~ Seed for CABBAGES ~

plant pictureplant pictureplant pictureCabbages are grouped depending when they are ready to eat, and you plant them at different times.

The spring and summer cabbages are smaller & more tender, but the winter ones have longer to grow and so are much bigger.

Rather than offer a huge array of similar types for you to try to choose between,
we have instead selected a couple of good varieties from each group.

These are listed in order of harvest: from Spring Cabbages at the top through to Winter Cabbages at the bottom of the page.

Cabbage - ready to eat year round

plant picturePaul & Becky's Asturian Tree Cabbage RARE
This unusual Spanish heirloom has absolutely enormous leaves - and it looks like a Kale rather than a cabbage; it makes no head, just a tall stalk with  a loose head on top. You simply take the huge leaves a few at a time to eat all year round.

You can even keep it going for two years or more! Just cut it back when it tries to flower - it makes new growth, ideal for fresh cabbage in spring during the ‘hungry gap’.

You can use it as cooked greens just as normal. But Tree Cabbage like this is also a key ingredient in the classic Spanish dish 'Caldo Gallego' - which is a delicious leaf, bean, and meat stew.

Grows like cabbage, harvested like a kale . Very, very rare. Can be a short-lived perennial vegetable if the flowers are removed as they form.

small packet approx 100 seed £


= normal sowing & harvest time = also possible depending on conditions

Cabbages - ready to eat in Spring


plant picture'Durham Early' Spring Cabbage
A very reliable old variety of spring cabbage with dark green solid conical hearts, usually ready towards the end of April.

300 seed £


= normal sowing & harvest time = also possible depending on conditions

Cabbages - ready to eat in SUMMER

plant pictureGolden Acre Summer Cabbage
This is a really good summer cabbage that makes tight round heads that are a very attractive golden-green colour, and an excellent flavour. (The colour hasn't shown so well in the photo, but a row of them in the garden really does stand out glowingly.)

Sow relatively early in spring, and you can harvest at that useful period before the main summer crops get going.

approx 250 seed £


= normal sowing & harvest time = also possible depending on conditions

plant pictureGreyhound Summer/Autumn Cabbage
A traditional compact cabbage ideal for smaller plots, with not too many outer leaves and a nice dense conical head. Normally sown in spring for an early summer crop, this received the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 2002.

A much-loved variety that is suited to sowing and harvesting over a long period.

300 sd £


= normal sowing & harvest time = also possible depending on conditions

plant picture"Belarusskaya 455" Summer/Autumn Cabbage
This European cabbage is a great long-storing, hardy heirloom from Belarussia, near the border with Poland. It is one of best two we found in our 2017 trials of old ex-USSR varieties.

Productive! Makes flattened heads in about 100-130 days that are nice and tight, very pale green (almost white) , weighing 2 to 3kg.

Bred sometime before 1945 by the seed company Vniissok, from an even older Belarussian heirloom.

200 sd (very, very rare) £


Cabbages - ready to eat in AUTUMN

plant picture'Rouge Tete Noir' Late Summer/ Early Autumn Red Cabbage
A real unsung hero. We've offered it for years and never really praised it sufficiently, but looking at them on the field this autumn we realised again just what an excellent cabbage it is. With no care or attention it grew through the wet and drought and made great firm heads that the caterpillars and slugs left alone. It's fab!

A super-reliable red round-headed variety for late summer & early autumn harvest, great shredded in salads or coleslaw as the deep red surface contrasts with the white flesh inside.

We have found that red cabbages seem to be somewhat less affected by caterpillars, perhaps because they show up more to the birds on the red background?

Firm red heads, short stem. Sow in spring for use mid-summer onwards.

300 seed £


Cabbages - ready to eat in WINTER

plant picture‘Aubervilliers’ Savoy Early Winter Cabbage

This is a really nice heirloom cabbage with gently savoyed leaves, from France. It is an autumn/winter cabbage; can be harvested from the end of summer on into the start of winter as it is quite cold-hardy.

Can make a decent 3lb head in just 70 days from sowing.

300 seed £


plant picture‘Ironhead’ Savoy Early Winter Cabbage

A vigorous heirloom with large rounded heads of crinkled leaves, this one is one of the quicker winter cabbages, and is for taking from November on into the start of winter.

It makes a good round head, which is nice and tight to protect against mud and insects.

300 seed £


plant pictureplant picture‘Des Vertus’ Savoy Winter Cabbage

Also known as the Virtuous Cabbage, because it has many good qualities! This is a valued hardy heirloom from France which makes large flattened heads that mature late in the season for harvest overwinter.

We found an engraving of it in our copy of Vilmorin's famous book 'The Vegetable Garden' printed in 1885, and it looks very much the same after all these years.

Relatively cold-resistant and can be cut overwinter.

250 seed £


plant picture‘Piacenza’ Savoy Winter Cabbage

A cold-resistant savoy from the town of Piacenza (in the Po Valley of Italy), with bright green leaves which are very finely savoyed.

It makes a good round head, which is nice and tight to protect against mud and insects.

300 seed £


Saving Cabbage Seed is EASY:

We would really like to encourage you to have a go at saving seed from the vegetable brassica family - that's the cabbages, kales, oriental vegetables, broccoli and turnips.

We know many of you save obvious vegetables like tomato and lettuce seed, but we've noticed that in the past people shied away from doing the biennial vegetables (plants that flower in their second year).

More people are saving brassica seed now - and we'd like to encourage you to try it too: its incredibly easy, and you get so much seed, you'll have loads to give away.

There's really no need for example to buy Cabbage seed from us every year at all. You just set aside a patch of good plants, and let them flower. (You will need to slash the head of ball-types with a knife to let the seed stalk out.) Make sure that you've got a reasonable number, that they are healthy, and that no other sorts are flowering nearby that might cross with them. You'll get lots of seeds in August.

How to actually get the seeds out:

plant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant picture

Here's Kate processing some Pak Choi.

You do need to make sure they aren't crossed with anything, as many of the brassicas (cabbages, cauliflowers etc)
will cross with each other very readily. See the seedsaving pages at the bottom left hand side of this website for more infomation.

To get the seeds out, flower stalks from a good-sized population are hung up to dry,
then broken open over a bowl (or old baby bath in this case!).

The bits of pod are screened out with a sieve or a soil riddle
- but you can instead winnow them off in a breeze pretty easily if you prefer.

Step-by-step, highly detailed instructions are here on our new brassica-seedsaving page.
And of course, seed-saving is only possible because these are all real, non-hybrid varieties.