Kale

How To Grow Kale:

Rich, organic kale.  Growing kale is easy.  Grow kale in your garden. Kale in your vegetable garden.  Kale.Kale and Collards are a non-heading cabbage, which means they don’t produce a head but individual leaves for consumption.  They have been grown and eaten for over 2000 years in Europe. They are a biennial, and will produce a flower and seed stock in the spring of the second year. They are easy to grow, but can taste bitter if the heat of summer is high.

Both Kale and Collards are high in the vitamins and minerals that are present in most green, leafy vegetables.  It is said that Julius Caesar ate a good helping of collards after royal banquets to help prevent indigestion, so to me, it is an easy decision to add them to my garden and salads. They also grow well in cooler weather so it makes a great winter crop when you cannot grow much else.

Planting and Growing Kale:

Learn to grow kale.  Watering kale. Fertilizing kale.  Planting kale.Kale is a cool season crop and can tolerate some frost.  Plant indoors 8 to 6 weeks before the last frost date and transplant outside as soon as the soil can be worked, and seedlings have at least two sets of true leaves.  It does best when grown fast, so enrich the soil by mixing in a 1-inch layer of compost before planting.  Fertilize with a rich, organic fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks.

Water kale heavily until the first frost, and then lower water levels.  This enhances the flavors and protects the plant from frost.

Harvesting and Preserving Kale:

Start harvesting individual leaves as soon as they are large enough to toss in a salad.  Cut the leaves using scissors or a sharp knife about 1” (2.5 cm) above the soil. Kale will continue to grow if watered and fertilized, even when all the leaves have been cut.  Continue harvest after first frost in the fall for the best flavor of the year.  Amazingly enough, kale will continue to produce leaves well into the fall, and possibly winter.  If left in the ground over winter, come spring, it will produce some leaves, and then it will flower and produce seeds.

Kale can be stored, but should be eaten after it is picked for the best flavor and texture.  To store, place the kale in a vegetable bag for a couple of weeks or up to a month.

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