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Curly kale

Brassica oleracea var. sabellica

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Kale is one of the most accommodating crops you can grow, providing fresh greens in the depths of winter. If harvested correctly, when the leaves are still young, it makes a delicious addition to winter recipes. Unlike cabbages, cauliflowers and other brassicas, kale isn’t prone to many pests, making it very rewarding to grow.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Kale will be ready for harvest 55 days from transplanting, 70 to 80 days from seed. Pick about one fistful of leaves per harvest. Avoid picking the terminal bud (found at the top center of the plant) because this will help to keep the plant productive for a long time.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds during spring and space rows 30 to 45 cm apart. Sow to a depth of 1cm. Keep soil moist, but well-drained.

Special features

Attracts birds
Use birdnetting if you do not get a change to harvest!
Crop rotation
Welcome in crop rotation to give soil a resting time after heavy feeders like tomatoes or root crops.

Geography

Origin
Europe
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Green leafy vegetables are high in minerals and vitamins K
Edible
Leaves can be used in stir-fries, smoothies, soups, stews or dried to make kale chips. Stems are also edible. Popular in freshly squeezed green juice.
Notes
Culinary. Medicinal.

Personality

Family
Brassicaceae
Flower colour
White
Scent
None

Problems

Kale plants are known to be relatively pest and disease free, but may sometimes be attacked by cutworms and cabbage worms. They can be hand-picked off the plants. Plant celery, celeriac, rosemary, sage and thyme close to kale plants to deter cabbage moths.

Companion plants

Beets, Celery, Herbs, Onions and Potatoes

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