Kale is a type of brassica just like broccoli and cabbage. It is considered a super food because it is so full of goodness. It really is a must for any health conscious home gardener. Below are my top tips on how to grow kale
There are several types of kale you can try. They are all good for you. Red Russian is a quick growing variety with purplish, red stalks. Also there’s Tuscan kale also known as Cavolo Nero or Dinasaur Kale, and Curly kale which is the most common one to find in supermarkets these days.
No matter what type you decide to grow, kale is very easy. You can sow the seeds directly into the garden bed or into seed trays.
The best time to start Kale is spring and autumn. It grows well into the colder months as long as it doesn’t freeze. It will grow for two years if looked after and each plant will give you loads of fresh leaves.
It is perfect to grow in pots on a balcony or verandah so don’t worry if you don’t have much space.
The main thing to remember is to give it lots of organic matter in the soil. Composted animal manure, compost or worm castings are just the thing.
I use my fingers to make lines in the soil about ½ cm deep, pop in some seeds, cover and pat down to ensure the seeds have good contact with the soil.
Water well and the seeds should sprout within 7 to 10 days. Once they are up and running you can thin them out a bit so they have enough room to grow. I always find this a heart renching thing to do though. Pulling out baby plants by the roots. But iti s for the best. You can always toss those baby leaves into salads if you want.
Make sure your kale is in a sunny spot but a bit of afternoon shade will be OK. It doesn’t like hot scorching summer sun.
You can harvest the leaves once the plants are well established. I like to use scissors to cut the leaves at the base so I don’t accidentally pull the whole thing out of the ground.
Use the baby leaves in salads and the bigger leaves in salads and cooked dishes. Try this warm kale salad with feta and pear for a delicious meal.
Likes: Potatoes, corn, sage, anise, pennyroyal, onions, thyme
Dislikes: Strawberries, beans.
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