It is hardy and grows best in cooler temperatures – the cold weather gives the leaves a sweeter flavor.In this clip from Gardeners' World (opens in new tab), TV gardening expert Monty Don shows how to plant out young kale plants and advises trampling the soil with your feet to firm it.It’s a tolerant plant that can survive cold temperatures and shady conditions – just three hours of sunshine is enough although it grows well in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil.A regular watering routine will help to prevent the leaves from wilting in warm, dry weather.Most kales are biennials, meaning they will take around two years from seedling before they eventually bolt and produce flowers and seeds.However, if you’re growing kale for its harvest of leaves it’s more likely that you’ll replace it every year and it will be more successful that way.Kale can grow just as happily in pots or raised beds as it does in open soil.However, the plants can reach up to two feet high when mature, so use a large pot – at least 12 in (30cm) diameter – filled with compost mixed with grit to improve drainage.Redbor – Vivid burgundy-colored leaves on a striking plant that would look good in a flowerbed let alone a vegetable patch.Kapitan – the classic curly kale, with densely curled, deep green leaves.Yurok – a hybrid Lacinato-type kale, highly recommended by Don McCulley, owner of Swallowtail Garden Seeds (opens in new tab), who says it 'has an exceptionally long harvest window.Its robust, 30 inch tall plants produce heavily, and are highly resistant to frost and heat.'.Kale is fairly resistant to pests, compared with other members of the brassica family, however young plants will need some protection from birds.Amy Enfield adds: 'There are several garden pests that like to munch on kale – cabbageworms, harlequin bugs, and cabbage aphids.Black and orange harlequin bugs usually feed on old, stressed kale plants. .
Growing Kale: How to Germinate, Water, and Harvest
Common Name Kale, ornamental kale Botanical Name Brassica oleracea Family Brassicaceae Plant Type Annual/biennial, vegetable Mature Size 1–2 ft. tall and wide Sun Exposure Full sun, partial sun Soil Type Loamy, moist, well-drained Soil pH Acidic (6.5 to 6.8) Bloom Time Spring Hardiness Zones 7–9 (USDA) Native Area Europe.Kale can be planted three to five weeks prior to your area’s projected last frost date in the spring.In most regions, gardeners can opt for growing kale in the summer by planting it at this time.Plant your kale in early spring if you plan to take cuttings in late summer.Soil that’s rich in organic matter and has sharp drainage is ideal, and the planting site also should get ample sunlight.Kale needs full sun to partial shade in most climates, as the fullest growth will occur when the plant gets six or more hours of direct sunlight on most days.However, if you live in a hot, dry climate, provide your plant with some shade, especially from the strong afternoon sun.Kale plants like to grow in a rich soil that's high in organic matter with a slightly acidic pH.The high nitrogen content provided by organic matter is crucial for healthy leaf growth.Water your kale plants regularly to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy.Along with cool temperatures, moist soil helps to keep the kale leaves sweet and crisp, rather than tough and bitter.Kale is a biennial plant, taking two growing seasons (or years) to complete its life cycle, but it's usually grown as an annual.Expect to wait approximately two months for your kale plants to mature from seeds.Check the days to maturity on your seed packet or plant label for more precise timing.Spring-planted kale will be good for harvesting throughout the summer months, but it's especially tasty after a light frost.You can harvest young kale leaves to use fresh in salads or allow your plants to mature for use as a cooked green.Plus, container growth is ideal if you don’t have garden space or the right soil conditions.An unglazed clay container is a good option because it will allow excess soil moisture to escape through its walls, helping to prevent root rot.Transplant your kale into the pot at the same depth it was growing in its previous container, and water it after planting.Plant the bottom half of the stem in a moistened soilless potting mix in a small container with drainage holes.You can direct seed in cold climates as soon as the soil temperature is at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit.Start plants indoors in a seed-starting mix about six weeks before your last expected frost date.Kale seeds germinate quickly in warm soil and should sprout up within five to eight days.Kale is a member of the cabbage family, which is notorious for attracting insect pests and for rot diseases.Kale is susceptible to black rot and clubroot, as well as aphids, cabbage loopers, cabbageworm, cutworms, flea beetles, and slugs. .
