How to Grow Kale
Kale is a type of cabbage that is increasing in popularity. Growing kale is a great way to make you always have this versatile ingredient on hand when you’re making soups, salads or stews. It isn’t difficult if you have the right steps, and in fact, kale is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Kale is a versatile leaf that tastes great, as well as being nutritious. It is also rewarding because it produces an ornamental plant that looks good in your garden or indoors.
Where Does Kale Grow?
You can grow kale indoors or outdoors, and the best thing about kale growing is that you can do it in almost any climate. While kale thrives during the colder seasons, you can grow kale almost any time of year as the plant is fairly resilient. During the colder months, make sure your plants are protected from any harsh chills or winds. Kale growth will slow down during the warmer months.
Kale growing is similar to growing broccoli, cabbage or brussel sprouts. You can start with planting the seeds in a small pot to get them started. The best time to plant kale is in Spring or at the beginning of autumn, so that their growing season falls in the winter months. You can also grow kale indoors in a pot.
Planting the Kale Seeds
Plant the kale seeds in the pot or garden bed, approximately 20 inches apart. This space will allow the kale plants to spread their leaves. Make sure the soil is moist, and that it’s also mixed with fertilizer. Plant the seeds about 1/2 an inch deep. It might be easiest to place all the seeds on a small piece of paper, using a pencil to push once seed into each hole. Cover up the holes with the soil, and give the pot or bed a good watering.
The Kale Plants
Check your kale plants occasionally for pests, such as caterpillars or butterflies.
Harvesting the Kale
The kale is ready to be harvested when you have sizable leaves, about 90 days after sowing the seeds, but this can vary depending on the climate of where the kale is growing, as well as the types of kale which you are growing. You can take a few leaves of kale at a time, to get the most out of each plant. Take a bunch of leaves at a time, and avoid picking from the middle of the plant. You need to leave some of the new leaves on the plant so that it can keep growing throughout the season. You should remove any of the older leaves, even if they’re not usable to reduce the chance of disease or pests. Harvest any leaves which are yellowing, and you can use these kale leaves for compost.
Once you have harvested the kale leaves, you can store them in a plastic bag in the fridge, and they should last at least a few days. You can thrown smaller, firmer leaves straight into your favorite salad (check out our delectable kale salad recipe!), and larger leaves can be steamed and used in soups or stews.