A reader of TMG, Heather, wrote to me yesterday and said she had not gotten around to thinning her kale and lettuces.She said that the packets mentioned suggested spacing and also gave the option of thickly sowing for cutting, especially the Russian Kale and Jericho Romaine.There’s really no right or wrong way to thin or space lettuces and greens.I don’t think I ever remember one untouched (ungrazed) head of lettuce being in my garden.(And sometimes I manage to still get good eating lettuce from those heads even with high summer temperatures.Reine des Glace, a French heirloom crisphead, which is among my top 10 favorites, does not do well when thickly sown.Russian Kale in all probability will stay much smaller if thickly sown.If you sow seed so thickly that there is no space between seedlings and don’t plan to thin, make sure that air is not blocked around that patch of lettuce or greens.You’ll get a feel for this the more you garden and pay attention to working with nature.And remember, keep planting lettuce for another few weeks so you can maintain a continual supply.I read the other day that Thomas Jefferson planted a teaspoon of lettuce seed everyday from spring through fall to insure that Monticello household would have lettuce all summer long.Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient — and it’s a lot healthier. .

How to Thin Out Crowded Seedlings

Here's and easier way: When the first true leaves appear, snip off the extra seedlings at the soil line.When handling the seedlings, grasp them by their leaves or roots; avoid holding the stems, which can be damaged easily. .

How to Manage Kale With Leaves that are Yellowing and Thinning

Although kale plants are usually extremely healthy and rarely contract diseases in a home garden, sometimes they can suffer from infections.Your best way to prevent this is to keep your plants healthy and grow them under the appropriate conditions, i.e., full sun and cool temperatures.Several types of pathogens can cause the leaves of your kale plants to turn yellow and thin out.While factors such as nutritional deficiencies and fungal infections can produce these symptoms, yellowing leaves on kale are usually due to bacteria.Immediately remove any infected plant to try and prevent the bacteria from spreading to the rest of your crop.Several species of bacteria cause the leaves of kale to turn yellow, including two major bacterial pathogens.For example, Psm prefers daytime highs of 65 F to 75 F, so it is more likely to be a problem in the Pacific Northwest or during the fall of warmer climates.However, in its early stages, some isolates of Xcc can cause the kale leaves to turn yellow.Both Psm and Xca infections start out with small water-soaked lesions with halos that grow larger and merge, resulting in widespread yellowing.However, some isolates can cause leaf blights and yellowing on kale in their early stages of infection.The test will cross-react with the closely related Xca bacterial leaf spot, so you can buy seed that lacks both of these pathogens.However, there are no tests for Psm, so you should try to purchase high-quality seed from companies that raise their plants in dry locations where they are less likely to contract these bacterial diseases that prefer wet conditions.If you irrigate too late in the day, your kale plants might stay wet overnight – another factor that makes them susceptible to infection. .

How to Thin Seedlings

Every fall planting season I shuffle through seed packets to find out how to thin the seedlings.To solve this little inconvenience, I created a chart for cool weather crops.When it’s cool sprouts will be nice and plump and the remaining plants will be less stressed if you get too close.BEFORE THINNING: Water the soil to make it easier to pull extra plants.For many plants, it’s wise to wait to thin until a second set of leaves forms.They will stretch out farther than the seed leaves and will start to exhibit characteristics of the specific lettuce grown.SNIP OR PINCH OFF: Root vegetables such as beets, carrots, onions, parsnip and turnip should be snipped or carefully pinched off at the soil line to prevent damage to neighboring plants. .

Kale Spacing: How Far Apart to Plant

When you plan your cool season vegetable garden, you’ll certainly want to include kale, the versatile star of many a plant-based meal – from salads and smoothies to stir fries and stews.Before we get started, you’ll want to answer these questions for yourself so that you can use the recommendations in this article for your particular situation – and decide what your own magic numbers are.When you can clearly identify each individual plant instead of picking through a mass of tangled leaves, it is much easier to harvest your greens properly.Ensuring good airflow around leaves helps ward off fungal infections, and makes it easier to spot the first signs of disease.If you do experience a disease outbreak, a little extra room between each plant will help you keep infected specimens isolated.With this method, your constant harvesting of small, tender leaves will prevent the veggies from maturing and getting too big, thus the need for less room.Jill MacKenzie at the University of Minnesota Extension recommends the tighter end of the range, just 4 inches between plants.If you have your culinary sights set on stir fries rather than salads then you’ll likely want to harvest large leaves from full sized plants, getting more produce from each one.Although spacing for full sized plants is similar for rows, raised beds, and containers, there are some slight differences, which I’ll go over here.These are the recommendations of Jeff Schalau, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent at the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Yavapai County.After an informal survey of around a dozen other extension offices, this seems to be the general consensus – so this is our next set of magic numbers for spacing between plants: 12-18 inches.A recommended distance of 12-18 inches between the plants will allow you to harvest and inspect each one easily, as well as making sure it gets plenty of water and sunshine.In this case, your magic numbers are 12 by 12 inches – the traditional amount of space recommended for kale in square foot gardening.The big difference between growing veggies in containers compared to raised beds is that the soil has a tendency to dry out much more quickly.One cultivar that fits nicely within this average, ‘Nero Toscana,’ a type of Lacinato kale that grows up to 14 inches wide.So to be sure your cultivars have enough room, check with the seed company or grower to find out what the expected width of the mature plant is.Since most kale varieties grow from a central stem, you can take the leaf length and multiply it by two to get the approximate spread of your plant.This may leave you with a little extra room between crops, but better to err on the side of a bit of additional space than too much crowding. .

