- Kale can be grown almost year round in most areas. It sometimes has a reputation for being indestructible, but this is not entirely true. Kale can survive long winters and some varieties can survive hot summers too. Year round success is all about choosing the right varieties for the right climate.
- Kale is not particularly fussy about water but it will appreciate firm well-draining soil with plenty of room to grow as kale can grow quite large.
- There are four main types: Curly which is most popular, new sweet f1, plain leaved kale tends to be taller. Rape kale provides young kale shoots in spring, leaf and spear? will allow you to pick the immature flowers in late summer that you cook like broccoli.
- Kale can be sowed directly in soil as well as in modules or pots ( apart from rape kale, as it hates being transplanted)
- Sow from early spring to summer
- If sowing directly, make a row and sow 2cm deep, 15cm apart and rows 20cm apart. As they grow, thin plants to 40cm apart.
- If sown in pots or modules, sow one seed and transplant into a slightly bigger pot before planting into the final spot. Sowing in seed modules is my favourite method as you can sow lots of seeds and select the strongest ones to grow on.
- Space plants 45cm apart in mid-summer, with rows 20cm apart
- For the best results transplant right up to the lower leaves and keep well-watered in hot summer months
- To grow as cut and come again sow rows only 20cm apart or even in pots
- Kale is not the fastest crop to harvest, it takes around 30 weeks from seed.
-Start to remove young leaves from the top of the plant in autumn. Side shoots will then form giving you a larger crop
- Pick when leaves are still small and still tender, this is normally under 15cm
- Curly: Black Tuscany, Dwarf Green, Nero di toscana, Redbar, Red Russian, Winterbor
- Plain leaved: Cottagers, Thousand head
- Rape kale: Hungry gap
- Leaf and Spear: Pentland Brig