savoy cabbage red green

So what’s hard about growing Savoy or Red Cabbage, you may be asking? Well, nothing really. I guess it’s more based on the fact that why would you want to grow the humble green cabbage when there are so many more interesting varieties to challenge yourself with.

Savoy cabbage is that wrinkled variety that resembles your fingers when they’ve been soaking in water for too long. It’s origins stem back to middle-ages England where it was one of the first hard-headed (tightly grown) cabbages in that part of Europe.

The Red cabbage, on the other hand, was an introduced variety to the UK and its background isn’t as well-defined. However, it’s fair to say that with the history of cabbages red varieties were probably travelled from Asia Minor before gaining acceptance by Western civilisation.

Even today, the greatest producers of cabbages are China, India, the Russian Federation, South Korea and Japan – according to FAOSTAT.

While it’s helpful to know some history it doesn’t achieve much in the way of growing them, does it? So let’s look at how to maximise your yields when growing cabbages and see if they can’t improve somewhat.

Savoy and Red cabbage, like any cabbages, don’t require copious amounts of maintenance while they’re growing. They’re best grown when planted in the cooler months (mid-winter to early spring) which removes any watering concerns and the main issues they struggle with are pests.

Yet, talk to any veggie gardener that’s been growing cabbages for a while and they will certainly have their own “secret method” for success. If you distill these anecdotes down you’ll find that the main ingredients are mulch, fertiliser and sun.

The fertiliser doesn’t come from a packet. Savoy and Red cabbage are very fond of manures and compost teas or worm wee. For my money, I’m happy to shovel a heap load of well-rotted cow manure around these increasing the application as they grow. Mulching with lucerne hay should also keep the snails and sowbugs at bay while they progress from seedlings and companion planting with marigolds will deter the caterpillars and cabbage moth.

Red cabbage needs a heap of sun as well. At least 4-6 hours of winter sunshine will help them grow to their potential while growing them in shade will stunt their growth and they will become leggy as they try to reach light.

The final consideration is water. While most winter climates offer enough rainfall for these to be successful and they are quite impervious to frosts they may still need some extra water in more temperate zones. Those who garden in areas where the winters are more dry should consider at least a once per week deep watering regime to encourage the cabbages growth.

Related Posts

Vanilla Lily (Arthropodium milleflorum) Growing Guide

Vanilla Lily (Arthropodium milleflorum) Growing Guide

The scent of vanilla feels both exotic and familiar. It ...

Spring Onions: How to Grow Scallions in Australia

Spring Onions: How to Grow Scallions in Australia

Spring onions always make me think of my mother. Growing ...

Malabar Spinach: How to Grow and Care Guide

Malabar Spinach: How to Grow and Care Guide

Malabar spinach is a great alternative to real spinach and ...

How to Grow Chillies | Australian Gardening Guide

Chilli Plant: How to Grow Chillies in Australia

Anyone that likes spicy dishes, loves chillies. Chillies are a ...

About the author 


Since 2007, our team of gardeners and gardening experts have contributed their knowledge to Aussie Green Thumb. We share with you everything you need to get your garden going and maintain it in tip top shape.

Whether your new to gardening or a seasoned gardener, our tips will help you bring your garden to it's full potential. From big backyards and farms to small spaces, balcony gardens and indoor plants. Let us help you grow a better garden!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Stay Up To Date With Aussie Gardening Tips

Join our newsletter to receive helpful gardening tips specific to Australian gardens.


  • Seasonal gardening tips
  • Monthly gardening tasks for each Australian climate
  • Native plant of the month
  • A curated selection of helpful gardening articles
  • Exclusive promotions for Australian gardeners

Stay in the loop for valuable insights for a flourishing garden.

We promise to only send you helpful gardening emails and nothing more.