Growing Kale: The Most Easy-Peasy Superfood to Grow
Their varied colors and leaf textures make them a great addition to container gardens for your front step or patio.Kale varieties include curly, tall, dwarf, blue, green, red, and flat.Do you remember that time in elementary school when everyone in the class grew a bean sprout in a milk container?I have heard many gardeners refer to kale as "bullet proof," meaning that you can't hurt it.Part of what makes kale so easy to grow is that it is a cold weather crop.Directly sow seeds (1/4 inch deep) in soil or start seedlings indoors 6-8 weeks before transplanting outside.If you start your kale seeds indoors then remember to harden them off for approximately five days before planting outdoors.(Hardening off is when you gradually introduce your plants to outdoor growing conditions by placing them outside for an increasing amount of time each day.Some gardeners advocate using a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, but I find that my homemade compost provides enough nutrients for my kale plants.Kale is susceptible to the same diseases that affect broccoli and cabbage, but to a lesser degree.If you don't have a row cover then a strong blast of water should do the trick and get rid of them as well.Your best means of eradication is to hand pick them off and destroy them (being sure to keep them far away from your compost bin).The good news is that it isn't on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Dirty Dozen list of the crops with the most pesticide residue.According to EWG's website, "For the fourth year, we have expanded the Dirty Dozen™ with a Plus category to highlight two types of food that contain trace levels of highly hazardous pesticides.Leafy greens - kale and collard greens - and hot peppers do not meet traditional Dirty Dozen™ ranking criteria but were frequently found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system.EWG recommends that people who eat a lot of these foods buy organic instead.".Once you've successfully grown kale you'll want to incorporate the luscious leafy green into some delicious recipes.Gather friends, mix up some Mimosas, and showcase your successful kale harvest with this scrumptious quiche recipe.Some folks eat squash at Thanksgiving and forget about it for the rest of the year.How to Grow Garlic in 3 Steps for Maximum Flavor (and Vampire Prevention!). .
10 Tips for Growing Kale
Start spring seeds indoors approximately six weeks before the last frost to give plants a chance to mature before summer’s worst heat.Plant your crop again in the fall, six to eight weeks before the first expected frost — you can keep harvesting even after snowfall.Kale is buddy-buddy with beets, celery, cucumbers, herbs, onions, spinach, chard, and potatoes.Protect young plants with row covers like this to stave off flea beetles and provide a buffer against any unexpected temperature dips.Picking off unhealthy-looking leaves and keeping your plants well-fed with compost and water will also reduce insect damage in your vegetable garden,.Use straw or grass mulch at the base of your plants to keep the soil cool, conserve moisture, and make it easier for roots to feed.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. .
How to Grow Kale and Collards from Seeds – West Coast Seeds
Kale contains higher levels of beta-carotene than any other green vegetable, and is also high in vitamin C and calcium.They are perfect for juicing and a long-lasting green that stores well, delicious in crunchy salads.Continue reading below for some expert tips on how to grow kale and collards.Direct sow in early spring to mid-summer for summer to winter harvests.Or start indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost, and transplant out as soon as the soil warms up.Protect from cabbage moths and other insect pests with floating row cover.Prevent disease with a strict 4-year crop rotation, avoiding planting Brassicas in the same spot more than once every four years.All Brassicas benefit from chamomile, dill, mint, rosemary, and sage. .
