Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

Growing Kale, also Borecole

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

(Best months for growing Kale in Australia - sub-tropical regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings.

  • 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 8°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 50 - 100 cm apart
  • Harvest in 7-9 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, camomile)
  • Avoid growing in same bed: 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

10 May 16, jenni (Australia - temperate climate)
what colour are the flowers. do you have a picture of the flowers?
26 Feb 16, ian grills (Australia - arid climate)
what kale is best for river land SA home gardens how many varieties are there
08 Feb 16, Wilma (Australia - arid climate)
I put kale into a Bullet with carrots, nuts, bananas or anything i have handy. Love it! Just got given some kale seeds so will plant them next month.
22 Dec 15, ABU (Australia - temperate climate)
05 Dec 15, Ivy (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I love Tuscan kale (and that's coming from someone who isn't into salads). Apparently, Tuscan kale (and other varieties as well) is more tender and sweeter when grown in cooler climates or seasons. Seeing as you're in Townsville Qld it might be trickier to make them less bitter. I've read that you can make it sweeter by making sure the soil stays moist. Also, pick the outside/lower leaves when they're about six inches long instead of when they're fully grown. We've only ever harvested (either for juicing or eating raw) baby Tuscan kale and have yet to try to grow them to full maturity.
12 Nov 15, Cameron Reed (Australia - temperate climate)
I love kale chips but not normal kale. Also kale won't grow in my garden!
17 Sep 16, Daria (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Why do you think that is?
30 Oct 15, Patrick Ishiguchi (Australia - tropical climate)
How do you keep kale from stop dying?? Do you just add more fertilizer onto the garden.
06 Oct 15, diane thomson (Australia - tropical climate)
I started buying kale from supermarket curly type so that i could juice it. Not a drop of juice dry and bitter. I am raw vegan also tried to eat it but it was vile. Tried and persevered but no success. I then decided to grow it. Bought toscano seedlings and planted them. About 9 inches big, so tried a leaf and it is dry and bitter. What is the problem here? Can you advise. I live in Townsville Qld. Thanks Diane Thomson
25 Mar 16, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
the smaller leaves are much better, up to 2 inches long. The larger ones will be bitter on their own.
Showing 1 - 10 of 96 comments

Post a question, comment or tip about Kale

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support Gardenate

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.