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Varieties of Cabbages & Brussels Sprouts to Grow

Cabbages and Related Crops Guide


THE cabbage family can provide food from the garden in all seasons of the year—highly nutritious food, particularly rich in protective vitamins.


The cabbage is a crop of general utility, for unless the ground is wanted for another crop the plants go on producing useful greens.

For Spring and Early Summer Cutting

Early Offenham, Wheeler’s Imperial and Ellam’s Early are suitable either for cutting when the plants are semi-hearted or when solid hearts have developed.

Flower of Spring is a later variety, making a large plant. It can, however, be cut as spring greens.

For Late Summer and Autumn Cutting

Winnigstadt is a good late summer cabbage. Primo, which is of dwarf habit, making few outer leaves and developing solid, round-shaped heads, can be planted closer together in the rows than some types. Stockley’s Giant Red is excellent for pickling purposes. Red cabbages are the most suitable for pickling, but can also be eaten as a fresh vegetable.

For Winter Cutting

January King and Christmas Drumhead are hardy types.


Best of All is grown for cutting in early winter, and Ormskirk Late is suitable for cutting in March and April. Savoys are very hardy, with curled and puckered leaves. On account of their flavour they are often preferred to cabbages. They should be grown for late winter use.

Varieties Available Today (2017)

It’s surprising how many of the old cabbage varieties have survived to this day. Early Offenham is no longer listed as such but Offenham 2, a relation is easily found as is Wheeler’s Imperial although you’ll be lucky to track down Ellam’s Early seed. Confusingly Flower of Spring isn’t listed as such although Offenham 2 is frequently listed as Offenham 2 – Flower of Spring.

Cabbage Winnigstadt and Primo are still with us along with cabbage Stockley’s Giant Red. Both January King and Christmas Drumhead are still going strong as are the savoy cabbages Best of All and Ormskirk Late.

From the Brussels Sprouts, Harrison’s XXX no longer seems to be listed in Europe although it’s available in the USA. Evesham Special is easily available but Rous Lench and Dwarf Gem seem to be vanished into history.


This crop is the chief source of supply of fresh, green food for late autumn and winter. When arranging a plan of cropping for the garden, space should be allowed to accommodate a fair-sized plot of sprouts.

It is important to remember that the plants require a long season of growth to develop properly.

Although there are many varieties, a good mid-season type will suffice. Either Harrison’s XXX or Evesham Giant will be suitable, but for persons with very limited space a more compact sort such as Rous Lench or Dwarf Gem is to be preferred.