Kale is one of the healthiest, most nutritious plants you can eat and one of the easiest to grow. It can be cooked or eaten raw. It grows in every zone and right through the winter. Let it go to seed and you will have Kale forever in your garden.
Why Grow Kale:
Well, for one, it's easy and beautiful. Kale is loaded with beneficial vitamins (best source for vitamin K), minerals (Cal/Mag) and compounds (Beta Carotene). Kale is a powerful antioxidant, a great source of Vitamin C, can help lower cholesterol and fight cancer. It even has nutrients that can help your eyesight. And because it is so low in calories and fat can be a great help to those wanting to lose weight.
Have I sold it yet?
There are many varieties of Kale, so have fun looking over your seed catalogs, the ornamentals are edible, though maybe not as tasty, and can go into your flower gardens freshening up your beds for fall and winter.
How to Grow
Mature time: It takes 2 months for Kale to mature.
Planting: I like to sow directly in garden in a rich humusy soil, 1/2 inch deep, in early spring. You can start them indoors, just plant them a bit deeper than they were in the pot. Thin seedlings to 18" apart. You may start fall Kale from June to two months before the first frost, (frost will improve the flavor).
Watering: Because roots are shallow, mulch to keep moisture constant and help extend harvest into the winter. Roots often survive through the winter and new growth comes again in spring.
Growing: Ph of soil should be above 5.5, add lime if your soil is acid and to add the calcium that Kale needs. If you want to speed up the growth, side dress an organic liquid fertilizer or manure tea.
Harvesting: Pick the tender outside leaves as the plant produces leaves from inside out.
Kale Recipe Links:
|Sausage, Potato, Kale Soup|