Cabbage 'Violaceo di Verona' is a drop dead gorgeous semi-savoy cabbage. This popular Italian heirloom from the region of Verona in Northern Italy is a cross between a savoy and a white cabbage that has been preserved for its beautiful looks and its fabulous flavour. It is a very striking plant, producing crinkly, tender leaves that are blue-green with a pink flush and creamy white in the centre.
Cabbage 'Violaceo di Verona' has an excellent flavour. Mild and pleasant, young growth can be cut finely and used in salads and immature flowering stems can be cooked like broccoli. Mature heads can be harvested from early summer until mid-winter with successional sowings.
Suitable for year-round production, Sowing in spring for harvest in summer-autumn, and sow in summer for harvest in winter. It needs around 100 days to grow from seedling to forming a head. Space 50 to 60cm (20 to 25in) apart.
An ideal choice for an autumn to winter harvest. Frost hardy and long standing it holds well in the ground during cold weather and can stand well into the new year in moderate temperatures. As the cold weather begins, the taste improves and the contrast of colours of the leaves gets brighter.
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.
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 variety capitata, which translates to "cabbage of the vegetable garden with a head."
(Kale plants are named Brassica oleracea variety acephala which translates to mean "cabbage of the vegetable garden without a head.")
The genus name Brassica derives from the Celtic ‘bresic’.
The species oleracea refers to a vegetable garden herb that is used in cooking.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 1 gram Average Seed Count 300 Seeds Common Name Savoy and white cabbage cross.
Heritage (Italy 1900's)
Family Brassicaceae Genus Brassica Species olearacea convar. capitata var. sabauda Cultivar Violaceo di Verona Synonym Verza di Verona or San Michele Hardiness Hardy Annual Foliage Blue-green with a pink blush. Spacing 50 to 60cm (20 to 25in). Position Full sun Soil Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Dry Time to Sow March to July Time to Harvest Early summer until mid-winter