When is it better to chop cabbage for pickling
The timing of harvesting cabbage depends on many factors: the variety of the crop, the climate of the region in which it is grown, the purpose of use. If the vegetable is intended for pickling, gardeners are waiting for the first frost, because a small frost will only benefit - the heads of cabbage will become even juicier and sweeter. Below you will find detailed information on when and at what temperature to cut cabbage for pickling.
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When to cut cabbage
All varieties of cabbage have different growing periods. This affects the timing of harvesting the vegetable. In accordance with the duration of the growing season, cabbage is divided into 3 types: early-, mid-, late-ripening.
Early maturing varieties ripen 3 months after planting the seeds. They are not used for fermentation.
Choose medium and late maturing cabbage. The heads of cabbage contain a sufficient amount of sugars, so the fermentation process will be much more successful. Maturity occurs 130-150 days after planting. Heads of cabbage are harvested in late September or early October.
However, not all cabbage that ripens at a later date is suitable for pickling. Most late-ripening varieties are intended for fresh storage in winter. Such heads of cabbage accumulate the necessary amount of sugars for fermentation in 2-3 months after harvest.
The most suitable varieties for salting:
- Kharkov winter;
- Moscow late;
The suitability for canning is simply determined by the appearance of the heads of cabbage and their taste. The best quality vegetables are white, with juicy and sweet leaves.
When choosing the timing of the harvest, it is important to avoid mistakes:
- If you cut the cabbage heads too early, they will be loose. In warm September and October weather, the forks are still growing. They require continued care - watering and loosening the beds.
- If you skip the right time, the heads of cabbage will crack and lose some of the juice.
In some cases, the cabbage grows very large, although the harvest time has not yet come. Then the plant nutrition is limited. The forks are slightly scrolled in different directions, after which they are slightly raised. Because of this, some of the roots break off, and the nutrition of the plant decreases.
At what temperature to remove for fermentation
Usually, the culture easily tolerates the first frost. A little frost is only good for her. From it, the taste characteristics of the vegetable are improved.
Attention! The maximum frost that cabbage can tolerate is -6 ° C, but only if its impact is short-lived.
Cut heads should not be allowed to lie at temperatures below -1 ° C. Otherwise, the stumps will quickly freeze, because of which the process of decay will begin.
For pickling, it is advisable to remove from the garden the cabbage that has been at a temperature of -4 ° C during growth.
Terms of cutting for the winter for salting
In all regions, salting cabbage is cut at different times, depending on varieties and temperatures:
- Moscow region. Harvested from late September to early October. By the end of October, frosts set in and constant rains begin, and it is better to cut the heads of cabbage in dry weather.
- Leningrad region - October.
- Southern regions - from late October to early November. First, they pay attention to the ripeness of the heads of cabbage, and only then to the ambient temperature. If the cabbage is not yet ripe, leave it until mid-November.
- Siberia and the Urals - the first half of September. In warm weather, the forks are cut at the end of September.
Before harvesting, the heads of cabbage are prepared. In order to increase the concentration of nutrients in them, feeding and watering are stopped 20 days before the cut.
When can you salt
In the villages, it has always been considered that the most appropriate time for salting cabbage - Cover. At this time, the heads of cabbage are gaining full strength and are already ready for processing. They store enough sugars for the sourdough process to run smoothly.
Basic conditions for successful salting:
- For cooking, choose any variety, except for the early ones.
- It is desirable that the heads of cabbage are white and dense, not frozen or rotted. From frozen cabbage, high-quality blanks will not work.
- For salting use exclusively enameled or glassware. Do not take plastic or galvanized containers.
- Salt is needed not iodized, coarse grinding.
- For oppression, use a jar of water or a granite stone. Do not press down with metal objects.
- The minimum weight of the oppression is 10% of the mass of cabbage.
- When using stones, they are first washed with soap and then calcined at a temperature of 250 ° C for an hour.
- Cooked cabbage is stored at 0 to -20 ° C.
- Freeze sauerkraut only when absolutely necessary, because after that it becomes soft and loses color. At the same time, the amount of nutrients decreases.
- Make sure that all the cabbage is covered with brine, otherwise vitamin C will quickly collapse.
Some people prefer choose the timing of salting by the phases of the moon... This celestial body influences all processes that occur on Earth, including fermentation.
During the full moon, the activity of beneficial bacteria is maximum, but it is the same in pathogenic microorganisms that cause decay. This leads to product spoilage. If you pickle cabbage on a full moon, the process will proceed quickly, but there is a possibility that the product will soon deteriorate.
The least activity of microorganisms is observed a few days after the new moon. The leaven will take longer, but the quality of the product will increase.
In private homes, sauerkraut is usually kept in cellars. In apartments, the workpieces are sent to the balcony or loggia. If there are no suitable storage conditions, the sauerkraut is placed in the refrigerator.
Attention! If the balcony is located on the sunny side, there will be large temperature differences during the day. This will significantly reduce the quality of the product.
It is important to correctly calculate the timing of harvesting heads of cabbage from the garden, starting from the variety and region of cultivation. Most often, mid- and late-ripening cabbage varieties are cut for salting in October.
But in order for the dish to turn out tasty and healthy, you will have to work hard not only in the garden, but also in the kitchen. The timing of salting cabbage is chosen based on the lunar calendar. Observing the basic rules, you will be able to get a quality product.