Kale is the perfect plant for any beginner gardener. It grows well in nearly any kind of soil, has few problems associated with it and will give you a quick tasty harvest.
It comes in a wide range of textures and colors. Several shades of green, to deep pink, red or even white. The leaves are usually crinkly but there are smoother-leafed varieties and some that are very tightly ruffled. Some kale varieties are strictly ornamental and have bitter leaves.
Kale is one of the most nutritious plants you can grow in the garden, and is packed with vitamins. You will get nearly an entire day’s worth of vitamin C in a serving, and more than a day’s supply of vitamins K and A. Add in manganese, calcium, potassium and fiber and you have yourself a plant worth eating.
How To grow Kale From Seed In A Garden:
You can sow kale seeds as early as a few weeks before the last frost. It actually thrives off the cool temperatures and will avoid a bitter taste when grown in such conditions. To sow kale seeds, plant seeds in loose soil about ½ an inch deep and an inch apart. The place you choose to plant your seeds should have full to moderate sun.
If you wish, you can begin kale seeds indoors as long as the temperature stays under 75 degrees. To plant indoors, simply plant the kale seeds in peat pots that can be planted directly in the ground when it is time to transplant. Plant a 1/2 inch deep, just as you would if planting outdoors.
Soil Needed To Grow Kale:
The kind of soil in which you plant your kale will also have a bearing on your success.
Kale grows best in moist, well-drained and loamy soil which is average in terms of fertility.
Kale doesn’t thrive in nitrogen rich soil. It grows best in soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.8.
You can add wood ash to your soil if it is too acidic.
Both sandy and clay-rich soils will have a negative impact on the flavor of your kale.
Growing Kale in Containers
Are you wondering if you can grow kale in a pot? The answer is yes! If you don’t have enough space for a traditional garden, you can grow kale a pot or another garden container. The pot should have a minimum of six square inches of space for the kale plant to grow in. Plant your seeds or start a seedling in the center of the pot, follow the growing instructions above. Growing kale in a container may allow you to extend its growing season by moving the pot to a shaded area once it becomes hot outside.
Harvest and Storage
Kale is usually harvested all through the growing season, so you can start picking off a few leaves once they reach 3 to 4 inches long (much sooner than the actual maturity date). Larger leaves can still be used but are better for cooking than eating raw.
Never pick all the leaves, or the ones right in the center or you will kill the plant. Only harvest the outer leaves. Twist off gently, or snip with garden scissors.