Kale is a hardy growing green from the cabbage family. The plant originated form Asia Minor and the Eastern Mediterranean. Kale can tolerate both mid-summer heat and cold temperatures. This allows it to be grown from early spring through late summer. If you grow kale in the late summer, you will still be able to get a crop when the ground freezes in winter. Kale is high in vitamins A and C, and can be used in stir fry, soup and as a substitute for collards or spinach in recipes.
Steps to Grow Kale
What You Need
Begin planting your kale about a month before the last frost date in the spring. Loosen the soil to a depth of 6 inches and add about 3 inches of compost to the garden area.
Plant each seed ½ inch deep in the soil. Space each planting an inch apart in rows 18 inches apart.
Thin your seedlings once they get 3 to 4 sets of leaves. Pull seedlings so that your kale plants are 12 inches apart. Use the kale seedlings you pulled from your garden in salads.
Water your kale once or twice a week only. Give your plants 2 inches of water each week.
Add nitrogen around your kale plants a month after thinning your plants. Make sure to apply nitrogen by staying 6 inches away from the base of each plant.
Harvest outer leaves from your kale plants as needed by breaking the leaves off near the base of the plant. Kale leaves less that 8 inches in length will be more tender.
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture; Home Gardening Series: Kale
Cornell University; Growing Guide: Kale
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