SAVOY or SAVOY CABBAGE

A type of cabbage with crinkled leaves and large solid hearts. It is also extra hardy and for this reason can be strongly recommended for cold, northern gardens. Sow in March for cutting in September and October and from mid-April to mid-May for later crops. Sowings earlier than mid-March are possible but as with parsnips a savoy cabbage cut before the first frosts is unappetising. The same rules for soil and planting etc. apply to all types of cabbage, I.e. deeply dug soil, ideally medium to heavy and not deficient in lime. Transplant to a nursery bed when the seedlings have made 4 true leaves. Plant in their permanent positions in showery weather, otherwise water in well, allowing 20 in. between each plant. Firm planting is imperative. Sulphate of ammonia or ‘Nitro-Chalk’ will encourage rapid growth if applied at planting time, or shortly afterwards. Do not apply nitrogenous manures after mid-August, otherwise growth may be too soft to withstand a hard winter. Some gardeners plant between potato rows but these must be widely spaced, so that the potato haulms are quite clear of the savoys. (For this reason do not plant between rows of a variety likeArran Pilot which has a spreading habit of growth.) Interplant with a first early like Epicure which does especially well in the north as it is less susceptible to frost damage than many varieties.

Where spring cabbages are a doubtful proposition as in cold districts, try a sowing of savoys in July, choosing a variety like Omega, Ormskirk Late Green or Sutton’s Rearguard.

For an early sowing try Tom Thumb which makes small compact, dark green heads and is excellent for small gardens as it can be planted several inches closer than usual. Best of All is another early kind. Arctic is a useful mid-season savoy for cutting from November to February. For a late variety additional to those already mentioned, choose Irish Giant Drumhead with heavily curled leaves and standing till April.

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