Since I don't have a lot of space I am usually restricted to 3 or 4 plants, squeezed in amongst my Sprouting Broccoli, but this is still enough to provide a decent crop for our needs. The Broccoli doesn't mature until the Spring, whereas the Cavolo Nero is mostly gone by Christmas. In the next photo you can clearly see the Cavolo Nero (on the left) dwarfed by the big Sprouting Broccoli (on the right), but about the same size as the plant in between them, which is one of the Sprouting Broccoli ones that nearly succumbed to the Cabbage Root Fly but subsequently recovered.
Cavolo Nero is really more of a kale than a cabbage, and is grown and used in much the same way. I sow mine, which is usually of the variety "Black Tuscany", in the late Spring, transplant it in July and crop it from October to January. You normally harvest Cavolo Nero a few leaves at a time, rather than cutting the whole plant, though of course you can do that if you want to. If you pick only a few leaves - and not the little ones - more will grow. I suppose it depends whether you need the space for something else...
|These leaves at the growing tip of the plant should be left a bit longer|
|These leaves are the ones to pick - not too small, but also not old, tough and tatty.|
At the other end of this bed is one of the Cavolo Nero plants that was also severely attacked by the Cabbage Root Fly. Although it is smaller, it seems to have recovered well. The fly attack may turn out to have been a blessing in disguise, because it means that my Cavolo Nero will not all be ready at the same time.
|This plant is still immature|
Finally, a couple of my arty photos showing off the impressively "Savoyed" (crinkly) nature of the Cavolo Nero leaves. The young ones are quite green:
The more mature ones are a sort of blue-grey colour:
We'll be cooking with this vegetable soon, so watch this space...