Vegetables and herbs Growing Guides
These hardy winter cabbages like a long growing season but are worth the wait for crisp, juicy leaves (sometimes crinkly) and fabulous flavour. They also tend to crop when little else is available.
Growing calendar
Sow outdoors Mid Apr - May
Plant out/transplant Mid Jun - Jul
Harvest Mid Oct - Feb

Cabbages tend to be grouped according to the season they can be harvested. So, if you sow each season, you could be cutting cabbage almost all-year-round!

Winter and savoy cabbages are sown in late spring or early summer for harvesting through winter and into the following year.

How to grow winter and savoy cabbage

Regularly sow winter and savoy cabbage seed 0.5cm deep in pots or straight into seedbed. Transplant to 50cm apart (close spacing is fine for smaller-headed varieties) and plant firmly, adding a general organic fertiliser.

Earth-up in autumn by pulling soil around the stems and firm any plants loosened by wintry weather. Remove any yellowing leaves.

Harvesting and using winter and savoy cabbage

Cut hardy varieties as needed after the heart of compact leaves is form. Cut hearted white and red varieties before a frost.

Most varieties stand well, meaning you don't have to harvest a row all at once. But you can also store winter and savoy cabbages on slatted shelves in a dry shed.

Tips for growing winter and savoy cabbage

  • Slugs love cabbage so keep your young plants well protected.
  • Keep cabbage netted to protect from cabbage white butterflies.
Growing notes
Difficulty Moderate
Germination time 7-12 days
Average time to harvest 32-40 weeks
Equipment needed Organic feed
Average plant size 20-30cm tall and white
Family group to grow with Brassica: eg broccoli, kohl rabi
Seed saving notes 4 - biennial, needs isolation
Key nutritional content Vitamins A and C, folate