Its shape is compared to coral, seashell, Christmas tree, the taste is called delicious and exquisite. And the beneficial substances contained in Romanesco cabbage make it one of the most healing garden crops.
The cultivation of this type of cabbage is fraught with a number of difficulties, especially for novice gardeners, but the aesthetic and culinary pleasure of dishes made from it is worth the effort.
In the article you will read what kind of plant it is, how to grow it correctly and how to achieve a good harvest.
History of origin
The true history of the emergence of Romanesco cabbage is not known. According to one version, it was grown by the ancient Etruscans in the 1st century BC. e .. However this cabbage appeared on the vegetable market only in the 90s of the twentieth century. It is believed to be the result of a cross between broccoli and cauliflower by Italian breeders, although there is no exact confirmation of this.
Romanesco (Brassika oleracea var botrytis), also known as Romanesque broccoli, roman and coral cabbage, is botanically classified as belonging to the basic genus Cauliflower (Botrytis) of the Cruciferous family.
This is an annual garden crop with a lemon-green dome-shaped or pyramidal head-compositae of densely packed pyramid inflorescences. The fruit is large - from 350 g to 2.0 kg. The head is framed by large, long dark green or blue-green, slightly bumpy leaves collected in a raised rosette. The stem is powerful, high - up to 1 meter.
With proper cultivation, the market yield averages 1.6-4.2 kg / m². Taste qualities are assessed as good and high.
Reference: Romanesco cabbage is grown for fresh use and freezing. It is appreciated for the alignment of heads and presentation.
The State Register of Breeding Achievements includes four sub-varieties of Romanesco cauliflower recommended for cultivation in all regions of Russia:
- Pointoverde - medium early, large-fruited (up to 1.5 kg).
- Emerald goblet - medium early, with small fruits (0.35-0.5 kg).
- Veronica F1 - mid-season, with fruits 1.5-2.0 kg.
- Pearl - medium-late, with a medium-sized head up to 0.8 kg.
Among gardeners, varieties that are not included in the register are also popular: Amphora F1, Gregory, Romanesco Natalino, Nimble Turtle.
You will see a photo of Romanesco cabbage (Romano):
Difference from other species
The main distinguishing feature of Romanesco cabbage is the complex structure of the fruit-head. Small, spiral-shaped flowers are arranged in a spiral into a dense inflorescence pyramid. The pyramids, in turn, curling into a spiral, form a large head of cabbage. Mathematicians call this shape a fractal spiral.
Romanesco tastes different from both cauliflower and broccoli. Its young inflorescences have a pronounced nutty-creamy sweetish, delicate taste. But the most important thing is that Romanesco is much richer than other types of cabbage in terms of the content of useful chemical elements.
Reference: Romanesco is prepared like the usual types of cabbage. It can be boiled, fried, baked, steamed, added raw to salads.
Advantages and disadvantages
The main advantage of Romanesco is its unique composition, which includes:
- vitamins A, C, groups B, E, K;
- trace elements (calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, fluorine, sodium, copper, selenium);
- folic acid;
- polyunsaturated fatty acids;
- amino acids;
- sulphorophane, glucosinolates and isocyanates;
Romanesco has pronounced medicinal properties. It has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial effects. It removes toxic substances and carcinogens from the body. It has a beneficial effect on the central nervous system. At the same time, the plant belongs to an easily digestible, low-calorie, dietary product. The calorie content of 100 g is only 30 kcal, which makes Romanesco cabbage attractive for people seeking to lose weight.
Gardeners attribute the plant's high decorative effect to its merits. Often it is planted in flower beds, combining with shorter flowering and decorative deciduous crops.
Romanesco has only one drawback - the culture is extremely sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. In many regions of Russia with an unpredictable continental climate, the cultivation of this type of cabbage is quite problematic.
Care and cultivation
The cultivation technique of Romanesco cabbage is similar to the cultivation of cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. When planting, two methods are used - seedling and sowing seeds in open ground.
Attention: the seedless method is possible only in the southern regions of Russia.
- Seed purchase
The seeds are marketed as varieties of cauliflower (Veronica cauliflower, Pearl, etc.). The cost of a bag of seeds (25 g) in Moscow and St. Petersburg is within 10-15 rubles.
