Cabbage and Kale are cool-season vegetables high in nutrients, low in calories, and very tolerant of frost.They come in a wide range of colors, head shapes, and flavors , so you are certain to find a favorite among the many delicious (and beautiful) varieties!When you're deciding what variety of Cabbage or Kale to plant in your garden, your decision will be mainly based on your taste and storage needs.Savoy and conical types are more tender and therefore good for slaws and salads, while Chinese cabbage is heat tolerant and quite versatile -- it's delicious cooked or raw!As far as choosing a Kale, green ones tend to be sweeter while red varieties are somewhat more appealing to the eye.Cabbage seeds are best started indoors eight to ten weeks before the last frost, at a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees F. If you want a fall crop, sow outdoors in midsummer.Once the seeds have sprouted, be sure to keep the soil lightly moist, and feed them with a liquid fertilizer at half strength every two weeks.To conserve seeds, group 3 or 4 together at the desired plant spacing instead of the traditional method of sowing in continuous rows.To avoid cutworm damage , place a tuna fish or cat food can (with top and bottom removed) around the young plant, buried halfway into the soil., place a tuna fish or cat food can (with top and bottom removed) around the young plant, buried halfway into the soil.Cabbage is also a good source of beta-carotene, potassium, and phytochemicals (plant-derived chemical compounds that are non-essential nutrients but still considered to be important to human health), such as glucosinolates, which are believed to help prevent lung cancer.Cabbage is also a good source of beta-carotene, potassium, and phytochemicals (plant-derived chemical compounds that are non-essential nutrients but still considered to be important to human health), such as glucosinolates, which are believed to help prevent lung cancer.Members of the Cabbage family include Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Brussels Sprouts, Mustard, and Rapini.Members of the Cabbage family include Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Brussels Sprouts, Mustard, and Rapini.Cabbage loopers are the caterpillar stage of a type of nocturnal moth, and their name comes from the way they arch their bodies as they crawl, inchworm style.are the caterpillar stage of a type of nocturnal moth, and their name comes from the way they arch their bodies as they crawl, inchworm style.


