Fruit and Vegetable Gardening A-Z: KaleA Guide to Gardening, Growing and Harvesting Edibles
-- By Jenny Sigler, SparkPeople Contributor
Kale is part of the cabbage family and is closely related to collard greens. It has a distinct, strong flavor and comes in two edible varieties: curled leaf and straight. There is also ornamental Kale, which flowers beautifully.
6-11 (Find your hardiness zone.)
When to Plant:
Directly sow seeds in early spring (for a summer harvest) under just 1/2 inch of soil, or start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before you want to plant outside. Kale can handle a light frost.
Kale plants will grow in average and poorer soils, but like any plant, they respond favorably to richer soil that is high in nutrients.
Thin seedlings to space plants 8-12 inches apart. Space rows 18-30 inches apart.
Provide plenty of nitrogen for a greener crop and keep the soil moist. Kale will turn bitter if under-watered. Like all plants in the cabbage family, white butterflies and cabbageworms (green caterpillars) can be a major problem.
When to Harvest:
Kale matures in 55-60 days, but young leaves can be harvested whenever you like.
A 4-foot row of kale will produce about 5 pounds per season.
Difficulty Rating (1-5):