Savoy cabbage, a frizzly-headed cabbage for winter

Savoy cabbage

Savoy cabbage is a delicious vegetable that make for easy growing.

Key Savoy cabbage facts

Name: Brassica oleracea var. sabauda
Common: Savoy, Milan, Lombard
Family: brassica, headed cabbage
Type – biennial vegetable
Exposure: full sun

Soil: cool, deep, moist, rich  –  Harvest: July → February depending on variety

Special care, from sowing and planting up to harvest, will help you get magnificent cabbage.

Sowing, planting Savoy cabbage

Head of savoy cabbage with leaves unfurling.Sow savoy cabbage at the end of winter or at the beginning of spring in a nursery.

  • Sow as early as February/March in a nursery, sprinkling the seeds in a tray.
  • You can also sow directly in the ground in March or April under a cold frame or a tunnel greenhouse.
  • As soon as the first leaves appear, you can transplant them in the ground from March or April until August.

→ Tip: sync your planting with our Moon phase calendar

Savoy cabbage care

As soon as seedlings have sprouted at least 3 to 4 leaves, transplant them to their target location. Protect the seedlings if you need to plant them before the month of May.

  • Two heads of savoy cabbage growing in a vegetable patch.Space plants 20 inches (50 cm) apart when transplanting.
    This space is needed to give the plants room to grow.
  • The soil must have been well tilled beforehand.
  • Water regularly but in a light drizzle to keep the substrate sufficiently moist.

Harvesting frizzly cabbage

Harvest dates for Savoy cabbage

It takes a few months for Harvesting savoy cabbageSavoy cabbage to grow, but this lead-time is greatly dependent on the variety.

Some varieties can be harvested 2 months after planting, whereas others need up to 7 months.

  • Wait for the core to reach the size of a nice plump apple before harvesting your Savoy cabbage.
  • The cabbage must have formed their heads before the first frost spells.

A tasty way to reward harvest helpers is to prepare delicious stuffed cabbage rolls… they’ll come back next year for sure!

Parasites and diseases

The main enemy of cabbage in general is downy mildew. Moisture is the primary factor that enables the spread of downy mildew.

Caterpillars everywhere? Most certainly an attack of a that cabbage doomsday butterfly, the large white. Pick off as many as you can and/or spray with B. thuringiensis.

→ More cabbages to try planting: cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli

Smart tip about Savoy cabbage

Provide your cabbage with extra nutrients (fertilizer, manure and seaweed-based compost) to boost growth and especially enhance your harvest!

Images: 123RF: Iakov Filimonov; Pixabay: Wolfgang Eckert, Markus Distelrath; shutterstock: Gabriele Rohde