Kale Growing Guide

Kale

Crop Rotation Group

Brassicas (Cabbage family) 

Soil

Fertile, well-drained soil with plenty of well rotted compost dug in.

Position

Full sun.

Frost tolerant

Yes.

Feeding

Not usually required, but may be needed if plants grow slowly even though the weather is comfortably warm.

Spacing

Single Plants: 1' 3" (40cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 1' 1" (35cm) with 1' 5" (45cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow indoors in spring and set out under cloches when plants have 5 leaves. Start another planting indoors in midsummer, and set out in early fall.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Kale tolerates moderate freezes, but is damaged by severe cold. Try different types, including curly varieties, many of which are blushed with red. Dinosaur or Tuscan kale has long, dark green puckered leaves.

Harvesting

Harvest leaves individually, when they are about the size of your hand.

Troubleshooting

In warm weather, cabbageworms may feed on leaves. Exclude them with floating row covers. In cool weather, watch for outbreaks of gray-green cabbage aphids in leaf crevices. Pick off and compost badly infested leaves.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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