- Boarding time
Seeds are sown in open ground after the threat of recurrent frosts has passed:
- early maturing varieties - from mid-March to mid-April;
- mid-season - in April;
- late - from mid-May.
Seedlings are planted :
- early varieties - from late April to mid-May;
- mid-season - from mid-May to mid-June;
- late - from mid-June to mid-July.
- Choosing a landing site
Romanesco should not be planted after turnips, radishes, radishes, rutabagas, lettuce. After any types of cabbage, in order to avoid disease damage, roman cabbage is planted no earlier than 3-4 years later. Potatoes are considered the best predecessor, the culture feels good in areas where carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, legumes, cereals, and beets were previously grown. The place should be sunny and always humid.
- The soil
They begin to prepare the soil in the fall. When digging, they introduce manure (2 buckets per 1 m²), which will have time to overheat during the winter, and complex mineral fertilizers containing molybdenum, boron, and copper.
For Romanesco, loose alkaline soils are preferable - chernozem or loamy-chernozem. The soil with a high acidity is lime or wood or dolomite ash (200-400 g / m²) is added to it. If it was not possible to prepare the beds in the autumn, you can do this in early spring, as soon as the soil thaws.
Romanesco seeds are very small, so the soil is pre-leveled and moistened. If possible, seeds are poured evenly, sprinkled on top with a 1-2 cm layer of earth. Seedlings are planted in pre-prepared holes. Early varieties are planted at the age of 60 days, mid-ripening - 40, late - 35 days. With any planting method, the distance between plants is 60 cm, between rows - 50 cm.
Temperature is the main requirement when growing Romanesco. Without "guessing" the planting time, you can be left without a crop. The formation of buds and flowering occurs only at a temperature of + 15-20 ºC.
When cultivating late varieties, sowing seeds and planting seedlings are calculated in such a way that the formation of the head falls on a period with a cool night temperature, for most regions this is the end of August-September.
Cabbage needs regular, abundant watering, but without stagnation of water on the soil surface. At a temperature of + 15-20 ºC, it is enough to water the beds once every 2-3 days, in hot weather - daily.
- Top dressing
Top dressing is applied 3 times during the growing season:
- 7-10 days after the emergence of seedlings or after planting seedlings in open ground, the young shoots are fed with rotted manure.
- After 14 days, a glass of wood ash is poured under each plant and nitrophosphate is added at the rate of 300 g / m².
- During the beginning of the formation of the head of a young plant, they are fed with a complex fertilizer, for the preparation of which 30 g of ammonium nitrate, 80 g of superphosphate, 20 g of potassium fertilizer are dissolved in a bucket of water.
Important! The row spacing is loosened after each watering, in rains to a depth of 10-12 cm, in drought by 4-6 cm, after which the soil is mulched.
Harvesting begins from late August to mid-October, depending on the variety and weather conditions. The collection is carried out in the morning, in dry weather, before the inflorescences heat up in the sun. You can not overexpose ripe heads of cabbage on the vine, they will lose their juiciness, taste and useful qualities.
Delicate Romanesco inflorescences can be kept in the refrigerator for no more than 15 days. For long-term storage, the heads, disassembled into small pyramids, are frozen. With this method, all nutrients and vitamins are preserved.
Diseases and pests
Among the pests that annoy Romanesco:
- cruciferous flea;
- cabbage butterfly caterpillars;
- cabbage lurker;
- cabbage fly.
To combat insects, insecticidal preparations are used.
Roman cabbage is susceptible to all cauliflower diseases:
- mucous bacteriosis.
Prevention of various problems
For prevention, you can take the following measures:
- from fungal, viral diseases, the earth is spilled with boiling water or a dark pink solution of manganese before planting;
- so that the delicate inflorescences do not burn with the sun, the heads are shaded by tying the upper leaves over them;
- good results are given by planting next to cabbage beds of repellent plants (garlic, marigolds, marigolds, dill).
Romanesco cabbage is a kind of challenge for enthusiasts. Only an experienced gardener can grow it on the shoulder. Any non-observance of agricultural technology, unsuccessful weather, an attack of pests leads to a loss of yield.