10 Things Kale Lovers Should Know Before They Start Growing It At Home

It’s anti-inflammatory, packed with fiber, iron, calcium, and vitamins K, A, and C. Plus, your smoothie recipes just aren’t the same without it. Yup, kale is pretty amazing, and a great way to get more of it is by growing your own. Even if you’re not a seasoned gardener, it’s easy to find success with this green.

If you can plant 3 or 4 plants of kale in your garden, that will be enough for a small family. You can harvest each week to prepare it for your loved ones. Don’t you have a backyard? It’s not required as well. All you need is few containers because kale grows perfectly in the containers. All you need to ensure is that each container has at least 12 inches diameter. Let’s read how to plant the kale, either you are planning to plant in the container or directly into the ground.

Best Time to Begin

The best time to plant the kale is six or eight weeks before the last frost date. It allows the plant to get mature enough to face the worst heat during summers. Plant the seeds indoor six weeks before the last frost date. Planting the seeds directly takes around 50 to 70 days to get mature while if you transplant the seed, it will take around 30 to 35 days maximum.

Now, if you want another crop in the same year, you can plant the kale again 6 weeks before the first expected frost. This allows you to keep harvesting even after the snowfall. If you want regular harvesting, you should transplant after every three weeks or keep sowing more seeds.

Where To Plant

Kale field

If you’re planting during the cool season, do so where your crop will get full sun. If you’re growing during warmer temps, plant in partial shade.

Make Friends

Kale is buddy-buddy with beets, celery, cucumbers, herbs, onions, spinach, chard, and potatoes. It isn’t happy growing next to beans,strawberries, or tomatoes.

Give Them Shelter

Protect young plants with row covers like this Plant Protection Blanket to stave off flea beetles and provide a buffer against any unexpected temperature dips.

Nurture Rootsem. Use straw or grass mulch at the base of your plants to keep the soil cool, conserve moisture, and make it easier for roots to feed.

Kale’s roots run horizontally from the central st

Water Well

Keep soil moist to encourage consistent growth.

Fertilize

Dress your soil with compost every 6 to 8 weeks. A seaweed emulsion, like Neptune’s Harvest Organic Hydrolized Fish + Seaweed Fertilizer can help boost growth when used lightly throughout the entire season.

Beat Pests

To reduce insect damage in your vegetable garden, pick off unhealthy-looking leaves and keep your plants well-fed with compost and water.

How To Harvest

Organic Kale

It’s time to harvest when the leaves are about the size of your hand. Pick them one by one, starting with the lowest, outermost leaves and working toward the center. Always leave a few of the small central leaves attached to encourage growth. In most cases, you’ll be able to harvest from the same plant again in 5 to 7 days.

Know When To Quit

When things get really hot in the summer, pull plants up by their roots to make room in your garden for more heat-loving veggies until fall arrives for another round of planting.

Read full article here: http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/10-things-kale-lovers-should-know-before-they-start-growing-it-at-home

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