
Mizuna is a kale from Japan. On a distant island, this culture has been cultivated and appreciated since ancient times. It is unpretentious, does not require special care and can withstand short-term frosts. In addition, it is very useful and nutritious. The Japanese use it as early greens for salads and various snacks, but it is good in boiled and stewed form. The spicy taste of mizuna leaves resembles the taste of mustard or arugula.
Lush rosettes of carved mizuna leaves do not head out and, depending on the variety, may be green or reddish. Landscape designers appreciated the attractiveness of this culture and often plant it in flower beds, among ornamental plants.
Mizuna cabbage is unique in its productivity - throughout the growing season it gives more and more leaves, instead of cut ones, and by autumn it forms an edible root crop that resembles rutabaga in taste and shape. The leaves are ready for cutting in a month and a half after sowing the seeds, and since the culture tolerates the cold well, its leaves are priceless just like early greens.
It is very easy to grow cabbage mizuna - it is undemanding to growing conditions. Fertile soil, timely watering and short daylight hours will completely satisfy the Japanese beauty.
The best harvest can be obtained by planting a mizu in spring or autumn. During summer planting, it is advisable to place it in such a way that after lunch the cabbage is in the shade. This will save her from early rifle, which means she will be able to get green juicy leaves longer.
Mizuna cut cabbage is not stored for long. To increase the shelf life, you need to dig it out with the root and store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. For the winter, the mizuna is salted, pickled and dried.
4. Cabbage Gruenkol
Grünkol, or Kale, or Kale belongs to the leafy types of cabbage and is still very rare in our gardens. This vegetable is very popular in Europe, especially in the northern countries - in the north of Germany, in Denmark and Sweden. Translated from the German language, "gruenkol" - "green cabbage."
Large bubbly leaves give the gruenkol cabbage a completely exotic curly look. By the way, this culture grows to a meter and a half in height and looks very unusual.
Grünkol is unique not only in appearance. Cabbage leaves contain all the vitamins and minerals characteristic of other types of cabbage, but in greater quantities. In terms of potassium content, this culture is superior to other species and therefore is very much appreciated by adherents of a healthy lifestyle. After all, potassium, as you know, is the main trace element responsible for youth and skin health.
By the content of fiber and protein, gruenol is twice as much as white cabbage, and therefore it is successfully used in various diets for weight loss, where great importance is attached to cleansing the intestines.
In Europe, it is recommended that nursing mother cabbage dishes be eaten by nursing mothers, as it is believed that it stimulates lactation. Juice from the leaves of this cabbage, as well as from other species, is used in the treatment of stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers.
Growing cabbage gruenkol is no different from other species. Given the fact that this is one of the most frost-resistant species, you can sow seeds not only in seedlings, but also directly into the ground. Grünkol is undemanding to the soil and is rarely affected by the keel. The worst cabbage enemy - the cruciferous flea also does not favor this plant. Care is reduced mainly to timely watering and top dressing.
A significant plus in the cultivation of cabbage grunkol - its frost resistance. In the autumn, during the “struggle with the harvest,” the housewives, as a rule, do not have enough hands for everything, and the gruenkol does not require attention at this time. You can remove it, and even need it, after frosts of -10 ... -15 ° C - just then the leaves become the most delicate and tasty, but they do not lose useful qualities.
Grunkol cabbage leaves are used in the preparation of salads, appetizers, side dishes and other dishes. When cooking or stewing, the main thing is not to delay the process, since the digested leaves lose their taste, color, and nutritional value, so 5-7 minutes is enough.
5. Savoy cabbage
This type of cabbage can sometimes be found on store shelves, but as a garden crop, it is not yet particularly popular with us. In European countries and in the USA, it is Savoy cabbage that is the most demanded species.
This culture is a close relative of white cabbage, but its forks are loose and consist of corrugated dark green leaves. Due to the loose fit of the leaves, the cabbage of Savoy cabbage has less weight and loses in yield to the white sister. This, perhaps, is the only minus of the culture, since in terms of taste and content of useful substances and vitamins it significantly exceeds white cabbage.
On sale you can find different varieties of Savoy cabbage, but the most productive and unpretentious are Ovas F1 and Veros F1. Heads of these hybrids reach a weight of 3 kg and are quite cold-resistant, as they relate to late-ripening varieties.
Savoy cabbage is grown through seedlings, as is white cabbage. For a good harvest, this crop needs fertile soil, so the beds for it are prepared in the fall, introducing rotted manure for digging. During the growth of Savoy cabbage, it is necessary to carry out cultivation and hilling. This is especially important if the site has heavy clay soils. Otherwise, all the tricks are the same as when caring for white cabbage.
Dear readersand what non-traditional types of cabbage in our area do you grow? We will be glad if you share with us your experience of growing the above crops or other interesting types of cabbage.