Kale is a type of cabbage that grows with green or purple leaves that do not form a head in the center. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage. The usage of this leafy green is a global phenomenon, however its use varies from region to region. Most commonly, it serves as an ingredient in soups, salads, and various traditional dishes for multiple cultures. As a popular salad and main course feature in the United States, Kale has also found other uses. One of the more interesting variants is the kale chip: leaves of kale baked to a crisp, and served as a healthier alternative to potato chips.
Plant Kale with these Great Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers
So you’ve decided to plant kale in your garden? According to our research on kale, you can plant anything nearby!
Tips for Planting and Growing Kale in your Garden
When cultivating this nutrient-rich super food, begin by choosing the proper kale variety for your region. It can be planted in the fall or spring. If planted in the fall full sunlight is necessary. Partial shade is acceptable if planted in the spring. Pick a plot with good drainage, as too much moisture can damage the plant. Should you decide to plant in the spring, do so 2-4 weeks before the last frost. In the fall plant your seeds 10 weeks before the first frost. Kale seeds will not germinate unless it is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the soil. It thrives best when the soil is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant your seeds no more than ½ inch down, and be sure to keep the ground moist around it. Adding fertilizer ever 6-8 weeks is advisable for both strength and flavor. If your leaves are rotting, use mulch to draw some of the moisture off of them.
After about 75-90 days, your kale should be ready for harvest. For individual leaves, harvest around the outside of the plant. If you want to harvest your whole plant, cut it at the stem two inches above the soil. Be sure that you do this in one clean cut so your plant will continue to produce leaves. Make sure to harvest the leaves when they are ready, otherwise they will become tough and bitter.