Lacinato Kale: Learn How to Grow This Delicious Heirloom Kale

The leaves are thinner and more tender than other types of kale making this an excellent choice for both raw and cooked dishes.Plus, it’s quick and easy to grow with a baby crop ready to harvest a month from seeding and mature leaves just four weeks later.The plants can grow up to three feet tall and when mature look a bit like miniature palm trees with a rosette of narrow leaves held atop straight stems.This unique kale is tolerant of both hot and cold weather, but is less winter hardy than varieties like Winterbor and Red Russian.When sowing seed in mid to late summer for a fall or winter harvest, I like to float a length of row cover or shadecloth over top the bed on hoops for the first week after planting.The summer weather is often hot and dry and providing a bit of shade helps reduce water evaporation from the soil and encourage good germination.Kale grows best when planted in a site that offers eight to ten hours of sunshine each day.Kale likes well-draining, fertile soil so amend the bed with compost or aged manure before planting.Lacinato kale can be direct seeded in the spring garden or started indoors and transplanted outside once the seedlings are a few inches tall.Once the seedlings are a couple of inches tall, feed them with a diluted liquid organic fertilizer at half the recommended rate.This is a quick way to grow greens with the leaves ready to pick just four to five weeks from seeding.I plant lacinato kale in my raised beds but I also grow it in containers on my sunny deck.You can also add a slow release organic granular fertilizer to the growing medium to promote steady growth all season long.As the plants grow continue to water regularly and keep an eye out for pests like cabbage worms.In my garden I often battle two pests on my kale plants: slugs and imported cabbage worms.I find hand-picking early in the season is a great way to put a dent in the overall slug population.Hand pick eggs and caterpillars from the tops and bottoms of the leaves a few times a week.Lacinato kale is a quick growing green and impatient gardeners won’t have to wait too long for that first harvest.They grow about a foot long and make high quality kale chips, as well as add a nutritional punch to soups, salads and pastas.The plants grow two and a half to three feet tall, but can also be sowed densely for baby salad leaves.The plants grow two and a half to three feet tall, but can also be sowed densely for baby salad leaves.– Black Magic is an improved variety with vigorous, uniform growth and better cold tolerance and bolt resistance.Rainbow Lacinato – I love this gorgeous variety by famed breeder Frank Morton. .

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.Kale likes well-drained, fertile soil high in organic matter.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. .

How to Plant and Grow Kale

Kale is a cool-weather crop that requires two months of cool weather to reach harvest.Sow seeds indoors or outdoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost in spring or as soon as the soil can be worked.Kale is commonly started indoors and transplanted into the garden when seedlings are 4 to 6 weeks old.Kale is a hardy biennial plant grown as an annual.Siberian or blue kale is less curly and a bluer shade of green.For optimal flavor, grow kale in cool weather.Kale is a cool-weather crop that can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F (-6.7°C).Direct seed or transplant kale so that it comes to harvest before daytime temperatures exceed 80°F (26°C).In mild-winter regions, kale can be sown in fall for winter harvest.Side dress kale with aged compost every 6 weeks.Mound straw around kale once it is 6 inches (15cm) high to prevent plants from touching the soil; soil easily sticks to kale’s often crinkled leaves.Move kale grown in containers into the cool shade when the weather warms to extend the season.Save Money Growing Veggies: KITCHEN GARDEN GROWERS’ GUIDE. .

How to Thin Vegetable Seedlings

Most plants develop their first true leaves at 2 to 3 inches in height, at which time they are fairly each to grasp by the stem and pull out.If you prefer to pull your seedlings rather than cutting them with scissors, thinning while the soil is still damp after watering will make it easier to slip them out without disturbing other seedligns.The good news is that with some plants—like lettuce, beets, chard, and spinach—you can toss the tiny seedlings you remove into salads, stir-fries, or other recipes. .

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