Growing Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var capitata L.) in Cold Winter under Passive Solar Greenhouse in Trans Himalayan Ladakh Region
Greenhouse experiments were conducted in three seasons (2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20) to study the feasibility to grow cabbage, a temperature sensitive crop, during freezing winter months at high altitude (elevation 3340 m) trans-Himalayan Ladakh region. Three varieties viz. Golden Acre, Videshi and Megaton were studied under an improvised passive solar greenhouse. Head was formed in all the varieties despite the temperature extremes (0.0±1.6 to 39.5±0.9 ºC) inside the greenhouse. The mean marketable head weight ranged from 428.6±72.1 g to 831.2±193.0 g, depending on the variety. The mean head weight of Golden Acre was 831 g, which is 15-fold higher as compared to that of the crop grown under traditional greenhouse in Ladakh. However, the marketable head weight was lower as compared to the yield potential of the varieties. It took 133-163 days for Golden Acre to reach maturity for harvest as compared to the expected 60-65 days. Dramatic declines in intercellular CO2 concentration, photosynthesis rate and water-use efficiency were observed at 2:00 PM, which indicated that the plants were severely affected by high temperatures inside the greenhouse. High temperature inside the greenhouse resulted in bolting, head-splitting and loose head forming, and it ranged from 8-36% of the crop depending on the year and variety. The study suggested that cabbage can be successfully grown under improvised passive solar greenhouse during severe winter months in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh.
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