- Germination Days: 7-14
- Hardiness Zone:All
- Planting Depth:1/2"
- Plant Spacing:18"
- Row Spacing:2'
- Growth Habit:Upright
- Soil Preference:Moist, rich in organic matter, 6.5 - 6.8 pH
- Temp Preference:Warmer
- Light Preference:Full or partial sun
- Days to Maturity:50-60 days
Kale is a cold-hardy veggie that can be planted in early spring/autumn. Cool weather brings out the sweet, nutty flavor of this highly nutritious plant. Small plants can be set out about 4 weeks before spring last frost.
Kale is versatile in the garden, can be growing on the ground bed, raised beds or containers.
- Kale can be set out in the garden 3 to 5 weeks before the spring last frost. It is best to provide cover protection (floating row covers) in case the temperature falls below 20 ⁰F.
- Kale does best in full sun but tolerates partial shade.
- The soil pH should be 6.5 to 6.8 for an optimal growth and discourage disease.
- Soil needs to drain well and also be enriched for tender leaves. When planting, add fertilizer.
- If you’re planting seeds, sow about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep into well-drained, light soil. Once the seedlings germinate and after about 2 weeks, thin the seedlings so that they are spaced about 12 inches apart.
- You can harvest it until the ground freezes in winter. Kale leaves have a better flavor after a couple frosts.
- In fall, kale can be planted 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost for fall and winter harvests.
- Kale is a decent feeder, regularly feed kale with a continuous-release plant food.
- Kale prefers even moisture. Water 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week.
- Mulch the soil to keep down the weeds and keep kale cool as kale won’t grow in hot weather.
Pests / Diseases
- Cabbagewormsare a common pest. Chewed holes on the leaves are evidence of cabbage worm attack.
- Aphids, there can be easily removed by spraying insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- Flea beetles
- You can harvest leaves at any stage, typically leaves are harvested when they are about 6 inches.
- Harvesting old leaves first from the lowest section of the plant helps in continuous growing for future harvests. Avoid clipping the terminal bud where the new leaves grow.