When the weather starts to get cold, growing ornamental kale can be a great way to add a splash of color to your fall and winter garden.A Note of Caution Ornamental kale plants purchased at a nursery may not have been grown organically, and there is a chance that they may have been sprayed with potentially toxic chemicals including pesticides or herbicides that are not food safe.Still, if you’re interested in eating the more decorative plants from your garden, you can decrease some of the bitterness by boiling the leaves before adding them to recipes like casseroles or a stir-fry.If bitterness isn’t your thing, but you don’t want those beautiful leaves to go to waste, you can use them as a garnish, or plate other foods on top for an impressive presentation.In fact, a study published in the journal BMC Genomics found that those bright splashes of pink and purple are due to compounds called anthocyanins.A review published in the journal Nutrients found that diets rich in anthocyanins are associated with a reduction in inflammation, obesity, and obesity-related chronic diseases. .

Ornamental Cabbage and Kale

Ornamental cabbage & kale are a beautiful way to add color and texture to your fall planters and garden beds.Before we discuss our favorites, we’d like to respond to some common questions about cabbage and kale.If you are looking for cabbage and kale to eat, it would be better to plant or purchase edible varieties.Turns a dark eggplant color – great centerpiece in a planter or place at the center of a circular bed.Red Peacock Kale: extra finely cuts on purple foliage.Coral Queen Kale: Fancy, frilly leaves with beautiful deep red veins. .

How to Grow and Care for Ornamental Cabbage or Kale

Common Name Ornamental cabbage, ornamental kale Botanical Name Brassica oleracea Family Brassicaceae Plant Type Annual or biennial Mature Size 12–18 inches tall and wide Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Rich loam, medium moisture, well-draining Soil pH Slightly acidic (5.5 to 6.5) Bloom Time Rarely flowers Flower Color Insignificant Hardiness Zones 2–11 (USDA) Native Area Southern and Western Europe.These are easy plants to grow in most sunny locations, though they can be susceptible to some of the same pests that plague other varieties of the cabbage family.They prefer coolish weather, and you may be disappointed by the speed with which they bolt and go to seed if you try to grow them in the heat of summer.Ornamental cabbage and kale don't develop their full colors unless they get a good chill from a frost.But if the weather is damp and the plants don't have good air circulation, they might develop fungal diseases, which usually appear as spots on the leaves.'Chidori' ornamental kale: This plant has very curly leaf edges with leaves that are purple, creamy white, or deep magenta.This plant has very curly leaf edges with leaves that are purple, creamy white, or deep magenta.'Color Up' ornamental cabbage: This grows upright with green leaves and centers of white, pink, or fuchsia.This ornamental cabbage has large, smooth leaves with center colors of pink, red, or white.This plant looks more like its edible kale cousins, with loose growth and deeply serrated leaves in red, purple, or white.'Pigeon' series ornamental cabbage: This variety has a flattened shape with red or white centers.For spring plants, cabbage or kale seeds should be started indoors about eight weeks before the last expected frost date.Plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and keep the soil moist in a bright location at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.If you only want one or two plants, ornamental cabbages or kales often look more natural when grown in containers rather than scattered throughout a garden.Ornamental cabbages and kales are usually not allowed to overwinter, since the second year of these biennial plants leaves them rather unattractive as they send up flower stalks.Common disease problems include leaf spots, blackleg, black rot, and yellows.An otherwise attractive cabbage or kale that suddenly sends up a sparse and rather ugly stalk is in the process of bolting—going to flower.Ornamental cabbage and kale look especially good in a large grouping or as edging for a garden bed, where their purplish hues blend well with other fall colors.These are cool-season plants that are usually grown in the fall or early spring, discarded as the weather turns very cold or as the warm summer months arrive.They will last longest if conditions are kept relatively cool, but even in the best circumstances, you should expect a relatively short lifespan for ornamental Brassica plants brought indoors.Ornamental kales and cabbages have been developed for their bright color and dramatic texture, while edibles are selected for their sweet taste and nutritional value. .

Can you eat ornamental cabbage and kale?

