Kale is becoming increasingly popular in culinary circles and among nutritionists. And there is a reason for it, this vegetable is very nutritional. One handful of kale contains 5 grams of fiber and just 36 calories. It also contains vitamin C, the very important vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Now that you know, why you need to incorporate kale in your diet, we will teach you how to grow it. So let’s begin.
Growing Colorful Kale In Your Garden
Kale is a biennial plant from the family Brassicaceae. It is more durable than cabbage and better tolerates high temperatures and drought, just like low temperatures and frost. Therefore, it is ideal for growing in places with a variable climate where it overwinters without problems. The leaves are bubbly and do not adhere tightly to each other, so the head is not as hard as in cabbage.
The color of the leaves can be between dark green, such as the outer leaves, and yellow-green on the inner leaves. There are people that keep kale as ornamental plants due to their decorative appearance.
Kale thrives on almost any type of soil, with a pH of 6-6.5 (slightly acidic soil). You should plant a few seeds and cover them with soil. The seeds will germinate quickly, especially if the ground is warm. You can expect the sprouts in just 5-8 days.
Young seedlings must be watered regularly (every evening if there is a dry period). Over time, as they become stronger and more resistant, you can gradually decrease the need for watering.
Kale just like its cousin the cabbage is very susceptible to disease and pests. So, you need to regularly check its leaves for any signs of disease. If you notice something (holes on the leaves) treat the kale immediately.
Kale is harvested by hand by cutting the head, usually only after temperatures drop below zero. The longer the kale is exposed to cold, the sweeter and milder it tastes. But this process only works naturally, so it can’t be emulated in the freezer.
However, if you want to grow kale just like an ornamental plant, you should know that you need to water the plant more frequently and keep it in a full sun area. You can use soil that is pretty much the same as the edible kale.
This type of kale is known under the name of flowering kale. But, this vegetable never produces flowers. What you will get is beautiful spectra of colors that will revive your garden and make it more magical and pretty.