Cabbage Head Formation and Its Role in Crop Production
The number of leaves and their shape affect cabbage head formation. In China, cabbage is valued for its large, symmetrical heads, which increase in size with increasing leaf position. During domestication, cabbage gained these developmental traits. However, further research is needed to determine the genetic basis for head formation and its role in crop production.
Requirements for proper Cabbage Production:
As with most vegetables, proper cabbage head formation requires the right weather conditions. A cool, moist soil with a pH between six and seven is ideal. Cabbage is a heavy feeder, so it is important to fertilize the soil to keep it fertile. Additional fertilizer can be applied throughout the growing season, but you shouldn’t overfeed the crop once head formation has started.
Importance of Nitrogen for Cabbage growth:
Nitrogen is one of the three most important nutrients for plants. This element is essential for the formation of leaves and other parts of the plant. Since cabbage is a heavy feeder, it needs to have plenty of nitrogen to form its head. You can boost the nitrogen content in the soil by using slow-release fertilizers. However, don’t add too much nitrogen to the soil because it may damage the plant. It may cause the leaves to grow excessively and inhibit head formation.
Time required for formation of Cabbage head:
Depending on the type of cabbage, the process of cabbage head formation may take as long as 70 days or more. It takes a little longer for red cabbage and savoy cabbage, but cabbages that have adequate moisture are the most likely to form heads. Heads of cabbage are small, compact, and contain tender inner leaves packed close together. When they are mature, they will have a firm texture, and should not be mushy or soft.
Important of Auxin in head formation:
Auxin response genes are expressed in all leafy head segments, and they are known to play a significant role in the development of heads. Auxin can regulate a number of different processes, including apical dominance, tropic growth, and differentiation of xylem and phloem. PAT-mediated blockade inhibits auxin transport and may be one of the factors responsible for head formation.
Genetic selection for better Production:
The formation of cabbage heads can be improved through genetic selection. This can be done by enhancing the concentration of Ca, Mg, and S in the plant. However, when these nutrients are not adequate, the yield will decrease by 50 percent. The lack of these nutrients will reduce the sugar content of the plant’s leaves.
How to use Small heads of Cabbage:
Although cabbages grow one central head, smaller heads can emerge from the nodes, or areas where the lower leaves attach to the stem. In some cases, these smaller heads can be harvested at any stage of the growing season. If you want your cabbage to be the best it can be, however, avoid common mistakes that lead to underdeveloped heads.
Chinese cabbage population construction strategy:
A Chinese cabbage population construction strategy used the DH-88 and F2-485 populations. These two populations were evaluated using measurements of leaf and heading traits. Leafy head traits include the degree of head development, the diameter of the head, and the height of the head. In addition, leaf length, leaf width, and leaf mid vein thickness were measured.