If you are looking for cabbage and kale to eat, it would be better to plant or purchase edible varieties.Ornamental kale plants purchased at a nursery may not have been grown organically, and there is a chance that they may have been sprayed with potentially toxic chemicals including pesticides or herbicides that are not food safe.In most cases I advocate harvesting and eating leafy greens like kale before they begin to flower. .

Garden Q&A: Yes, you can eat ornamental cabbage -- but it might

Remember that ornamental vegetables are bred for their bright colors and unusual leaves and shapes, and not their flavor.Technically speaking, kale leaves form a tight rosette, while cabbages produce heads.My preference would be to fill the pots with garden variety kales and have both spectacular decorations and good-tasting dinners.I've had very good luck growing it in pots tucked into the back yard border where they got full sun and regular watering.As you shop for seasonal decorations next fall, check the vegetable display at your favorite nursery before moving on the ornamentals.Paperwhite narcissus is possibly the easiest bulb to force into bloom and bring color and fragrance into our homes when nothing else is flowering.Paperwhites produce clusters of small white, yellow or orange flowers on tall 12- to 18-inch stems.Too much warmth and too little light will cause them to grow long and leggy and flop over the edge of the container.Another method to try is to fill any bowl or decorative container with a material such as pebbles, glass balls or stones.To alleviate the common "long and leggy" problem, a popular magazine recently recommended adding a bit of holiday cheer (aka liquor) to the water to stunt the height of the plant.William B. Miller, professor of horticulture and director of Cornell's flower bulb research Program, writes, "Add water as you normally would, then wait about 1 week until roots are growing and the shoot is … about 1 to 2 inches above the top of the bulb.Paula Weatherby is a master gardener with the Duval County Extension Service and the University of Florida/IFAS.


Is Ornamental Kale Edible?

Don't Hate, Cultivate Kale's origins are unclear, but it was prevalent by 100 AD, cooked in dishes in Greece.Ornamental kale has been cultivated primarily for showy foliage, so chefs tend to use it as decoration in a dish than an ingredient.Its ideal conditions are full sun in October through November, when cold nights saturate colors of the leaves and rosette, showing intense shades of blue and green. .

Eat More Kale

With its upright habit, tightly curled leaves and deep purple color, 'Redbor' is probably the most stunning variety of kale you will ever see - and it's also edible.Kale has earned the ranking of a "superfood" due to its nutrient-per-calorie score of 1,000 on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.'Lacinato' (aka 'Dinosaur' or 'Nero di Toscana') is a gorgeous blue-green Italian heirloom that dates back to the eighteenth century.'Red Russian' (shown below) featu res purple-tinged, flat, toothed leaves that are much tenderer than the curly varieties.Burpee offers a variety called 'Apollo' that sports regular broccoli heads and stalks accompanied by kale-like leaves.Seeds can be started indoors in late winter or direct-sown in the garden four weeks before your last average frost in early spring.Like other members of the brassica family, it can be targeted by cabbageworms, so be sure to check for caterpillars and chewed leaves periodically.Although kale is part of the cabbage family, its growth habit is more like lettuce in that you can harvest individual leaves or the entire bunch.About ten years ago, Vermont t-shirt maker Bo Muller-Moore designed a logo for a couple of farming friends featuring the phrase "Eat More Kale.".In 2006, this caught the attention of fast food company Chick-fil-A, which uses the slogan "Eat Mor Chikin" to promote its (admittedly delicious) chicken sandwiches.Vermont Congressman Peter Welch recently threw his support behind the kale campaign by sending a letter to Chick-Fil-A Founder and CEO S. Truett Cathy, encouraging the company to leave the t-shirt maker alone.