The Best Companion Plants to Grow with Kale

Not only will you have a ready list of companions by the end of this article, but you will also understand the ways in which these plants will help your kale thrive.The primary purpose of planting herbs along with kale is to attract predatory insects that will keep pests in check.Insectary plants provide nectar, pollen, and shelter for predatory and parasitoid beneficial insects – the kind we want around.Love it or hate it, cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) attracts hoverflies (Syrphidae) and other beneficial insects, so it’s a great addition to your garden.It’s the good life indeed when your beans and rice are blessed by the fresh, bright taste of homegrown cilantro.Dill (Anethum graveolens) is perhaps the only garden herb I love as much as cilantro, and the beneficial insects seem to agree.Hoverflies – one of my favorite beneficial insects to observe – are more attracted to yellow and white flowers than other colors, and dill fits this description.Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) was found to lower populations of tobacco cutworm (Spodoptera litura) in Chinese kale crops.You’ll need to either treat this tropical plant as an annual, or overwinter it indoors in Zones 8 and lower.Brassicas tend to be prone to the same pests and diseases, so planting them together can easily lead to an outbreak.This doesn’t mean you can’t plant it with other heavy feeders, but if you do, make sure you add an extra source of nitrogen – such as well-rotted manure – to your soil.One of my favorite varieties is the heirloom, ‘Blue Lake,’ a type of snap bush bean.It produces high yields of classic green beans that will be ready to harvest in 50-70 days.You can find organic ‘Blue Lake’ bush bean seeds at True Leaf Market.In a study conducted in 1998, published in the Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, hot peppers (Capsicum annuum) were found to attract Trichogramma chilonis, a type of parasitic wasp, so add hot peppers to your list of insectary plants.There are many types of hot pepper out there, so even if you aren’t a fan of scorching, spicy heat, you might enjoy discovering some of the milder ones just for their intriguing flavors.One study in Kenya in 2003 published by the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, found that tomatoes interplanted with kale reduced infestations of diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella), a damaging pest, as well as other pest insects and diseases.Onions, leeks, garlic, shallots, and chives – I’ve never met an allium I didn’t like.Their lovely purple blossoms nod in the warm breeze on a summer day, standing out amongst all the leafy garden plants.Alliums aren’t just pretty – they earn their keep by deterring moths, mites, aphids, and flea beetles from your kale.They are easy and inexpensive to buy at the market, so I’d rather keep my garden real estate for the vegetables that are harder to come by.Organic evergreen bunching onion seeds are available for purchase at True Leaf Market.From gorgeous quiches to soups that have a certain je ne sais quoi, the leek will elevate your cooking.Check out the delicious leek, artichoke, and red pepper quiche recipe at Foodal.There are many annual flowers that can provide benefits for your garden kale, but some have a more established track record than others, and are more commonly found.And I’m not the only one who likes that smell – hoverflies do, too, and their larval form feeds on aphids, a common pest for growers of cruciferous vegetables.I like to add several varieties of marigold to my garden every year, including those that are nice and tall.They provide excellent ground cover and attract predatory and parasitoid insects to naturally control pest populations like aphids.This variety grows 10-12 inches high with an 8 to 10-inch spread, and seeds are available from True Leaf Market.Sweet alyssum’s low-growing, mounding form will make it an excellent ground cover in your garden, and since it’s not a heavy feeder, it won’t compete with your main crop for nitrogen.Kale looks lovely in a mixed veggie and flower bed, and a low growing variety of sweet alyssum will make an excellent border for such plantings.Seeds for the white-flowered ‘Tiny Tim’ variety, which grows only 3 inches tall, can be found at True Leaf Market.These cover crops can also act as a “green manure” when you dig them into the soil at the end of the growing season, adding nutrients and organic matter.It can act as a ground cover crop, encouraging water retention and preventing soil degradation.One of the beneficial insects buckwheat attracts is the minute pirate bug, which feeds on aphids, thrips, and small caterpillars.Also known as “broom corn,” sorghum attracts parasitic wasps, which are predators of several pests that affect kale.If you garden in a climate where kale does not thrive in full sun, you can use a taller plant such as sorghum to provide it with a little shade.You can get organic hairy vetch cover crop seeds in package sizes from one to 50 pounds at True Leaf Market. .

Kale Companion Plants: Friends For Your Greens

Kale has gained notoriety as a superfood, packed full of nutrients and healthy benefits.For example, strongly scented plants like herbs can attract beneficial pollinators or repel harmful pests.Plants with a sprawling habit can be used as a groundcover to conserve soil moisture, regulate temperatures, and suppress weeds from germinating.Dill and catnip are also excellent kale companion plants because they attract pollinators that increase growth.Strongly scented herbs like lemongrass can deter pests like tobacco cutworms that will attack kale.Mint, rosemary, and sage are also aromatic herbs that can repel pests when planted near kale.If cabbage loopers won’t stop eating your kale, grow nasturtium nearby.Hyssop is an excellent pollinator attractor and can attract beneficial insects which will aid in kale’s growth.Strongly scented flowers can also deter pests, which makes them some of the best companion plants to grow in the garden.The allium family includes plants like garlic, chives, shallots, leeks, and onions.With peas, keep the same considerations as pole beans in mind, and plan to trellis them in a direction that allows your kale to receive full sun.Be sure to allow room for the pepper plants to reach full size, and remember that they can become perennials in warmer climates.Potatoes, also members of the nightshade family with peppers, can be good companions for kale, but might not be the best choice overall.If you take care of your soil health by adding lots of organic matter, including well aged compost, you should be able to grow these nightshade companions safely near kale.Tomatoes grow much larger than other members of the nightshade family, and require significantly more nutrients.If you want to be safe, you should plant tomatoes further away from kale so they don’t compete for nutrients in the soil, growing space, or even sunlight.Keep vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and collards away from kale.These plants won’t harm each other when grown nearby, but try to space them out in the garden to reduce the likelihood of a major pest invasion destroying all of them at once. .

