How to grow…Kale

We purchased two types of Kale seeds this year. A decorative one: Nagoya Mixed Colour Kale Flowering Brassicas, and one for salads: Ripbor Organic Kale

Planting

  • Plant as soon as the ground can be worked, very frost tolerant. Sow ¼-½” deep, 1″ apart in rows 18-30″ apart.
  • Thin seedlings to 8-12″ apart.
  • Kale germinates easily in cool or warm soil temperatures with even moisture.

Growing

  • Choose an area with full sun and a soil pH of 6.0-7.0. Enrich the soil with compost or well rotted manure.
  • Flavour is improved if the plants grow quickly.
  • Kale benefits from additional feedings of liquid fertilizer during the growing season.

Harvesting

  • Leaves can be used at any time for salads or as garnishes. Leaves are “cropped”, leaving the bud to grow new leaves, or the entire plant is harvested at one cutting.
  • For a fall crop, wait until the plants are touched by a frost to sweeten the taste.

Pests & Diseases

  • Cabbage worms and loopers (white and yellow butterflies) can be controlled using BTK, Rotenone or Pyrethrum. Use row covers to block out all insects including root maggots, aphids and Diamondback moths.
  • Maintaining a soil pH of 6.8 and higher will discourage club root.
  • Fungal and bacteria diseases such as head rot and downy mildew can be prevented by allowing good air circulation and avoiding a mid August maturity when the air humidity is higher.

Strong healthy plants growing in an organically rich soil will be better able to fight disease.

Companions

  • Bush bean
  • Beet
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Potato