The Savoy cabbage is, you may be surprised to learn, a variety of white-headed cabbage. The spectacular, wrinkled surface of the leaves is a striking characteristic. It sports a more distinctive taste and texture than its common cousin, which makes it very popular. In Europe the Savoy is called 'Le Chou de Milan', it originated in northern Italy, specifically from the region of Milan. Delicious and healthy, it deserves an invitation to your vegetable garden.
Dark green, heavily savoyed leaves and bright green heads make Cabbage ‘Famosa F1’ a head-turner. Well wrapped, the outer leaves are thick and durable, while the inner leaves are tender and delicious with mild flavour that gets sweeter as winter approaches.
Cabbage ‘Famosa F1’ is a mid to early variety, that can be planted in late spring to early summer for a late summer harvest, it matures just 70 days after transplanting. Vigorous and uniform, the savoy is medium to fine and the heads have a good density and a closely packed heart.
Easy to grow, very productive and resistant to over-ripening Cabbage ‘Famosa’ produces compact and solid round heads that are suitable for an early August and September harvest. Like other midsize varieties, this savoy averages1.5 to 2kg in weight. It also has moderate resistance to downy mildew, which makes it ideal for damp and humid areas.
- Organic Seed.
This seed has been organically produced. The seed has been harvested from plants that have themselves been grown to recognised organic standards, without the use of chemicals. No treatments have been used, either before or after harvest. It has been certified and is labelled with the Organic symbol.
Prepare the site:
All brassica crops grow best in partial-shade, in firm, fertile, free-draining soil. Start digging over your soil as soon as you can brave the elements. Remove any stones you find and work in plenty of well-rotted manure or compost. Tread on the soil to remove air pockets and to make the surface firm. Brassicas will fail if the soil is too acidic; add lime to the soil if necessary, aiming for a pH of 6.5-7.5.
Sowing: Sow successionally from April to June
Nearly all brassicas should be planted in a seedbed or in modules under glass and then transferred. Seeds should be sown thinly, as this reduces the amount of future thinning necessary and potential risk from pests. Sow seeds 1.25cm (½ in) deep and space 15-20cm (6-8in) between rows. Once they have germinated, thin the seedlings to 7.5cm (3in) between each plant.
Cabbage seedlings are ready for transplanting when they are between 6 and 8cm high (2½ -3in). Water the day before moving, and keep well-watered until established.
After germination, seedlings will often be ‘leggy’, plant them as deep as possible so that about half of the main stem is buried, to really anchor them into the soil. Plant firmly 45cm (18in) apart (For maximum size, be more generous with the spacing.)
Use a cardboard collar around the transplant, against cabbage root fly, and some protection against slugs where necessary.
The trick to growing cabbage is steady, uninterrupted growth. That means rich soil, plenty of water, and good fertilization. Cabbage needs fertile soil and adequate moisture from the time you set out transplants. Stunted plants don't recover.
Clear away any yellow leaves. Feed the plants as they near maturity with a foliar feed.
Harvest: November to March (and beyond)
Cabbage that matures in cool weather is deliciously sweet. Test the head's solidity by squeezing it. Cut the head from the base of the plant. If you want to experiment, you can leave the harvested plant in the garden. Sometimes they develop loose little heads below the cut that are fun to serve as mini cabbages. Heads keep for several weeks in the fridge.
Brassicas are affected by a wide range of pests and diseases, especially the fungal disease, club root. Remove any infected plants from the ground and destroy. Make sure the soil is adequately limed and well drained. Rotate your crops, planting brassicas, of any kinds, in the same ground more often than once every four years runs the risk of club root infestation and once you have it, the ground is useless for up to a decade. Don't take needless chances, even with "catch crops" of radishes.
Mint: Effective against Cabbage White Butterflies, Aphids & Flea Beetles
Thyme: To ward off Cabbage Worm
Also useful: Sage, Oregano, Borage, Chamomile, Calendula and Nasturtium.
In the wild, the Brassica oleracea plant is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, and is somewhat similar in appearance to a leafy canola plant. Without detailed knowledge of plant breeding or genetics, simple selection by the people growing the plant over seven thousand years that had the features that they most desired, led to the development of six dramatically different vegetables. Although they appear very different, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts are all the same species, Brassica oleracea.
As time passed, some people began to express a preference for those plants with a tight cluster of tender young leaves in the centre of the plant at the top of the stem. Because of this preference for plants in which there were a large number of tender leaves closely packed into the terminal bud at the top of the stem, these plants were selected and propagated more frequently.
A continued favouritism of these plants for hundreds of successive generations resulted in the gradual formation of a more and more dense cluster of leaves at the top of the plant. Eventually, the cluster of leaves became so large, it tended to dominate the whole plant, and the cabbage "head" we know today was born. This progression is thought to have been complete in the 1st century A.D.
Cabbage is known botanically by the name Brassica oleracea var. capitata, which translates to 'cabbage of the vegetable garden with a head.' (Whereas Kale plants are named Brassica oleracea var. acephala, 'cabbage of the vegetable garden without a head.')
The common name of Cabbage is from the Latin caulus, in turn coming from the Greek kaulós, meaning‘stalk or stem’.
This type of savoy cabbage has the rather detailed botanic name of Brassica oleracea convar. capitata var. sabauda.
The genus name Brassica derives from the Celtic ‘bresic’.
The species name oleracea derives from the Celtic name of the cabbage, bresic. 'oleracea' in Latin adjective from 'olus' or 'oleris' meaning 'vegetables' or 'of the vegetables'.
The variant name sabauda is given to savoy types which are characterised by ruffled leaves with showy veins. The name Savoy refers to the area of its origin, the Savoy area of northern Italy. In Europe it is also known as 'Chou de Milan' as it originated specifically from the region of Milan.
Cabbages are classified into three different groups, all cabbages are grown in exactly the same way, just the sowing times vary:
Summer cabbages: - Can either be sown early from late February/early March under cloches or similar cover, or sow outdoors from April to early May.
Winter cabbages: - Sow in April to May; transplant in late June to July.
Spring cabbages: - Sow in July to August; transplant in September to October.
- Organic Seed.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 30 Seeds Average Seed Count Precision, Graded Seeds - 1.75 to 2.00mm Seed Form Certified Organic, Filmcoated Seeds Common Name Savoy Cabbage, Winter Savoy Other Common Names Chou de Milan Other Language Names Wirsing Family Brassicaceae Genus Brassica Species oleracea convar. capitata var. sabauda. Cultivar Famosa F1 Synonym Brassica olearacea var. sabauda, Brassica sabellica Hardiness Hardy Annual Height 40cm (16in) Spread 25 to 30cm (10 to 18in) Spacing 45cm (18in) Position Full sun Soil Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Dry Time to Sow April to June Time to Harvest November to March