(Genus: Brassica oleracea sabauda o bullata - Family: Brassicaceae)
Savoy Cabbage and its origins
A member of the cabbage family, Savoy Cabbage is characterised by its crinkled leaves and pronounced ribs. It has a delicate but distinct taste. A hardy annual, its name is believed to have originated from the Alps region of Savoy, in which it is widely grown.
The head of a Savoy Cabbage is typically loose leaved, although still retains an obvious spherical cabbage head. Inner leaves are a light green, almost white as they get naturally blanched by the lush green foliage that surrounds them.
How to Plant: Savoy Cabbage
This hardy plant thrives in cold, wet conditions and as a result, Savoy Cabbage is a popular vegetable to grow in Northern Europe and the UK. It is still grown in Mediterranean countries and is very common in parts of France and Northern Italy, particularly in Piedmont and Lombardy.
Planting directly outdoors is not advisable. Scatter the seed in seedbeds during January and February; these beds will need to be protected. Although this is one of the hardiest cabbages and can survive frost, Savoy Cabbage needs some initial protection until it matures. Seedlings can then be planted outdoors between March and September when the threat of frost has diminished.
Sow the seeds in seedbeds at a depth of 0.5-1cm, using approximately 2.5g/m2 of seed. When the seedlings reach 15cm high and have at least 5 leaves they can be planted outdoors. Plant Savoy Cabbage seedlings in rows, leaving a gap of 60-80cm between each seedling and a similar gap between each row.
Soil should be loose to allow good air circulation, have a medium texture and a good water retention capacity without creating a water logged soil. Fertilise soil with 50g/m² of Xxxxx xxxxxx before planting the seedlings.
The Savoy Cabbage requires plenty of water and regular irrigation, especially in the early stages of the crop cycle.
When to harvest Savoy Cabbage
Harvest Savoy Cabbage when the head has reached the desired size. Planting them too close together prevents the head from reaching a large size. A good indication that they are ready for harvest is when the head starts to burst open, although, heavy rains and other external factors can prompt a premature opening.
Depending on the month they were planted, Savoy Cabbages are typically harvested from April to June or alternatively, from September to December.
Keep Savoy Cabbage in a cool and well-ventilated space and it will last for many weeks.
Did you know?
Packed full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, Savoy Cabbage is a rich source of vitamin A, B and C. It is used in all types of cuisine across the globe and can be boiled, fried or also used as the wrapping when making stuffed rolls containing meat and vegetables.
Ancient Romans believed that raw cabbage would help the body to secrete alcohol more quickly and would often eat raw cabbage before a lavish banquet.