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Kale

Botanical Name
Brassica oleracea var. acephala
Hardiness
Annual
Height
18 to 36 inches
Width
12 to 36 inches
Light
Full sun to part shade
Soil
Moist, well-drained
Planting & Care
  • Kale best germinates at temperatures between 45°F and 85°F
  • For a summer crop, start seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting outdoors. Sow seeds in 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep
  • Put out transplants in early spring 4 to 6 weeks before last frost, space 12 inches apart in rows 18 to 24 inches apart
  • For a fall harvest, direct sow outdoors about 3 months before the first expected fall frost. Plant seeds 1/4 to 1/2 deep, 1 inch apart in rows 18 to 30 inches apart
  • Thin plants to 12 to 18 inches apart. Thinned transplants can be eaten in salads or on sandwiches.
  • Kale needs cool weather of spring or fall to develop the best foliage color
  • Use floating row covers to help protect plants from insects
Problems
Flea beetles, slugs, black rot, black leg, cabbage loopers, cutworms, cabbage aphids
Varieties
  • Red Russian - blue-grey, flat, deeply cut leaves
  • Redbor - 2-3' tall, deep red-purple
  • White Russian
  • Prizm - attractive, ruffled foliage, excellent in containers, almost stemless leaves are ready to harvest early and throughout the growing season, All-America Selections winner

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