One of the earliest accounts of Early Jersey Wakefield states that it was first grown in the U.S. by Francis Brill in Jersey City, N.J. It was obtained from England under the same name. This cabbage was first released publicly here by The Peter Henderson Seed Company in 1868.
Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage forms a compact, somewhat conical head with glaucous-green leaves. Early Jersey Wakfield is a wonderful early heading variety, occupying little garden space and was popular in nineteenth century markets.
A short-season variety particulary adapted in the South to overwintering in the field when small. Sensitive to heat and does not thrive unless planted early, or grown in regions with cool summers. The variety is suited to home garden as well as farmer market culture for early market. Weighs 3-3.5 pounds, 12-14" in height and 20-22" in width.
1908 McKenzie Seed House says about early Jersey Wakefield ... "First early cabbage variety. Long recognized as the best very early Cabbage. Medium in size; in shape, pyramidal, with a pointed peak. It is a reliable, certain header, and one of the most profitable to raise."
1929 Steele Briggs Seeds says about early Jersey Wakefield ... "One of the earliest and hardest heading of the extra early cabbage sorts; most gardeners depend upon it for the bulk of their extra early cabbage crop. Heads conical, very compact and solid, of excellent quality cabbage."
1932 Burpee's Seed Company says about early Jersey Wakefield ... "A productive cabbage variety. The heads are uniformly hard and solid. conical in form, generally pointed at the end, with but few outside leaves. The heart is solid and well blanched."
Seed Savers 1992 Garden Seed Inventory says about early Jersey Wakefield ... "60-75 days. Conical solid tightly folded heads, 5-7 " in diameter X 10-15" tall, 2-4 lbs., yellows resistant, can be planted close, smooth dark-green thick leaves, can be overwintered, resists splitting and introduced about 1840."
Early Jersey Wakefield is mentioned in Wickson's 1913 book California Vegetables as a great variety for the state. This what he says in general about cabbage growing in California "The cabbage can be grown everywhere in California by selecting that season of the year which furnishes the adequate moisture and moderate temperature which best suits its nature. These requirements adapt it well to winter growth generally in California except in the frostiest places, and give the plant a longer season and a greater attainment in weight in regions of rich soils open to coast influences. It does not resent fogs and cold winds, and thrives directly upon the coast as well as in coast valleys".
Early Jersey Wakefield is Recommended by the Following State Universities or Ag Extension Offices as a variety that performs well for their region. CA, FL, IL, TX
I purchased the Fall Seed Collection for some container gardening this autumn and have been very pleased with the results. Germination rate was fantastic and I had to do much more thinning than I usually do from store-bought seeds. The little growing guide helped with varieties I haven't grown before (hello, kohlrabi). All of my plants are hardy and healthy and I'm already enjoying the early harvests. Looking forward to maturity on the longer growers. Will be buying the Granny's kitchen garden pack for spring. Thanks so much!
I planted several varieties over the past couple years. These have been the most reliable producers so far. Averaged 10-15 lbs. one larger one about 20. Nothing remotely close to 40 lbs. that’s ok. Huge ones are a pain to break down.
I planted a whole bunch of this to attract bees and butterflies. It grows like crazy. However I protected the seed with hay because my first round died because of the hot Florida sun and lack of rain lately.
We started these indoors in January. We transplanted them twice and finally out to our raised bed (full coastal sun). The plant is massive and the tomatoes are TASTY! The best little tomatoes we have ever had. We will likely plant them in a separate bed next year since they grow to such a large size and can crowd out other plants.