The demand for Peking cabbage is growing every year and more and more vegetable farms decide to grow it. Peking cabbage itself has a delicate taste. Thanks to this, it can be added to a wide variety of vegetable salads. Serves it with baked chicken or crab meat. It is important to note the active use of Peking cabbage in the decoration of meat dishes and the carving of cold snacks. In addition, it can be found in vegetable stews, cabbage rolls, soups, etc.
Indeed, today a healthy lifestyle (healthy lifestyle) is in trend. And any cabbage is the main source of vitamin C (and not citrus fruits, as many mistakenly believe). But Peking cabbage is very tender and opens up a wide range of culinary opportunities for chefs, which is why growing Peking in a greenhouse is ideal for small farms.
PEKING CULTIVATED VARIETIES FOR GREENHOUSE
Chinese cabbage belongs to the Brassica family of leafy vegetables. Its cultivation began in ancient China around the 5th century AD. and gradually spread to other countries in Asia and Europe. Today it is cultivated in almost all countries of the world. Peking is mainly used for making salads, decorating dishes, and can be eaten raw.
Peking cabbage grows in the temperature range of 15-17 ° C, but there are varieties that adapt well to lower temperatures – in the range of 5-10 ° C. For growing in a greenhouse, varieties are suitable:
- F1 and all its hybrids;
Growing Chinese cabbage in a greenhouse is possible in winter, spring and at any time of the year, but for this you need to choose the right variety. Better to choose among F1 hybrids, offering more than a dozen varieties that tolerate small changes in temperature and low light well.
Important! Peking cabbage can be planted with cucumbers, beans, carrots, but not cauliflower, strawberries, broccoli, or tomatoes.
CHINESE CABBAGE: CULTIVATION AND CARE
Pekingca grows best on well-drained sandy loam soils rich in organic matter with an acidity level of 5.5 to 6.5 pH. Fast growing varieties can grow in sandy soils, and late maturing varieties can grow in heavy soils. To prepare the ground in a large greenhouse, it is better to use a tractor, and in a small area it is quite possible to handle it manually using a shovel and a rake. When loosening, a little organic manure should be added to the soil.
You can plant cabbage by direct sowing or planting seedlings. The seeding rate is 500 grams per hectare for early harvest and 375 grams per hectare for late harvest. For planting seeds, grooves are created with a depth of 2-3 cm. The seeds are evenly added along the grooves and slightly dug in with earth, after which they are abundantly watered with water. Chinese cabbage seeds will begin to germinate in about four to five days.
Peking seedlings can be transplanted 3-4 weeks after sowing. It is important to respect the planting spacing: seedlings should be 45 cm apart and up to 65 cm between rows.
Peking cabbage requires a constant supply of water for normal growth – a minimum of 3.8 cm of water is required for each plant weekly. Watering is necessary immediately after sowing or transplanting. After that, watering should be applied at intervals of 10 to 12 days on heavy soils or eight days on light soils. Watering should be done regularly during the dry season.
The water requirement varies from 380 to 500 mm per crop, depending on the climate and the length of the growing season. The susceptibility of different varieties to different climates is also important. The best option would be a drip irrigation system. It’s also important to use compost to mulch the soil, keep it moist, and avoid excessive water loss. It will also aid in weed control and in adding nutrients to the soil.
Fertilizers for Chinese cabbage
Beijing requires a lot of nutrients, so it must be fertilized at every stage of cultivation. The first fertilizers are applied during soil preparation, and then only after 3 weeks, after the formation of the stem base of the plants and further as needed. It is recommended to use fertilizers with a high potassium content, because it is required in plant formations.
Peking leafy forms are ready to be harvested within 30-35 days after germination, semi-cabbage ones – after 40-55 days, and cabbage ones – after 60-70 days. Plants are harvested in the phase of the rosette of leaves and head of cabbage, that is, after full maturity. In this, Peking cabbage is not like peppers, eggplants and tomatoes, which can be harvested before they are fully ripe.
After harvesting, the cabbage should be rinsed to remove dirt and insects before storing it.
You need to store Chinese cabbage in a cold place, preferably in a specially equipped room with a low temperature. The maximum shelf life is 3 months. Cabbage for sale can be stored in refrigerated chambers at a temperature of 3-4 ° C. The optimal shelf life is no more than 14 days.
PEKING CABBAGE RETAIL AND WHOLESALE
Peking can be sold at retail in the market by negotiating with the owner of the point of sale, through friends, or by participating in various farm fairs. Selling cabbage in bulk is a little more difficult. Wholesale vegetables are most often bought by supermarkets selling food products, as well as restaurants and cafes, which most often prefer products from private farms.
Costs of starting a Chinese cabbage growing business
The costs of opening your own vegetable growing farm depend on the area of greenhouses, the variety of seeds or seedlings, fertilizers used, the need to rent agricultural equipment and other factors. An example of calculating the average cost of starting a Peking growing business:
- construction of a greenhouse (from 5 hectares) – from 40,000 USD;
- purchase, rent or leasing of a transplanter – 3,000 USD (season);
- vegetable storage rental – from 2,000 USD (season);
- seed material – from 500 USD;
- fertilizers – from 1,000 USD;
- packing material from 500 USD;
The total initial investment will be about USD 50,000. The size of the investment is given rather tentatively. In each case, the amount of costs may differ.
The main fixed costs include:
- lease of land (if not owned);
- wages to employees;
- insurance premiums;
- repair of equipment and fuels and lubricants.
The advantage of Peking cabbage is its early maturity and high cost in comparison with other types of cabbage, which allows the farmer to start returning the initial investment after the first harvest and fully recoup the costs in 2-3 sowing seasons.
Interesting fact about cabbage!In ancient times, sea trade routes were severely limited due to a disease popular at that time among sailors – scurvy. The sailors could not be on the voyage for a long time, because due to the lack of vitamin C in their diet from food supplies, they began to get very sick. Later it was noticed that cabbage helped to recover from this disease. So that it can be stored for a long time on the way, the cabbage was sour. Thus, thanks to sauerkraut, sea trade routes were developed, and with them the world economy progressively evolved. It is also worth noting the fact that citrus fruits have never been champions in the amount of vitamin C. It was only a marketing ploy that allowed to significantly increase the sales of these fruits. Of course, they contain a proportion of this vitamin, but much less than cabbage or even onions.