In recent years, I have tried 8 different varieties of “winter-hardy” savoy cabbage, to find out which varieties meet the challenges best planted with a distance of 50 × 50 as a second crop sometime in June.
The differences have been large, where some varieties may well have a nice taste, but a poor survival statistic (25%) and far too small heads. Oddly enough, this year there has been a big difference in how badly they have been attacked by the small garden snails - even in the same bed. The two varieties in the picture have conversely stood out for the positive side, Spinel (right) and Tundra (left).
Spinel survives pretty much all through the winter with only a few frost-damaged outer leaves, but the size varies a lot. Some are nicely large at a kilo or more, while approx. half are quite small. The taste is a characteristic savoy, but the structure is a little coarser than what I prefer for fresh use in eg a coleslaw.
The winner, however, has been the Tundra. All survive, good size and at the same time it is mild and delicate almost like a summer cabbage. So far, however, it has only been tried in the middle row, where it has been able to push the other 2 varieties beyond the bed edge - so this year, 9 Tundra are allowed to occupy a bed of 120 × 120, and then they have to fight each other?
Written by Peter Norris, February 17, 2018