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Growing Kale, also Borecole

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S P P P              

(Best months for growing Kale in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 20 - 39 inches apart
  • Harvest in 7-9 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, camomile)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chilli, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • A seedling Cavalo Nero
    A seedling Cavalo Nero
  • Cavalo Nero
    Cavalo Nero
  • Scotch kale
    Scotch kale

Green leafy plant. Kale is a good addition or substitute for cabbage varieties. Cavalo Nero can be grown in slightly smaller spacing.

Very winter hardy. Flavour is improved by frost. Ornamental varieties are colourful, and edible. Rotate with other crops to avoid clubroot infection.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Kale

Strong flavoured and nutritious vegetable.
Wash well and chop finely then steam.
A tomato or cheese sauce will mask the flavour if too strong.

Your comments and tips

07 Jul 17, Mary (Australia - temperate climate)
Grow as much Tuscan kale as you can and make kale chips. I tear the kale into roughly 2 inch squares, put it into a bowl with olive oil and gently coat them. Then separate them, put them in your dehydrator (I only use an excalibur) and dry them till they are crispy. Lay them flat, salt them with pink himalayan and put them in a bowl on the table..I guarantee they will all be gone in 5 minutes..delicious!
21 Jun 17, Coral (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Just wondering how long a kale plant will live for?
21 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It is a biennial plant - could live for a few years - a good outcome is 3 years. It is a cool weather crop and can handle some frost. Tastes a bit bitter in the summer - drier and warmer. My rule is once a plant has produced a good crop and the quantity and quality has fallen away time to plough out. Put something else in that will produce a good supply.
02 May 17, Alice (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Aphids over wintering on any curly leaved kale. Last year I grew a lot of leafy greens, the kale Nero was a great success, however the others grew really well but were infested with wooly aphids seeking shelter I assume. I'm not into chemical sprays, and getting the spray in all the curly leaves seems too time consuming, I can wash them off but it's almost pointless with the numbers per leaf. Have others found this? What can I try that's not too much of a hassle as I have a young family and don't really want to go out spraying with garlic spray for example after each time it rains.
22 May 17, hornz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
try companion planting with spring onions, shallots &/or garlic
17 Jan 17, Ashley (Australia - temperate climate)
Kale fry sriLankan style Wash the leaves in salt water and cut them very fine or use the fine cutting blade in the food processor Heat generous amount of olive oil in a frying pan and add chopped garlic Spanish onions finely chopped and fry till transparent and sweet. Then add in the chopped kale at the same time add Tumaric powder cumin and coriander powder bit of cracked pepper and salt mix it all up stur well once the kale goes dark green it's ready to go With the spicy mix play around with I like it hot and add chopped green chillies Goes well with rice chiken Rost or grill stake you will never taste the shared kale taste
04 Jan 17, JACK SKENDER (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I grow my kale in sandy soil just north of Perth WA.. My problem is that the leaves develop yellow blotches after a period of 6 months. I thought it might be an element deficiency in the soil and applied trace elements without success. I have used various fertilizers to no avail. Can you suggest what element my soil could be deficient in for the Kale Many thahks Jack Skender
17 Mar 17, Bruce (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Jack, yes always a challenge in sandy soil. You won't look back if you use Paul Gautschi's Back to Eden method. It never fails! Google "Back to Eden Garden" The film is also available on YouTube and Vimeo. Good luck.
27 Oct 16, debbie (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Where do i find kale in bloemfontein??
22 Mar 17, Paul D (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
You can buy seeds from livingseeds or from seeds for Africa.
Showing 1 - 10 of 152 comments

Grow as much Tuscan kale as you can and make kale chips. I tear the kale into roughly 2 inch squares, put it into a bowl with olive oil and gently coat them. Then separate them, put them in your dehydrator (I only use an excalibur) and dry them till they are crispy. Lay them flat, salt them with pink himalayan and put them in a bowl on the table..I guarantee they will all be gone in 5 minutes..delicious!

- Mary

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