18 Cabbage Family Companion Plants & 4 To Never Grow Together

And you’ll quickly find out that planning a garden based on companion planting guidelines, is a lot like deciding on that critical wedding dinner seating chart.Trust in the work and gardening experience of others, and find answers to your companion planting questions along the way.In this article we are taking a closer look at companion planting with members of the cabbage family, which are classified as brassicas.Brassicas, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, bok choy, collard greens and Brussels sprouts are all vegetables in the cruciferous family.However, we are drawing the line at brassicas (omitting cresses and radishes), not to further confuse companion planting guidelines.As you choose to move away from monoculture, and into sustainable polycultures, you will naturally find that certain plants work better together, and others are more beneficial when they are further apart.attracting beneficial insects – many edible flowers are wonderful at this, be sure to include some every season!To make matters more complex, once you start companion planting, it is advisable to dive straight into crop rotation as well.If you have been wondering where to plant your beans, the answer is with beets, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and other cool-season crops.Pole beans, for instance, when they are planted nearby members of the cabbage family, can provide shade from the heat of the sun.If you aren’t planning to grow beans this season, take the liberty to choose some vegetable, grain or herb you like even better.All members of the cabbage family, including kale, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts do well when combined with beets.Beets contribute essential minerals to the soil that can be taken up by cabbages slowly throughout the growing season.The beet leaves, although perhaps best eaten, also make a wonderful addition to the compost pile.Technically a grain, not a vegetable, and not even remotely gluten-ous like wheat, buckwheat is related to rhubarb and sorrel.Besides being harvested for grains, buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is often used as a green manure or cover crop.More than that, however, buckwheat deserves a special place in your garden as an insect and bee attraction.Buckwheat attracts several beneficial insects, including parasitic wasps that have the potential to kill cabbage worms.The aromatic nature of celery is one that not all insects admire, especially when it comes to the white cabbage butterfly.When celery is planted nearby members of the cabbage family, it can help to repel damaging insects, making it far easier for you to practice organic farming.Forming a symbiotic relationship, the cabbage plays its part by creating a natural windbreak for the young, and often fragile celery.Now, that we have just mentioned keeping peas out of the onion patch, here they arrive on the list of cabbage companion plants.The nice thing about peas, is that once you get you linear thinking into curved lines, then you can move onto more abstract forms of gardening.Potatoes should not be planted where nightshade family members (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers) were the season, or two, before.Cabbage, corn and beans can all be planted together, in combination with potatoes to benefit their growth and improve their flavor.If your desire is to produce vegetables organically in your backyard, it is worth a look to see if it will grow in your plant hardiness zone (3-9).Cilantro is the stems and the leaves, and coriander is the seeds of the same plant – just to clear any confusion from the start.Besides repelling certain cabbage-loving insects, coriander also grows well with mint, basil, tansy and yarrow.As such, dill helps to repel cabbage moths, worms and loopers, anything with an appetite to devour many a brassica.Some gardeners may even proclaim that hyssop repels slugs that feed on lettuce and cabbage.To deter insects of the cabbage family, all you need to do, is plant your favorites from the aromatic herbs/flowers included in this list.If I had to choose one, it would be nasturtiums planted next to cabbages, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, for they flower for a good portion of the summer.Giving you more power over hand picking and destroying the larvae, however you see fit as a means of insect control.Strange, but true, one of my favorite herbal teas is yarrow (Achillea millefolium).If you’ve ever drunk a mug of it before, you may be questioning my {bitter} choice in teas, nevertheless, yarrow is a terrific perennial to keep in your garden.Yarrow attracts loads of beneficial insects and can be found buzzing under the fullest sun of the day.The flowers even entice parasitic wasps who, in turn, lay their eggs in cabbage butterfly caterpillars.In some cases, root secretions from members of the cabbage family can prevent lettuce seeds from germinating.Articles and experts alike tend to agree that they shouldn’t be planted together, though “why” remains unclear. .

Kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage are all varieties of

Per capita consumption of it peaked way back in the 1920s, when the average American ate 22 pounds of it per year.This makes it pretty interesting that kale and cabbage — along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, and kohlrabi, and several other vegetables — all come from the exact same plant species: Brassica oleracea.About 2500 years ago, B. oleracea was solely a wild plant that grew along the coast of Britain, France, and countries in the Mediterranean.This also happens with domesticated animals: we pick out the qualities we prize, whether it's the ability to produce lots of milk (dairy cows) or friendliness and loyalty (dogs).


