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Growing Kale, also Borecole

(Brassica oleracea sp.)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    S S T T            

(Best months for planting 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
  • Cavalo Nero
  • 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

03 May 14, DARREN J (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi all to anyone growing kale for the first time the only thing II have found that will prevent you from having a healthy on going crop will be the dreaded white cabbage moth.. Igrow mine in drums with netting that way no other insects or pests will upset them. keeping pests of once and for all will prevent any need for any type of sprays or chemicals good luck
19 Apr 14, ray (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi my name is ray and im wondering is cavola nero kale a continous pick again plant.
27 Apr 14, Laura (Australia - arid climate)
Hi Ray, Thats how I eat my Cavalo Nero. Last time I grew it was in pots in Auckland New Zealand. I kept same plants going for about 6 months + while picking outer leaves for my smoothies. I also grew dinosaur kale and harvested this way. Just planted some kale in my western QLD garden today from seedlings, will be very interested to see if it grows in the heat.
24 Mar 14, kian collins (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
what is the ph for the plant
01 May 14, Travis Edwards (Australia - temperate climate)
most of the brassicas prefer a well limed soil so between 6.5 and 7.5 they normally grow well
22 Mar 14, 1st Time Gardener - Beginner (USA - Zone 7a climate)
I live in Northern VA, US and we have had a abnormal winter. Were almost through March & still expecting snow next week. With that said, I am trying to start a garden for the 1st time ever. I purchased Gardenate to assist me. It says you can direct sow Kale in March (assuming temp is good). Is there anything that I should take into consideration given the sporadic weather? Should I plant indoors?
01 May 14, Travis Edwards (Australia - temperate climate)
Autumn or Fall as Americans call it is the time to plant seedlings of kale and they will grow through winter and flourish through spring however some of the plants will bolt (flower) in spring during summer when it starts to dry out you will find mealy bugs and aphids attack them but come autumn they will start to flourish again and the bugs generally go away. Where I am we get fairly cold winters (generally no snow but some fairly heavy frosts,) my kale both the tuscan black (cavalero nero) and russian red are going well at the moment. (we are just going into winter.) for you I would think august is sort of starting autumn and this is when I would be planting Kale. plenty of lime and compost on your beds is the recommendation.
02 Jan 14, David Scott (Australia - temperate climate)
When is the best time to sow Kale seeds in Sydney thanks in anticipation
17 Feb 14, Robbie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
David. Start the seeds in seed trays in March. Plant them in the Garden in April/ May. They take a while till they are ready to harvest Spring and Summer. The grubs love them.
22 Nov 13, Lalita (Australia - temperate climate)
I had planted Kale seedlings in my vegetable garden 2 months ago,they have been growing quite slowly until recently. For last 2 days couple of leaves have been beaten and covered with sticky stuff,similar to my cabbage plant leaves closely. I have used pepper,garlic and soap spray today. any ideas what it could be and how dangerous is it? Thanks in advance
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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.

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