It may look like cabbage, but Kale (Brassica oleracea) has its own unique features that set it apart. Unlike regular cabbage, kale doesn’t form a tightly packed head, making it a member of the cooking greens category along with collards, mustard, and Swiss chard.
One of the coolest things about kale is that it comes in a variety of shades and textures. You can find curly, textured leaves in green, purple, and other colors, making it a visually stunning addition to any dish. But it’s not just pretty to look at, it’s also a relatively fast-growing plant that can be harvested in just three months.
If you’re thinking about growing kale yourself, you’ll want to plant it in the late winter or early spring, or even in the late summer for a fall or winter harvest. Keep in mind that kale is a biennial plant, meaning it takes two years to complete its full growth cycle. But don’t worry, in its first year it’ll still grow plenty of tasty leaves to enjoy!
Most common Kale varieties:
- Common Curly Kale
- Red Russian Kale
- Siberian Kale
- Lacinato Kale
- Light: First of all, kale loves sunlight – six or more hours of direct sunlight a day is best for the fullest growth. However, if you live in a hot, dry climate, providing some shade during the afternoon can help prevent the leaves from wilting.
- Soil: When it comes to soil, kale prefers rich soil with plenty of organic matter and a slightly acidic pH. Good drainage is also important, so make sure the soil doesn’t stay too wet.
- Water: Water your kale regularly to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy, and mulching can help to retain moisture and keep the soil cool.
- Temperature: Kale is a cool-weather vegetable that can handle some frost and prefers cool temperatures, so avoid planting during hot weather. It’s a biennial plant but is usually grown as an annual, and just like Artichokes, it will collapse if exposed to heavy frosts or snow.
All in all, with a little attention to its needs, your kale plant will be thriving in no time!
Give it a read
Planting kale is an easy and rewarding experience, and you can grow it from seeds or cuttings. Choose a planting location with full sun and well-draining soil. High nitrogen content in the soil is crucial for kale to grow healthy leaves, so it’s important to add organic matter like compost to the soil mixture.
Plant kale seeds 1/2 inch deep, leaving at least 1 1/2 to 2 feet between each plant. Cuttings can be taken in about three months once the plant is established. R
Frequently Asked Questions
What kale is good for?
Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there, making it a fantastic addition to any healthy diet. Not only is it low in calories, but it’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In fact, kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as a variety of other important nutrients, like calcium, potassium, and iron. Whether you eat it raw in a salad or cooked in a tasty stir-fry, incorporating kale into your meals is a delicious way to give your body a powerful dose of nutrition.
Is it OK to eat kale every day?
Kale is undoubtedly a healthy and nutritious vegetable, but to get a wide variety of nutrients, it’s recommended to consume a diverse range of fruits and vegetables. You can certainly include kale in your daily diet, but it’s essential to balance it out with other veggies to ensure that you get a well-rounded mix of nutrients.
Where does kale grow best?
Kale thrives in areas with cool temperatures and enjoys soaking up full sun to partial shade, but don’t worry if you don’t have an outdoor garden – kale can also be grown indoors with proper lighting. The plant is partial to fertile soil with high organic matter content and good drainage, and it thrives in soil with a slightly acidic pH.