Nature's Mace Do deer eat cabbage

In this article, we will talk about the weird relationship between cabbage and deer feeding habits.Plants considered deer resistant, together can become palatable food sources in the future.Unfortunately, Deer love cabbage, and they can eat up to 10 pounds of food in a single day.They can equally eat other cabbage family members, including beans, cauliflower, broccoli, and lettuce, causing grievous damage.Great examples are cucumber and rhubarb plants; their leaves are highly toxic to deer.Therefore, you must consider different forms of protection for your plant by deer proofing your gardens.You can equally consider using other methods occasionally (scare tactics, noise deterrents) to keep the deer from becoming too familiar with your practices. .


oleracea), and belongs to the "cole crops" or brassicas, meaning it is closely related to broccoli and cauliflower (var.Under conditions of long sunny days, such as those found at high northern latitudes in summer, cabbages can grow quite large.They can be prepared many different ways for eating; they can be pickled, fermented (for dishes such as sauerkraut), steamed, stewed, roasted, sautéed, braised, or eaten raw.[5] A related species, Brassica rapa, is commonly named Chinese, napa or celery cabbage, and has many of the same uses.The original family name of brassicas was Cruciferae, which derived from the flower petal pattern thought by medieval Europeans to resemble a crucifix.[5] Many European and Asiatic names for cabbage are derived from the Celto-Slavic root cap or kap, meaning "head".The cabbage inflorescence , which appears in the plant's second year of growth, features white or yellow flowers, each with four perpendicularly arranged petals.The inflorescence is an unbranched and indeterminate terminal raceme measuring 50–100 cm (20–40 in) tall,[13] with flowers that are yellow or white.Each flower has four petals set in a perpendicular pattern, as well as four sepals, six stamens, and a superior ovary that is two-celled and contains a single stigma and style.The fruit is a silique that opens at maturity through dehiscence to reveal brown or black seeds that are small and round in shape.Leaf types are generally divided between crinkled-leaf, loose-head savoys and smooth-leaf firm-head cabbages, while the color spectrum includes white and a range of greens and purples.Cabbage has been selectively bred for head weight and morphological characteristics, frost hardiness, fast growth and storage ability.The appearance of the cabbage head has been given importance in selective breeding, with varieties being chosen for shape, color, firmness and other physical characteristics.[16] Breeding objectives are now focused on increasing resistance to various insects and diseases and improving the nutritional content of cabbage.Although cabbage has an extensive history,[23] it is difficult to trace its exact origins owing to the many varieties of leafy greens classified as "brassicas".[24] A possible wild ancestor of cabbage, Brassica oleracea, originally found in Britain and continental Europe, is tolerant of salt but not encroachment by other plants and consequently inhabits rocky cliffs in cool damp coastal habitats,[25] retaining water and nutrients in its slightly thickened, turgid leaves.However, genetic analysis is consistent with feral origin of this population, deriving from plants escaped from field and gardens.Because of the wide range of crops developed from the wild B. oleracea, multiple broadly contemporaneous domestications of cabbage may have occurred throughout Europe.Nonheading cabbages and kale were probably the first to be domesticated, before 1000 BC,[28] perhaps by the Celts of central and western Europe,[5] although recent linguistic and genetic evidence enforces a Mediterranean origin of cultivated brassicas.While unidentified brassicas were part of the highly conservative unchanging Mesopotamian garden repertory,[30] it is believed that the ancient Egyptians did not cultivate cabbage,[31] which is not native to the Nile valley, though the word shaw't in Papyrus Harris of the time of Ramesses III has been interpreted as "cabbage".[33] Ptolemaic Egyptians knew the cole crops as gramb, under the influence of Greek krambe, which had been a familiar plant to the Macedonian antecedents of the Ptolemies.[32] By early Roman times, Egyptian artisans and children were eating cabbage and turnips among a wide variety of other vegetables and pulses.[38] The more traditionalist Cato the Elder, espousing a simple Republican life, ate his cabbage cooked or raw and dressed with vinegar; he said it surpassed all other vegetables, and approvingly distinguished three varieties; he also gave directions for its medicinal use, which extended to the cabbage-eater's urine, in which infants might be rinsed.According to Pliny, the Pompeii cabbage, which could not stand cold, is "taller, and has a thick stock near the root, but grows thicker between the leaves, these being scantier and narrower, but their tenderness is a valuable quality".The Greeks and Romans claimed medicinal usages for their cabbage varieties that included relief from gout, headaches and the symptoms of poisonous mushroom ingestion.At the end of Antiquity cabbage is mentioned in De observatione ciborum ("On the Observance of Foods") by Anthimus, a Greek doctor at the court of Theodoric the Great.Cabbage appears among vegetables directed to be cultivated in the Capitulare de villis, composed in 771–800 AD, that guided the governance of the royal estates of Charlemagne.[46] French naturalist Jean Ruel made what is considered the first explicit mention of head cabbage in his 1536 botanical treatise De Natura Stirpium, referring to it as capucos coles ("head-coles").[48] In India, cabbage was one of several vegetable crops introduced by colonizing traders from Portugal, who established trade routes from the 14th to 17th centuries.[51] Sauerkraut was used by Dutch, Scandinavian and German sailors to prevent scurvy during long ship voyages.Jacques Cartier first brought cabbage to the Americas in 1541–42, and it was probably planted by the early English colonists, despite the lack of written evidence of its existence there until the mid-17th century.Cabbage is generally grown for its densely leaved heads, produced during the first year of its biennial cycle.Plants are generally started in protected locations early in the growing season before being transplanted outside, although some are seeded directly into the ground from which they will be harvested.[14] Seedlings typically emerge in about 4–6 days from seeds planted 13 mm (1⁄2 in) deep at a soil temperature between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F).[14] Closer spacing reduces the resources available to each plant (especially the amount of light) and increases the time taken to reach maturity.When being grown for seed, cabbages must be isolated from other B.

