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Ornamental cabbage is a unique decoration for any site. It is often used by landscape designers to implement their most daring projects. There are a huge number of varieties of this vegetable. They all differ in plant height, leaf color and shape. It is not at all difficult to grow ornamental cabbage and care for it, so it can be a real boon for beginners. You can find out in detail about the cultivation of ornamental cabbage and caring for it, as well as see photos of various varieties of this amazing culture in the article given.
Variety of varieties
Ornamental cabbage has been known to man since the 4th century AD. e. Already at that time, she attracted the attention of admirers of natural beauty. Today, various breeding companies are engaged in breeding and obtaining new varieties of this vegetable. Farmers are offered a huge varietal variety of ornamental cabbage, which includes improved varieties with a spreading rosette resembling a palm tree, and beautiful, primordially decorative varieties with a closed, classic rosette, round in shape.
Domestic breeders more than half a century ago bred a number of forage cabbage varieties, which have been improved over time and are now used to decorate flower beds, lawns, and gardens. As a rule, such plants are quite tall, have several long petioles and curly leaves.
This cabbage does not at all look like a white-headed "relative" familiar to many. It forms the main stem with a height of 50 to 130 cm. On it there are a large number of petioles up to 20 cm long. The leaves of this decorative "beauty" are curly, rather large. Their coloration is green. The Lark Tongue variety is grown from early spring to late autumn. In the second half of summer, the vegetable grows and shows all its decorative qualities.
Florists and landscape designers are offered two varieties of kale. These are the varieties "High red curly" and "Low red curly". From the name it is clear that these two species differ in plant height. Low cabbage does not exceed 60 cm in height, high grows up to 130 cm.The leaves of these varieties are spreading. The diameter of such a plant reaches 1 m. The color of the decorative culture is dark purple.
Kai and Gerda
This variety is represented by ornamental cabbage in two colors at once: green and emerald. The height of adult plants "Kai and Gerda" reaches 50 cm. Their leaves are amusing, elongated with curly edges. You can grow such a decorative vegetable in a sunny area or in partial shade.
Important! Cabbage "Kai and Gerda" can withstand frosts down to -150C without loss of external decorative qualities.
This wonderful cabbage has not only excellent decorative properties, but also benefits for the human body. It contains 9 essential and 18 nonessential amino acids. In terms of the amount of protein, it can surpass meat. "Kale red" also contains vitamins of group B, PP, K, C and a complex of minerals.
It is not difficult to grow such a healthy cabbage on your plot or flower bed. At the same time, the leaves of a beautiful, curly plant, up to 1 m high, have a pleasant, fresh, sweetish taste.
The above decorative varieties of cabbage are spreading and massive, therefore they are rarely used as an independent design element. More often, such varieties in a flower bed are supplemented with other ornamental plants.
Cabbage with a closed rosette
Ornamental cabbage with a closed rosette looks original and interesting on the flower bed. The variety of such varieties allows you to choose a vegetable with leaves of the required color to compose any floral arrangement.
This variety is highly decorative and resistant to adverse weather conditions, frost and other troubles. Cabbage leaves are densely arranged, forming a beautiful "basket". The edges of the leaves of the "Nagoya" variety have strongly curly edges. Their color is combined: the lower leaves of an ornamental vegetable may be green, and the inner leaves may be red or white. Plant height up to 60 cm. You can see a photo of such an original cabbage below.
Cabbage variety "Tokyo" is a low plant up to 35 cm. Its leaves are rounded, with slightly curly edges. The color of the leaves is combined: the outer leaves are colored green, the inner ones can be white, red, pink. It is this kind of ornamental cabbage that can often be seen on flower beds and lawns. It is used to frame tracks.
Cabbage variety "Piglon" has very interesting rosettes, resembling roses in appearance. The leaves of this ornamental plant are oval with perfectly smooth edges. Their color combines 3 colors at once: green, cream and pink. The height of the cabbage does not exceed 30 cm. You can see such a unique plant in the photo below.
This variety is the opposite of the Piglon variety: the Coral Queen leaves are very dissected and look like corals. The height of such a cabbage does not exceed 20 cm, while the diameter of the rosette can reach 30 cm. The outer leaves of the ornamental vegetable are purple, the inner leaves are crimson.
In addition to these varieties, the decorative ones are "Osaka", "Princess", "Mosbakhskaya", "Colors of the East" and some other types of cabbage. So, choosing different varieties of decorative vegetables in height, color, leaf shape, you can make an original composition. At the same time, the Kale red variety can become not only a unique decoration, but also a tasty, healthy treat to the surprise of family and friends.
