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.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, so the soil stays 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.Remove the older outer leaves, and allow the center of the plant to continue producing.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.If you can gently tug on the stem and feel resistance, you’ll know roots have formed.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.The best defense is to monitor the plants often for signs of eggs or feeding, such as holes in the leaves.Kale is an easy vegetable to grow, as long as it gets sufficient light, water, and nutrients.Kale can be grown indoors, though you'll likely need a grow light if you don't have a window that gets lots of direct sun.
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.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.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 Grow Kale: Guide to Plant, Harvest & Use Kale ~ Homestead
Kale is one of the most popular dark leafy greens around, prized for its high nutrient-density and numerous health benefits.In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to grow kale at home – from seed (or seedling) to table.Tips for ongoing care, potential pests, and how to harvest, use, and preserve kale are included too!Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products for your convenience, such as to items on Amazon.Homestead and Chill gains a small commission from purchases made through those links, at no additional cost to you.It is generally considered a ‘cool season crop’, like its fellow members of the brassica plant family, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.Yet in moderate climates with only mildly warm summers or little-to-no winter frost, kale can continue to grow for up to a year, or longer!Kale grows exceedingly well as a fall crop in many regions – where there is a longer period of cooling weather ahead.In fact, kale leaves taste better in colder weather, and develop a sweeter flavor after a kiss of frost!Hardy kale grows longer into the freezing winter months than most leafy greens, said to withstand temperatures down to 10°F.On the flip side, brutal heat can quickly cause kale to “bolt” – or begin to flower and go to seed.Note that fall-planted kale that have grown through winter may be triggered to bolt by the lengthening daylight hours of spring, even if temperatures are still cool.SubscribePlanting calendars are available for every growing zone in the Homestead and Chill subscriber free garden planning toolkit.If you don’t have one yet, grab a planting calendar here to help guide your timing – they are available for every USDA hardiness zone!Sow kale seeds in light, well-draining soil about ¼ to ½ inch deep.As long as they’ve been properly hardened off, the stem of tall seedlings can be buried up to their first set of leaves.It is not an incredibly ‘heavy feeder’, though it is best to amend the soil with well-aged compost and/or a well-balanced natural fertilizer before planting kale.Ample nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, minerals, organic matter, and beneficial microbial activity within the soil will lead to the most robust kale plants possible.If you’re growing kale in the spring with hot summer weather on the horizon (regularly over 90°F), consider a planting location that receives some afternoon shade.That added protection (along with choosing the right variety) will help your kale survive longer before it ‘bolts’ and goes to seed.I also try to keep kale along the back (north side) of garden beds since it can quickly become tall and shade out smaller, shorter plants.This raised bed is facing east, so it gets morning to midday sun but then is shaded in the afternoon by the tall westerly fence behind it.There are a handful of general kale types, and within those groups, dozens of unique cultivars to choose from.Varieties include classic Tuscano, extra-dark Black Magic, or purple-veined Dazzling Blue – our personal favorite.Russian Kale – Generally have wide, mostly flat leaves with fringes around the edge – resembling the shape of large arugula or oak leaf lettuce.– Generally have wide, mostly flat leaves with fringes around the edge – resembling the shape of large arugula or oak leaf lettuce.