oleracea subspecies, including the wild varieties, by 0.8 to 1.6 km (1⁄2 to 1 mi) to prevent cross-pollination.Fungal diseases include wirestem, which causes weak or dying transplants; Fusarium yellows, which result in stunted and twisted plants with yellow leaves; and blackleg (see Leptosphaeria maculans), which leads to sunken areas on stems and gray-brown spotted leaves.[64] The fungi Alternaria brassicae and A. brassicicola cause dark leaf spots in affected plants.They are both seedborne and airborne, and typically propagate from spores in infected plant debris left on the soil surface for up to twelve weeks after harvest.Rhizoctonia solani causes the post-emergence disease wirestem, resulting in killed seedlings ("damping-off"), root rot or stunted growth and smaller heads.Clubroot, caused by the soilborne slime mold-like organism Plasmodiophora brassicae, results in swollen, club-like roots.[66] The cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) is infamous in North America for its voracious appetite and for producing frass that contaminates plants.Factors that contribute to reduced head weight include: growth in the compacted soils that result from no-till farming practices, drought, waterlogging, insect and disease incidence, and shading and nutrient stress caused by weeds.Vacuum cooling rapidly refrigerates the vegetable, allowing for earlier shipping and a fresher product.The simplest options include eating the vegetable raw or steaming it, though many cuisines pickle, stew, sautée or braise cabbage.It is frequently eaten, either cooked or as sauerkraut, as a side dish or as an ingredient in such dishes as bigos (cabbage, sauerkraut, meat, and wild mushrooms, among other ingredients) gołąbki (stuffed cabbage) and pierogi (filled dumplings).Other eastern European countries, such as Hungary and Romania, also have traditional dishes that feature cabbage as a main ingredient.[80] Cabbage is also a moderate source (10–19% DV) of vitamin B6 and folate, with no other nutrients having significant content per 100-gram serving (table).The Ancient Greeks recommended consuming the vegetable as a laxative,[47] and used cabbage juice as an antidote for mushroom poisoning,[84] for eye salves, and for liniments for bruises.[86] Ancient Egyptians ate cooked cabbage at the beginning of meals to reduce the intoxicating effects of wine.The cooling properties of the leaves were used in Britain as a treatment for trench foot in World War I, and as compresses for ulcers and breast abscesses.The latter toxin has been traced to pre-made, packaged coleslaw mixes, while the spores were found on whole cabbages that were otherwise acceptable in appearance.Biological risk assessments have concluded that there is the potential for further outbreaks linked to uncooked cabbage, due to contamination at many stages of the growing, harvesting and packaging processes.Contaminants from water, humans, animals and soil have the potential to be transferred to cabbage, and from there to the end consumer.Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables contain small amounts of thiocyanate, a compound associated with goiter formation when iodine intake is deficient.



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