Kale is the newly rediscovered easy to grow vegetable.
Many plants sold as “ornamental cabbage” are in fact kales. They are grown for the coloured and ornamental leaves which are brilliant white, red, pink, blue or violet in the interior or the rosette. Because they supply colour in winter Ornamental Kale is popular with some designers. The green kales (Borecole) can also be very ornamental. Keep tidy by pulling old outer leaves off
Ornamental kale is every bit as edible as any other variety, provided it has not been treated with pesticides. Special recipes
For more Tips and other Kales
- Kale is very hardy and best eaten after the first frost through winter to early spring.
- Curly Kales have the best taste and have good oxidant properties for healthy eating.
- Pick the crown of the plant in November not the outer leaves and new shoots will appear for February picking
- Kale is a member of the brassica family and shouldn’t be grown on the same soil in the following season it is less prone to ‘club root’ than some brassicas and is hardy.
- Club root is a fungal infection of brassicas which causes distorted swollen roots and stunted growth
- Spores contaminate the soil for many years after an infestation so be careful with new plants that may bring in disease. Control by liming the ground in autumn. More heavily on acid soil./li>
- If you suffer grow plants in 4 inch pots before planting out.
- Plain leaved varieties such as Pentland Brig or Thousand Headed Kale are available from seed companies
- Dwarf Kales include Frosty and Spurt which is ready for picking in two months. Normally plant out in July
- Tuscan is recommended by those who have tasted it and can be sown in July
- For a larger crop grow from seed and transplant into prepared soil with compost and added lime