Package of Practices - CABBAGE

Package of Practices - CABBAGE

Cabbage is one of the most popular winter vegetables grown in India. It is cultivated in 0.310 M ha with the total production of 6.870 Mmt and average productivity of 22.1 mt/ha. The major cabbage producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Maharashtra & Karnataka. Among these states West Bengal contributes 2.042 Mmt of cabbage from 74,100ha area with an average productivity of 27.6 mt/ha. Cabbage is used as salad, boiled vegetable and dehydrated vegetable as well as in cooked curries and pickles. Cabbage is rich in minerals and vitamins A, B1, B2 and C.

Crop varieties:

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata) belongs to the family Cruciferae. Advance technology in cabbage production utilizes hybrid verities like Green express, Green Boy and other verities are Pusa Mukta, Pride of India, Pusa Drum Head, and Hari Ram Gole etc.

Conventional practices:

Generally farmers grow locally available varieties and adopt check basin or furrow method of irrigation. Standard practices of nutrient and plant protection measures are rarely adopted.

Suitable agro-climatic conditions:

The cabbage plants thrive in a well relatively cool moist climate. In the plains it is grown mainly as a winter crop, whereas in the hills it is grown as a spring and early summer crop.

Suitable soils:

Sandy loam soil is generally considered most suitable for an early maturing crop, but where higher yield is the main criterion, clay loam or silt loam soil is more suitable. It does not grow well in highly acidic soils. The optimum pH range for cabbage is between 5.5 and 6.5. 

Preparation of land:

The field should be deep (20-25 cm) ploughed with soil turning ploughs. Thereafter, two to three cross harrowing is done to make soil friable and loose. One or two plankings are also needed to make the surface smooth and level.

Soil sterilization:

The sterilization of the soil can be achieved by both physical and chemical means. Physical control measures include treatments with steam and solar energy. Chemical control methods include treatments with herbicides and fumigants. Soil sterilization can also be achieved by using transparent plastic mulch film, which is termed as soil solarization. During soil solarization, the incoming solar radiation penetrates the transparent plastic film (150 micron) and is absorbed in the soil. The absorbed radiation converts into heat energy, which raises the soil temperature and kills many soil-borne organisms including plant pathogens and pests.


The seeds are sown in raised nursery beds. They are sown in August-September for the early crop and in September-October for the late crop. The seed rate is 500 g/ha for the early crop and 375 g/ha for the late crop. Poly house may be used for providing favourable climate for the germination of seeds and seedlings raising. Four to six weeks old seedlings are used for transplantation. Generally, a spacing of 45 cm x 45 cm is kept for the early varieties and 60 cm x 45 cm for the late varieties.  

Drip system requirement:
Area 1 ha
Planting geometry 60cm x 45cm.
Variable items 75 mm F PVC/HDPE pipe-54 m, 75 mm F PVC/HDPE pipe-102 m, 12mm F LLDPE Lateral-8400 m, Online dripper (2 l/h)-7437 Nos., Control valve-2 Nos., Flush valve-2 Nos. and Tees/bends-1 No., Accessories.
Fixed items Screen filter (15m3/ h)-1 No., Bypass assembly-1 No., Fertilizer applicator-1 No., Accessories.

Irrigation scheduling:

Cabbage requires continuous availability of moisture in soil. Heavy irrigation should however be avoided when heads have formed. Irrigation after long dry spells causes bursting of heads.  Drip irrigation is the most suitable method of irrigation, which provides uniform supply of water. The estimated daily irrigation water requirement of cabbage crop is 4.66 l/4plants during early stage and 6.62 l/4plants during peak growth stage. Daily irrigation or on alternate days with On-line type of drippers is preferred.

Application of fertilizers:

Cabbage is a shallow rooted crop with high nutrients requirement. For the best results 20-25 t/ha of FYM is incorporated in the soil about three week before transplanting.  N, P and K fertilizers are applied respectively @ 100 kg N, 125 kg P and 150 kg K per hectare before transplanting. Three to four split doses of liquid nitrogen (100 kg N/ha) should be applied through drip irrigation after 5-6 weeks of transplanting.

Weed control:

Shallow hoeing should be done for weed control. Black plastic mulch (150 micron) is also effective in restricting weed population.

Plant protection:

The control measures for insects, pests and diseases depend upon type and intensity of problem. The control measures for the main pests and diseases are stated below.

Cabbage Maggot: It attacks on the young rootlets and on the main root, causing wilting of plants. Application of Calomelis suspension has been prescribed as a control measure. Damping off: It is common disease in the nursery-beds of the early cabbage. It is controlled by soil solarization using transparent plastic film or by drenching the nursery beds with fungicide 3-4 weeks prior to sowing of seeds.
Downy Mildew: It is characterized by the appearance of purplish-brown spots on the underside of the leaves. The causal organism is an obligate parasite present in soil. Sanitation and crop rotation help reduce the infection of Downy Mildew.
Harvesting, yield and quality control:
Cabbage is harvested when the head is of suitable size, firm but tender. The average yield of cabbage varies from 100 to 115 t/ha under drip irrigation with plastic mulch. In attaining quality of cabbage grading should be done according to the size and quality as per the standards laid down by the Indian Standards Institution.
Post harvest handling and storage:
The best storage temperature is 00 C at 90 to 95 per cent relative humidity.
Cost economics:
Area 1 ha
Planting geometry 60 cm x 45 cm
Fixed cost of drip system Rs. 89,986
Rate of interest 10.5%
Life of drip system 7.5 years
Annual cost of drip System Rs. 12,939
Expected yield 112 t/ha
Cost of cultivation Rs. 11,500
Expected Benefit Cost ratio 6.0
¤ For more information, kindly Contact:
Professor & Principal Investigator, Precision Farming Development Centre
Agricultural & Food Engineering Department, IIT Kharagpur (W.B.) 721 302.
Tel: 03222-283150 (O)/ 283151 (R), Fax: 03222-282244 / 255303 (O),