White cabbage, Kale, and Savoy cabbage

Head of savoy cabbage with leaves unfurling.

Savoy cabbage and white kale are delicious vegetables that make for easy growing.

White, Kale, Savoy cabbage facts

NameBrassica oleracea (white), Brassica sabellica (kale), Brassica oleracea var. sabauda (Savoy)
Family – brassica, headed cabbage
Type – biennial vegetable

Exposure – full sun
Soil – cool, deep, moist and rich
Harvest – July to February depending on the variety

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

Sowing, planting cabbage

White cabbage, kale, or Savoy cabbage

Sow savoy cabbage at the end of winter or at the beginning of spring in a nursery.

Kale is less hardy than its brother white cabbage, and its life cycle is generally a bit longer.

  • 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.

After sowing, how to care for kale, white and Savoy cabbage

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.

  • 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 kale or Savoy cabbage

Harvesting Savoy cabbage

Two heads of savoy cabbage growing in a vegetable patch.It takes a few months for Savoy 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.

Parasites and diseases that attack Savoy cabbage

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 harvest doomsday butterfly, the large white. Pick off as many as you can or spray with B. thuringiensis.

Smart tip about white, kale and Savoy cabbage

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