This loose-leafed cabbage dates back to the early 1800s and has beautiful, deep black-green leaves that are heavily savoyed. Popular in Tuscany and central Italy for making fabulous soups and stews. (60 days)
Start seeds for transplants 4 to 6 weeks prior to desired transplanting date. Seedlings need bright artificial light or full sun; in early spring, a cold frame is ideal. Seed should be covered no deeper than one quarter inch. Grow Early Jersey Wakefield in relatively cool conditions — no more than about 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, as cool as 45 degrees at night.
When the young plants have developed 2 to 4 true leaves they are ready to transplant in the garden. Set the plants in the garden about 4 weeks before last frost date in the spring, or about 6 weeks before first frost when fall planting. Space the plant about 24-inches apart. Plants need good rich soil and abundant moisture to produce solid, crisp heads. Some varieties will produce secondary heads when the main head is cut cleanly from the stem just above ground level.