Liquid fertilizers are usually diluted and are safe on the plant itself. Here is more about our approach. If you’ve prepared your soil properly, a single feeding of a slow-release fertilizer once you’ve harvested the leaves once is all that’s required for annual kale. If that’s not available, opt for higher nitrogen to promote leaf growth. Mustard and bittercress will act as lures for caterpillars. Kale can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week without any problem at all, as long as you know how to protect it. An inch to an inch and a half of water per week is sufficient to keep your kale pleasantly happy. High in iron, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits, this superfood should be a staple in everyone’s diet. For those growing kale as a biennial, you will want to fertilize once per season to ensure it has sufficient nutrition. Aim for a balanced fertilizer like a 10-10-10 range. It’s spread by tiny fungal spores that can live in your soil for up to 20 years. Can I grow kale from a leaf? Once your soil is prepared, plant seeds 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep. Kale seeds will germinate at as low as 40 F, but they sprout more quickly at soil temperatures in the 60’s. Once your side leaves are removed, examine what’s left. This reduces the size of the leaf that the stressed plant will need to care for. Trim off lower side leaves, leaving only the top leaf. Some of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased. Roast it for five minutes. Set your plant into the hole and cover it to just barely above where it had been planted before. While there’s no cure for alternaria, there are prevention measures. If you direct seed kale into your garden or a container, leaves will be ready to pick in 55 to 75 days. Cut the base of the stem at a 45-degree angle just below one of the leaf nodes, and place into a pot of prepared, well-draining and damp potting soil. Finally, there’s black rot, the only common bacterial infection of kale. Tasty stuff! Gardening Channel. Top with another strip of paper towel. Kale has friends, and it likes to spend its time around them! It is characterized by its curly, wrinkled leaves. Did you know that kale can be grown extremely well as a microgreen? Flavorful and vigorous. This variety grows tall, narrow leaves which are deep green in coloration and are bumpy like how one might envision dinosaur skin to be. Early summer and fall harvested kale tends to be less bitter. Rich in Vitamins A, C, and K, it’s also mineral-rich, packing a good calcium and potassium punch. You don’t want any of them around while growing kale! While this process may seem a bit tricky, I’ll show you how to do it quick and easy! Kale grows extremely well in raised bed situations, but will also grow just as happily in a standard garden bed. Finally, snails and slugs will leave slimy trails along your kale leaves and chew leaves into oblivion. For details on moving your cutting outdoors, refer to our article Hardening Off Plants: Common Reader Questions and Answers. Dispose of those appropriately. Downy mildew rounds out the list of fungal diseases that can hit kale. In most cool climates, kale should be planted in full sun conditions. Destroy infected plants before they can produce more spores. Your email address will not be published. Then, remove the leaves. Empty the tiny seeds into the palm of your hand then pinch them to sow thinly along the row and cover lightly with soil. Kale varieties to try ‘Cavolo Nero’ – a handsome Italian kale, with long, plume-like leaves that are very ornamental in winter, particularly when dusted with frost ‘Black Tuscany’ or ‘Nero di Toscana’ – has green, crinkled, strap-like leaves. Ruffled leaves. Unusually beautiful and tasty! It also causes bottom rot. If you have a flat-leaf kale variety, it’s even easier to protect your leaves. Place them in a colander and shake out any excess hot water, then submerge the leaves in ice water to stop the cooking. Clubroot is a common fungal disease among cole crops. extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp. Preheat oven to about 375 degrees F. Then wash and trim the kale: making sure you peel off all the tough stems. Curly kale is one of the world’s superfoods, very easy to grow with a fantastic taste. Quick growth, makes perfect baby greens. It is good for winter or spring greens, and can be grown as an ornamental plant Simply snip them off close to the stem as necessary. If you are trying to harvest young leaves, you can begin removing the lowest leaves on the plant once it’s 4″ in height. Older kale can get tall, and you may need to take that into consideration when planning. Usually, a typical harvest is just a handful of leaves. Allow the top clusters of leaves to remain intact for future growth. Alternaria leaf spot is another problem. Flat leaves with cut margins, young growth is green but turns reddish-purple. Use clean, sterilized shears to trim the cutting off where it meets the main stem of the plant. Treatment for anthracnose involves spraying the plant thoroughly with a copper-based fungicide such as Bonide Copper Fungicide. If you have sandier soil, consider working in some organic material. Once they’re completely frozen, transfer the leaves to a freezer bag with excess air removed. Siberian – I love this variety of kale. Truly perennial kales were once less rare in Britain than they are now. Do not wash your freshly-harvested kale unless you make sure it’s completely dry before storing. Remove all but the top leaf, and if the top leaf is large, cut its top half off, leaving the bottom half attached to the stem. They also carry a wide number of plant diseases, and can cause major plant wilting. Some plants which are good companions for kale include: Of those good neighbors, catmint will repel flea beetles. Using a product with bacillus subtilis in it such as Serenade Garden will help build up plant resistance. Don’t let the name fool you! -Lea B. Aphids, especially cabbage aphids and turnip aphids, find kale delicious.