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. .

Fafard Growing Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Kale Organically

Tasty favorites like kale, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower yield big harvests and are easily grown the organic way, even in the face of lots of pests.By summer’s end, mammalian garden pests are in larger numbers and always take a toll on my fall crops—particularly my brassicas.In spring, it pays to plant large, robust seedling starts for quick establishment and good success.This year I chose seeds for the small-headed savoy cabbage ‘Alcosa’, broad-leaved ‘Galega de Folhas Lisas’ kale, bolt-resistant ‘Packman’ broccoli, and bright purple ‘Graffiti’ cauliflower.‘Packman’, ‘Diplomat’, and ‘Early Purple’ are three high-performing varieties that produce big heads, have good side shoot production, and grow beautifully in spring.Heads may be conical, flattened, rounded, large or small, and can have smooth or savoyed leaves.Once healthy heads develop, cut them at the base with a garden knife and remove any large, ratty lower leaves.Potassium deficiency is common and results in heads with leaves that become yellow then dry and papery along the edges.Cauliflower comes in a myriad of sizes (tiny to giant) and colors (white, green, purple and orange).Fun, interesting varieties include the dwarf heirloom ‘Snowball’, bright purple ‘Graffiti’, electric orange ‘Cheddar’, and very large ‘Giant Naples.’.The sooner you can get your cauliflower into spring ground, the bigger the heads will be, but it’s important to note that this brassica is not as frost-tolerant as cabbages, broccoli and kale.Once the leaves unfurl and heads look curdy and fully developed, they can be cut from beneath and harvested.Be sure to water them well through the hot months while protecting them from summer pests, namely harlequin bugs and cabbage loopers.Harlequin bugs (Murgantia histrionica) are aggressive sucking insects known to lay waste to summer kales, and cabbage maggots (Delia radicum) will de-root and gut spring plants in no time.Cabbage loopers are best tackled with a product containing BT (Bacillus thuringiensis); OMRI-Listed Safer® Caterpillar Killer is a great choice.Harlequin beetles are eradicated at all stages with products containing neem oil, a popular organic pesticide, and applying a sprinkling of wood ashes around the base your brassicas will deter cabbage root maggots.They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities.They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. .

Growing Ornamental Cabbage & Kale

Planting and growing ornamental cabbage and kale in your landscape is a great way to add beautiful colors during the fall months.They are a great way to brighten up your summer flower beds and containers that have started to fade due to the colder weather.From deep greens, whites, purples, pinks, and even reds, the colors are a great focal point for fall displays.Whether you are growing them in raised beds, in pots and containers, or in the ground, ornamental cabbage & Kale are great additions to any property for beautiful fall displays when you follow these easy “how-to” tips.In fact, they need nighttime temperatures of below 60º Fahrenheit (15º Celcius) in order for their colors to really develop.While both ornamental cabbage and kale are similar to plant and grow, there is a slight difference between the two in the horticultural world.Local nurseries and greenhouses often carry plants during the early fall, but you can also grow them from seed as well.Ornamental Cabbage and Kale need to be grown in a location that receives full sun.You may also choose to start ornamental cabbage or kale by planting seeds outdoors in containers or in the ground.The plants need around 12 weeks to mature to full color, so sow seeds outdoors around mid-August (this timeframe may vary depending on your location and climate).You may choose to add compost if needed to amend the soil slightly prior to planting.Ornamental cabbage and kale need around 1 inch of rainwater or hand watering each week.Keeping plants spaced apart with good airflow and removing any wilted leaves will help with these issues.While ornamental cabbage and kale can withstand below-freezing temperatures, a sudden cold snap may end up killing some plants.Ornamental cabbage and kale are both a great addition to any landscape when you want to add bright, unique colors, and textures during the fall.Feel free to download, print out, or save our Ornamental Cabbage and Kale At-A-Glance sheet. .

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