Your Guide to Growing Hydroponic Cabbage at Home
Cabbages are famous for making amazing salads and recipes. They are easy to grow, but the insects are a menace. You can use pesticides and fertilizers, but the produce may be harmful for household consumption. Cabbages face challenges growing in traditional farming methods, and the harvest is low. Alternatively, you can grow cabbages using hydroponics with organic fertilizers to increase yield and reduce pests.
Cabbages originated from Asia and came to European countries in the 1500s. They thrived in the cool climates and produced large heads. Today, most households enjoy cabbages in their meals.
This guide teaches about the basics of hydroponic cabbage growing, planting, caring, and harvest processes required for indoor and outdoor projects. You can grow hydroponic cabbages for your household alone or for commercial purposes.
Growing from the seedling stage
The best way to grow your hydroponic cabbages is by propagating. This means you should grow your seeds in a separate seedbed. The seeds take 4 to 7 days to germinate and should stay there for about 4 to 6 weeks.
Cabbages love the cool season during the germination stage with temperatures ranging between 65–75 Fahrenheit (18–24C) and can survive when the temperatures drop to 25F or -4C. If you’re from warm regions, you can plant your seed during early spring or late summer to prepare your seedlings before winter.
When transplanting to your hydroponic systems, you should leave enough room for the cabbage heads to form and reach the desired sizes. Remember that cabbages grow large, and in a hydroponic system, the size is usually larger. The setup should also be able to house the weight of your growing cabbages to avoid them breaking off or destroying the piping system.
Planting and caring for your hydroponic cabbages
Cabbages are sensitive to deficiencies and pests. Therefore, when transplanting your young plants, you should adequately space the plants. When the plants are crowded, they may face nutrient deficiency when young and stunted growth when the heads have no space to enlarge. Therefore, you should maintain a space of about 18in (45cm).
Cabbages also require 6 hours of sunlight to be sufficient for developing cabbages. If your hydroponic system doesn’t receive direct sunlight, invest in artificial grow lights and let the cabbages enjoy 8 to 10 hours of light per day.
Also, you should consult your local produce store or online store about the right amount of nutrient solution for your cabbages, depending on the size of your hydroponic system. The right nutrient solution balance consists of the right nutrient balance for cabbages.
You can also research how to balance the nutrients to avoid watering down or suffocating your seedlings with too much. The standard pH ranges from 6.2-6.6 and EC 2.4 -3.0.
Harvesting your hydroponic cabbages
Growing cabbages hydroponically takes about 9-11 weeks or 65 to 100 days to reach maturity. Spring cabbages can be harvested while young, leaving the loose green leaves to form more heads later for repeated cutting. When your cabbages reach maturity, use a sharp knife to cut the cabbage heads while holding the head in your hands firmly. Hydroponic cabbages are juicier and tastier when served while fresh.
Can Cabbage be Grown in Hydroponics
Yes, you can grow cabbages in hydroponics. A few advantages of hydroponically growing cabbages include low-maintenance plants. Apart from pests and diseases, cabbages are easy to grow. In addition, you can grow your cabbages indoors to eliminate deficiency problems.
After transplanting the young plants to your hydroponic systems, you only need to control the nutrient solution, water levels, temperatures, and lights. If you have an extra budget, it’s best to set up a self-sufficient hydroponic system; external factors won’t affect your system in any way.
For instance, you should buy a water pump for better water and air circulation. Also, it is important to have a good piping system to avoid water loss due to the dripping of the system. You can also buy temperature controls and artificial lights to regulate temperature and light throughout the day. This means you can plant your cabbages all year round and enjoy fresh delicacies from your kitchen garden.
What Type of Hydroponic System is Best for Growing Cabbage Hydroponically?
The best hydroponic system for cabbages is the ebb and flow. It is a common indoor growing system because it is easy to set up and maintain. In addition, this system allows you to alter your garden by adding or removing cabbages without disturbing the surrounding plants.
The setup consists of a tray that holds your growing medium with plants regularly filled with nutrient-rich water pumped from the reservoir below. The water returns to the reservoir using gravity, and the cycle continues. Depending on your system’s size, flooding the tray takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes.
You can also use the drip system for your cabbages. The unique dippers feed nutrients directly to cabbages from the top instead of through the roots. This process eliminates the need to waste water when flooding or draining. However, this method could also waste water, but it works fine in controlled or small systems.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Cabbage in Water?
In 3 to 4 days, you’ll start noticing roots. This process works best when growing cabbages from stamps. You only need a shallow bowl with water and place the leftover leaves with a little stamp. Leave the plant undisturbed for a few days. Then, after the roots appear, you can introduce nutrient solutions.
It is easy to regrow cabbages and other vegetables using the same simple method. Some vegetables you may include in your own hydroponics garden are celery, cucumbers, carrot greens, leeks, lemongrass, Bok choy, Fennel, lettuce, green onions, garlic, and chives.
Final Thoughts on Hydroponic Cabbages
The Chinese hydroponic cabbage is delicious and adds life to your salads. It is equally easy to prepare, and your kids will surely enjoy eating it. Traditionally, cabbages are nutritious and incredibly easy to grow. Hydroponic cabbages are your best bet if you’re setting up your simple kitchen garden and have limited space. You’ll enjoy fresh cabbages all season and serve your entire family healthy food with little effort.