– Hailing from the Mediterranean, this lesser-known type of kale has large, wide, flat paddle-like leaves with thick white veins.In this south-facing garden bed, I should have ideally swapped the kale locations and/or put that middle row of bok choy in the very front.As the growing season continues, we transition to watering the garden beds with homemade compost tea (made from worm castings) once every few months.For especially long-lived kale, apply a fresh top-dressing of compost mulch once the plants reach 6 months old (if you intend to keep them around a bit longer).There are a number of ways you can extend your kale growing season, be it into the warmer summer months or through the depths of winter.While established kale plants can withstand some frost and snow, young seedlings are more sensitive and need protection.Even mature kale plants will also appreciate a little added frost protection for extended cold periods, which can increase their winter lifespan in the coldest climates.The best way to harvest kale is with the ‘cut and come again’ method – by removing a few of the oldest leaves on the plant each week (or as needed).The oldest leaves are those on the bottom, outermost portion of the stem – closest to the soil rather than the center of the plant.The most common pest insects that fancy kale include cabbage worms, flea beetles, harlequin bugs, and aphids.Our greatest struggles here are aphids and cabbage worms, but both are easy to control in an organic manner – especially if you practice proactive prevention, or catch the problem early!Occasionally, treat with DIY soap spray (for aphids) or bacillus thuringiensis (for caterpillars) if the infestation is more advanced.To enjoy cooked kale, we love to simply sauté it – with a little splash of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and sometimes a bit of garlic and onion.Crunchy homegrown kale chips, seasoned with sea salt, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and homemade garlic powder.The quick and easiest way to de-stem kale is to hold the end of the stem in one hand, pinch the base of the leafy portion with the other, and then simply pull them in opposite directions – stripping the leaf away.I’ll admit that we consume most of our kale fresh or cooked, and don’t preserve a great deal of it.The texture won’t be great for eating raw once it defrosts, but is the perfect addition to soup, smoothies, or stew.I hope you picked up some valuable tips on growing kale today, and have a kale-r harvest in your future! .
What Month to Sow Kale?
Unlike lettuce, the leafy, cool-season vegetable kale (Brassica oleracea acephala) must be cooked, because the leaves are too tough to eat raw.Since most varieties of kale mature in two months or less, you can harvest a spring crop before summer heats up.Best Months for Planting In Mediterranean-like climates, kale seedlings should be set out in February, March or April for spring crops, and in August or September for fall and winter harvesting.During the growing season, give your plants 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water a week to sustain growth and ensure their leaves do not toughen."Red Russian," a standard culinary variety, rivals the glamour of flowering kale with its blue leaves veined in rosy-red. .
Kale Growing Information: How to Plant, Grow & Harvest
Kale prefers a fertile, well-drained soil high in organic matter with a pH range of 6.0–7.5.Plant from early spring to approximately 3 months before expected fall frost.Kale prefers cooler growing temperatures, between 55–75°F (13–24°C), optimum being 60–70°F (16–21°C), but will produce good crops under warmer, summer conditions.Successful kale crops can be grown where winters are mild and temperatures rarely fall below 32°F (0°C).Apply row covers at the time of planting to exclude pests from the crop.Control cabbage worms and loopers with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).Kale is very hardy, and the eating quality will improve into the late fall with light frost.Late-summer sown or planted collards can be wintered in cold frames or hoophouses, or in the open in mild regions, to extend the season. .
Planting Kale in the Fall Garden
By Nancy Pierson Farris – Planting kale isn’t just a spring activity in our gardens.When spring crops wilt from summer’s heat, and we have the pantry lined with the fruits of our labors, we till up the soil and plant a fall garden.The row vacated by bush beans, which are usually finished bearing by midsummer, makes a good spot.When I’m planting kale outdoors for my fall garden, I lay a soaker hose between rows and turn it on for a few minutes two or three times a day until seedlings emerge.Kale develops a root system near the surface of the ground, and it spreads some distance from the plant.As fall leads into winter, mulch protects roots from changing temperatures as the nights get cool and a frost may come without warning.Those little white or yellow butterflies lay eggs, and green worms hatch out to eat holes in the leaves you wanted for yourself.When the Carolina wrens have nestlings clamoring for breakfast, they utilize a great many green cabbage worms.We dust once a week with bacillus thurengiensis, a biological product which sickens any worms missed by the birds and me.Though summer heat causes the leaves to become tough and strong flavored, a touch of frost brings kale to peak eating quality.If your winters are very severe, you can grow kale in a deep container in an unheated sunroom or enclosed porch.Originally published in the July/August 2005 issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy. .
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. .
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. .