Kale

Kale

Kale’s nutritional value is the reason for its fame. The other name of Kale is borecole. 

The best thing about the Kale is that it is more cold-resistant than other brassicas. It can also grow in light-shaded space. Moreover, it is a pest-free and disease-free plant. However, birds can damage it; so, you must net it.  

While picking the kale leaves, make sure they are young and tender. 

Sowing Kale

The best time to sow the kale seeds starts in March and ends in June. It would be best if you planted the seeds in a depth of 0.5 inches in a seedbed. Moreover, kale seed sowing must be in rows that are 6 inches apart.

When the plants are young, you can thin the seedlings to ensure a distance of 3 inches between them.

Growing Kale

Plants are ready to grow mature when they are young enough. In the case of Kale, you can transplant them to the final growing position when they have at least 5-10 true leaves. While transplanting the plants, follow these tips:

  • Make sure that the lowest leaves of the plants are at ground level.
  • Water the growing position well before plant transplantation.
  • Firm the plants well in the growing position
  • Water the plants again.
  • Ensure a space of 18 inches between the plants
  • Water the plants regularly in dry weather
  • Mulch the plants to retain the soil moisture. You might be wondering what the mulch is. Well, mulch is a 2-inch thick layer of organic matter. It can protect the plant from frost and boost its growth. Besides, it also helps in retaining soil moisture. Garden compost, chipped bark, manure, slate chippings, grit, and gravel are examples of mulch. You can apply the mulch from the late autumn to late winter. So, it starts in November and ends in February.
  • Feed the plants with fertilizers in spring. It will boost kale growth.
  • Cover the plants with fleece and netting. It will serve to keep the birds away from your crop.
kale

Harvesting Kale

The harvesting period of the Kale starts in September. So, you start picking the young leaves from the plant top from September.

  • However, side shoots will form after you harvest the crown. So, side shoots will be ready to use in February and March. But before that, you must know what the ‘crown’ is. It is primarily present at the plant base. You can identify it by bud at the ground level. But, it also refers to tree branches at the trunk top—for instance, the canopy of oak.  
  • Pick only young and 4-6 inches long shoots.  

Common problems

Birds

Birds, especially pigeons, can cause damage to the crop. They can eat seedlings, fruit, buds, leaves, and vegetables. So, it’s essential to save the plants from them.

Remedy

  • Cover the plants with fleece or net (it is the most reliable method). 
  • Bird-scaring or scarecrows could also help.

Caterpillars

Caterpillars, especially the white cabbage butterfly, eat brassicas. These holes even invade up to the cabbage heart. They make holes in the leaves. So, you will see either the holes or caterpillars on the broccoli crop.

Remedy

  • Pick the caterpillars with your hand in the event of a mild attack.
  • Fine netting (with 5-7mm mesh size) and insect-proof mesh help prevent egg-lying.

Cabbage root fly

It primarily affects the seedlings. The white larvae of cabbage root fly, when they reach 2 inches, eat the roots. As a result,

  • The growth of the plants get affected
  • The plant will wilt or die.

It is most damaging for the seedlings.

Remedy

Use horticulture fleece and insect-free netting over the crop

Here are some great recipes using kale from Love and Lemons

Why stick with the common kale? Try some of these dazzling beauties…

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07/09/2021 | Vegetables | 0 Comments

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