Bonnie Plants Curly Kale is easy to grow & will keep you supplied for months. Vigorous producer, light frost makes the leaves taste sweeter.
Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
- Light Full sun to part shade
- Leaf size 12 to 24 inches
- Matures 45+ days after planting
- Plant spacing 12 inches apart
- Plant size 1 foot wide, 1 to 2 feet tall
Cold-hardy and resilient, kale is an easy member of the cabbage family to grow. You can set out plants quite early in spring as long as you protect the young plants from severe cold winds with a cover. They will grow steadily for months until the weather gets too warm. You’ll get a second chance to plant kale in the fall, when cool weather brings out a wonderfully sweet, nutty flavor that is unique to these cold-natured plants. Fall is the best time for growing kale in areas where winter doesn’t dip below the teens, or in a cold frame farther north, because the leaves are sweeter when they mature in cooler weather. In the kitchen, kale can be steamed, stir-fried, or substituted for spinach in omelets, casseroles, or even quesadillas. It’s a wonderful addition to smoothies, too, and tender young leaves make delicious salads.
Quick Guide to Growing Kale
- Plant kale 3 to 5 weeks before the last frost. In-ground gardens, raised beds, and containers are all excellent growing options.
- Space kale 18 to 24 inches apart in an area with full sun and well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8.
- Improve native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.
- Kale is a fast grower, so keep the soil moist by giving it 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week.
- Get the most out of your harvest by regularly feeding plants with a continuous-release plant food.
- For nutritious kale year-round, consider an indoor, water-based growing system.
- Harvest kale starting with the lowermost leaves once they reach the ideal color and are large enough to eat. Leaves reach their peak flavor once they’ve been kissed by a light frost.