Forget those delicate, green supermarket cabbages unless you have
unlimited amounts of water. But easiest-to-grow savoy types will do
surprisingly well with surprisingly little support. Besides, savoys
are the best salad material.
_Sowing date:_ I suggest three sowing times: the first, a succession
midseason, and late savoys made in mid-March for harvest
during summer; the second, late and very late varieties started late
April to early May for harvest during fall and winter; the last, a
nursery bed of overwintered sorts sown late in August.
_Spacing:_ Early-maturing savoy varieties are naturally smaller and
may not experience much hot weather before heading up--these may be
separated by about 30 inches. The later ones are large plants and
should be given 4 feet of space or 16 square feet of growing room.
Sow and grow them like broccoli. Transplant overwintered cabbages
from nursery beds late in October, spaced about 3 feet apart; these
thrive where the squash grew.
_Irrigation:_ The more fertigation you can supply, the larger and
more luxuriant the plants and the bigger the heads. But even small,
somewhat moisture-stressed savoys make very edible heads. In terms
of increased yield for water expended, it is well worth it to
provide late varieties with a few gallons of fertigation about
mid-June, and a bucketful in mid-July and mid-August.
_Varieties:_ Japanese hybrid savoys make tender eating but may not
withstand winter. European savoys are hardier, coarser,
thicker-leaved, and harder chewing. For the first sowing I suggest a
succession of Japanese varieties including Salarite or Savoy
Princess for earlies; Savoy Queen, King, or Savoy Ace for midsummer;
and Savonarch (TSC) for late August/early September harvests.
They're all great varieties. For the second sowing I grow Savonarch
(TSC) for September[-]November cutting and a very late European
hybrid type like Wivoy (TSC) for winter. Small-framed January King
lacks sufficient root vigor. Springtime (TSC) and FEM218 (TSC) are
the only overwintered cabbages available.
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