9 Kale Varieties You'll Want To Grow
Kale has been eaten for thousands of years, and in the Middle Ages, it was used to feed both humans and livestock.Originally descended from wild cabbage, most kale varieties are native to Europe and parts of Asia.Able to withstand frost and cold climates, kale often symbolizes the coming winter season.Germans still celebrate the arrival of winter with a dish that features kale called Grunkohl.Thomas Jefferson was said to have grown it at Monticello, and recent food critics have touted it as a superfood.One cup of kale has 80 milligrams of vitamin C, which is almost the full amount recommended for daily consumption.There are dozens of different kinds of kale, ranging from frilly and red to dinosaur skin textured and dark green.As they grow larger, they will form a large and hard stem on each leaf.Plants grown from seed can take 50 to 75 days to mature, so as you check your kale for caterpillars and common pests, be sure to enjoy the progression as it grows from tiny curled kale, to large frilly leaves.Many plants can grow to be 1 to 2 feet tall, although they usually have a more sprawling growth habit.A popular cultivar is ‘Winterbor’, which is cold hardy and can grow 2-3 feet tall.Be sure to massage the leaves with olive oil if you are using it in a salad to soften their texture and make them easier to eat.Curly kale can be de-stemmed by tearing pieces of the leaves away from the hard stem.It may start out as a more flat leaf, but the color, flavor, and curling of leaves is increased by cold weather.Flat leaf varieties include Siberian kale, which is actually more closely related to the rapeseed plant.The leaves of Red Russian kale are tender and keep their sweet and slightly peppery taste, even at maturity.The texture of the leaves is bumpy and looks almost like reptile skin, hence the name dinosaur kale.Lacinato kale is great for eating raw because it has a more mild, nutty flavor.It is cold hardy and has flat, wide leaves that grow close to the ground.Chinese kale is a heat tolerant plant, so it can be grown year round in warmer climates.The flowering stalks, buds, and young leaves of Chinese broccoli are best for cooking.The leaves, buds, and flowers can be steamed or stir-fried just like any other type of leafy green kale.It’s part of the savoy family, and it’s full name is Brassica oleracea var.The leaves of Savoy sit in a bunch directly on the ground, and it looks similar to cabbage.Look for it in your grocery store, as it has been bred specifically for this purpose, and is almost impossible to find as seed.This leafy green packs more vitamin C than most other vegetables, and is incredibly cold hardy.One year, I decided to do some research to figure out how I could grow peppers on my apartment balcony, and it worked!I’m a Master Gardener Volunteer in Florida, and I’m currently in Year 2 of flipping my all grass yard (front and back) to a mix of natives, pollinator and wildlife friendly patches, a food forest, and raised beds.I raise Coturnix quail, and I would love to add chickens to my flock one day. .
The Top 10 Most Delicious Kale Varieties for Leafy Green
This leafy green superfood has received an overwhelming amount of hype in the past few years, and with good cause.Kale, a leafy green or purple brassica plant is chock full of vitamins and minerals.It’s full of fiber, vitamins A, K, C, B6, B3, Iron, Calcium, and Copper, and actually makes you feel better after eating it.In fact, all kale varieties are great winter vegetables, as so many of them can survive cold temperatures.The firm and crunchy leaves don’t do well when cooked, so raw eating is preferred, mostly in distinguished salads!Scarlett Kale matures at a slower rate of 60 days but that is to develop the deepest red shade of all the kale varieties as well as to gain a sweeter and lighter taste than their green coloured brothers and sisters.Scarlett Kale often benefits when grown beside herbs such as thyme, sage and mint.Well, Lacinato kale’s long, dark grey leaves create a similar elegant effect in your garden (with none of the animal cruelty).Lacinato’s thick leaves make them exceptionally well suited to boiling and braising.This variety originates from Tuscany, and is rare among kale types for thriving well in hot, dry climates.When most people name their favorite kale variety, Red Russian tends to be at the top of the list.It has a red stem, and soft, thin, light green leaves that darken when cooked.Siberian Kale (Brassica napus) is mostly known for its yellow flowers, and the oil produced by its seeds.The leaves’ firmness and rubbery texture can turn certain taste buds off if one attempts to eat them raw.Or, if you’re a snack fiend, toss them in oil, season them with some garlic powder, and and bake them into delicious, crispy chips that’ll make those foil-bagged spuds jealous.The frilly texture might be too overwhelming for some to eat raw, however, so make sure to chop them finely if you will go in that culinary direction.Walking Stick Kale is quite noticeable in any garden as it can grow to over 6 feet tall in height if allowed!This variety’s straight, sturdy stem opens up at the very top of the plant into multiple—not to mention huge—green leaves.Water your plants regularly at a rate of about 2 inches per week, and make sure its soil’s PH balance does not go overly acidic.In fact, their large size makes them ideal as gluten-free spring roll or tortilla wrappers.No matter what variety you choose, you’ll still receive all the health benefits associated with this super green leaf.Juice it, braise it with bacon, or slow-cook it into a creamy, cheesy dish that’s perfect over pasta.Whichever you decide to grow, we hope that you enjoy the gardening experience, and revel in the produce you harvest. .
How to grow kale / RHS Gardening
Kale is usually sown into a seedbed, away from the main vegetable plot, then later transplanted to its final growing position. .