CULTURE: Kale is a very hardy member of the loose-leafed cabbage family. It is very easy to grow and in fact, light frosts improve the taste! The plant habit is so ornamental and attractive that many home gardeners prefer to use kale in flower beds. Choose a rich, fertile loam, preferably one on which cabbages or related cold crops have not been grown the previous year. Kale likes a sunny, well drained soil with some shelter or semi shade in hot climates. Fertilize just like cabbage and keep well watered during hot summer months.
SOW SEED: Sow in late June or July at 2 seeds per in/25 mm; 1/2 in/13 mm deep, cover seed and firm. Space rows 1.5 - 2.5 ft/46 - 76 cm apart; thin plants to 10 - 12 in/25 - 31 cm apart when the seedlings are 2.5 in/6 cm high. Use discarded seedlings for salad greens. Kale is often used as a "succession planting" to follow mid-summer harvests of radishes, early lettuce etc.
HARVEST - There are two methods: (a) cut the whole plant after your first frost in Oct. - Nov., if you intend to use it as a cooked vegetable like spinach. (b) Cut-and-Come-Again - cut inner leaves as they mature (superior in taste to outer leaves). Fresh green material may be harvested for many months for salad greens. STORAGE - With some light straw protection kale will stand throughout the winter in areas where mid winter temps. do not dip below zero. If it survives, it will produce large quantities of early spring "greens" for the table. A must vegetable for the home gardener - easy to grow!