Ornamental cabbage is distinguished by its unpretentiousness. She perfectly tolerates frost, lack of sunlight and transplants. The culture is grown in two ways: by sowing grains in open ground or for seedlings at home. It should be noted that cabbage acquires its decorative qualities only in the second half of summer, starting in August. That is why many farmers prefer to grow a vegetable by seedlings or in the backyard, replanting it to a flower bed after acquiring decorativeness.
Sowing seed into the ground
Sowing ornamental cabbage outdoors is recommended in April - mid-May, depending on weather conditions. The sowing time of the crop should coincide with the sowing of radish seeds. Plant grains are sown in holes at a distance of 7-10 cm from each other. The seeding depth is not more than 1.5 cm. After sowing, the ridges should be watered and covered with polyethylene. When overgrowth appears, the protective material should be lifted onto arcs. After a month, young plants can be dived to a permanent place of growth. In some cases, ornamental cabbage is grown in the backyard before "flowering".
Important! In the open field, you can grow ornamental cabbage seedlings in vegetable beds.
The classic seedling method is also great for ornamental cabbage. In this case, the planting of ornamental cabbage begins in mid-March. Sow the grains of the culture in separate containers. Soil for filling containers can be prepared by mixing garden soil with sand and peat. You can remove the larvae of possible pests in the soil by warming it in an oven or spilling it with a solution of potassium permanganate.
In each container filled with nutrient soil, 2 seeds should be placed at a depth of 1 cm. To maintain the best microclimate, crops should be covered with plastic wrap or glass. The temperature for cultivating seedlings must be maintained at + 18- + 200C. The emergence of the first shoots in favorable conditions begins in 2-3 days, after which the protective material should be removed and containers installed in a room with a temperature not higher than +160C. The grown seedlings are thinned out, leaving only one strongest sprout in the pot.
Important! Ornamental cabbage is excessively stretched in conditions with high air temperatures.
Watering young ornamental cabbage in pots should be done as the soil dries up. At the same time, increased soil moisture can provoke the development of a fungal disease - black leg. For its prevention, in addition to regular moderate watering, ash dusting of the earth is used.
Planting ornamental cabbage and caring for it is not particularly difficult. During the growing season, the plant can be transplanted several times in different places. So, home seedlings should be dived into open ground with the appearance of 3-4 true leaves. You can dive cabbage directly to a flower bed or to a garden bed for temporary cultivation. When planting plants, the distance between the seedlings should be at least 20 cm.
The soil for growing cabbage can be any, but it is preferable to use loam and sandy loam with a high organic content. The acidity of the earth should be low. To do this, dolomite flour, slaked lime or wood ash can be added to the soil.
Ornamental cabbage is especially demanding on moisture, therefore, the plants in the garden should be watered regularly and abundantly, preventing the soil from drying out. The culture is also demanding for feeding. To fertilize a vegetable, you can use organic or mineral complex fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. For the entire growing season, plants can be fertilized 3-5 times, depending on the fertility of the soil. The interval between dressings should not be less than 10 days.
You can find out some other nuances about growing ornamental cabbage by watching the video:
The energy devoted to growing and caring for ornamental cabbage can be wasted if pests attack the vegetable. These include slugs and caterpillars. In order for them not to spoil the beautiful leaves, they should be dealt with by mulching the soil with coniferous paws. Spreading ash on the root area of the land is also a preventive measure in the fight against slugs.
You can scare off a caterpillar butterfly with the help of superphosphate. This substance is diluted in water in a ratio of 1: 100 and used for spraying plants. This procedure must be performed every time after watering or rain.
Cabbage in a flowerpot
High decorative qualities of cabbage can be used not only for decorating flower beds and lawns, but also for windows, balconies, apartment rooms. So, cabbage can be grown in pots or flowerpots. For one plant, you need to choose a container with a volume of 3-5 liters. At its bottom, it is imperative to make drainage holes to drain excess water. In general, it is not difficult to grow ornamental cabbage at home. Culture is undemanding to the abundance of light, so it can be located away from windows.
This planting method can also be used on open land. In this case, the flower bed will be mobile and can be transferred to different parts of the site without replanting the plants themselves.
Thus, the article provides a description of the most common and popular varieties of ornamental vegetables, as well as a detailed description of how to grow this unique culture on your site or in an apartment. After reviewing the information, the matter remains small, purchase the seeds of the variety you like and start sowing them. Soon, cabbage will delight and surprise with its beauty, make the garden, vegetable garden, flower bed interesting and unique. Until the onset of severe winter frosts, a colored vegetable will remind you of a warm, sunny summer.