Rotation Group: 4, Brassicas
DWARF GREEN CURLEDDwarf habit with closely curled leaves. A superb source of tasty and highly nutritious autumn, winter and spring 'greens'. Resistant to very bad winter conditions.
EMERALD ICEAlthough looks ornamental this has the best quality of all kales and is starting to appear in supermarkets. The textured, ruffled leaves develop a striking contrasting white centre as they mature and have a very sweet flavour, even the leaf stalks are very sweet and have the crispest texture. Ideal used for baby leaf, and suitable for multiple cuts prolonging the harvest period.
MIDNIGHT SUNTightly curled leaves with a striking pink mid-vein. Can be grown at close spacing for successive cut and come again harvests of baby leaves for salads. Shows good hardiness and resistance to bolting.
STARBORAn extremely winter hardy variety with compact, attractive plants that can be grown closer together than normal. Produces lots of highly crinkled leaves that can be harvested for up to 7 months of the year.
Site, Soil and Preparation
Kale will grow in most soils but add lime if the soil is very acid. An open, sunny position is preferred.
Sow 20mm (3/4in) deep in modules or in biodegradable pots.
Sow thinly in a seedbed 20mm (3/4in) deep.
Thinning shouldn't be needed as seedlings should be transplanted to final growing positions.
Transplant indoor sown or outdoor sown seedlings about 6-8 weeks after sowing. Plant at 75-100mm (3-4in) spacings for early salad crops or 450-600mm (18-24in) spacings for full size crops.
Keep the beds weed free and water sparingly. If leaves turn yellow apply an organic liquid feed in early autumn.
Pick or cut leaves from young plants for summer salads, or, cut full grown leaves for cooking throughout winter.