How to grow Kale at home?
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is one of the healthiest foods on earth. It contains loads of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants yet is low in calories.
For growing Kale at home, you have to plant them in the right season. In temperate climates, kale can be planted in early spring, late spring, late summer, and early fall.
Kale prefers fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. Make sure that the soil is moist but well-drained. Plant kale seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep and 1-2 feet apart from each other.
For best results, for growing Kale, it’s important to provide plenty of water for your plants during the warmer months so that the soil stays moist but not soggy. You don’t want your kale plants to wilt or get damaged by extreme heat or cold weather, so make sure to mulch around your plants with straws (or any organic mulching materials) to help retain moisture and protect the plants from extreme temperatures.
Choose the Best Pot or Container for Growing Kale
For growing kale, choose the right container, find the right spot in your home or garden, and provide good soil and water. Growing kale in containers is an easy way to access fresh greens in any season. Kale also looks attractive with its frilly leaves and grows well in various containers.
There are many types of containers that you can use for growing kale. Choose one at least 8 inches deep and 12 inches wide, with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom.
Plastic, wood, clay, ceramic, or galvanized metal containers all work well for growing kale in containers. If you live in very cold winters, avoid using clay or ceramic containers, as they can easily crack when exposed to freezing temperatures.
The size pot you choose depends on how many plants you intend to grow and how big they will get. Each plant needs at least 1 square foot (0.1 square meters) of space, so a 3-gallon (11-liter) pot can hold one or two kale plants. A 5-gallon (19-liter) pot can hold three or four plants. A 7-gallon (27-liter) pot can hold five or six plants, and a 10-gallon (38-liter) pot can hold up to ten plants.
Types of Kale That Can be Grown in Container
Ever wondered about growing kale in a container? Container gardening is the solution if you have limited space in your garden.
Kale plants can be grown in containers or pots, provided they are large enough and have good drainage. You need to grow them in rich, well-drained soil with plenty of compost.
Types of Kale That Can Be Grow In Containers
You can choose from some types of kale for container growing such as:
- Dwarf Siberian Kale – This type of kale is great for container growing because it doesn’t get tall and leggy. It grows 12-18 inches tall so it’s perfect for small spaces. It has smooth, curly leaves with a mild flavor.
- Lacinato Kale – This type of kale has dark blue-green leaves that are relatively flat and crinkled. The stems are very tender so you don’t need to remove them before cooking it.
- Redbor Kale – Redbor kale is especially cold-hardy. It can withstand hard frosts and even temperatures into the single digits. When you harvest red bor kale, cut leaves from the outside of the plant first. The center will continue to produce new leaves for later use. Kale contains many antioxidants and nutrients, including high concentrations of vitamins A, C, and K.
- Tuscan black kale– Tuscan kale, also known as lacinato kale, black kale, or dinosaur kale, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It’s a member of the cabbage family and is related to broccoli and cauliflower. Like other cruciferous vegetables, it contains glucosinolates (anti-cancer compounds) that are released when you chew it.
Growing Kale from Seed
Growing Kale from seed is very easy. You can do it in a pot or on the ground. You can start seeds indoors and transplant them outdoors, or you can sow them directly where they’ll grow.
Sow seeds in the spring after all danger of frost has passed, or in late summer for a fall crop.
Kale is a cool-season crop that can be grown year-round in mild winter areas but will bolt (go to seed) if exposed to temperatures above 75 degrees F. The plants are hardy and can tolerate some cold weather so they can be grown as early as two months before the expected date of the last frost in spring. Sow kale seeds outdoors about 1/4 inch deep and 2-3 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 12-18 inches apart when they are about 4 inches tall. Kale grows best in full sun but will tolerate light shade.
When growing kale in pots, plant 3-4 seeds per 4-inch pot and thin to one strong seedling per pot after germination. Space plants 12-18 inches apart when transplanting into the garden bed.
How long does Kale take to grow?
Kale is a vegetable that is frequently undervalued. It has the ability to grow in cold weather and to stay fresh without refrigeration. If you want to add kale to your diet, you can grow it yourself!
Kale plants can grow 1-6 feet tall. Its leaves are attached directly to the stem and usually have some sort of serrated or curly edge. Kale is typically green, but some varieties include purple, red, or blue hues. Each plant can produce up to 1 pound of kale per plant!
Kale can take anywhere between 55 and 80 days to grow after being planted, depending on the time of year and your climate. The plant will likely take 60 days if you live in an area with a mild climate and 70 days if you live in an area with a warm climate.
How to prepare soil and care for Kale plants
If you’re growing Kale in a garden, it needs to be planted in full sun. Full sun means at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. It also prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.
Before you plant, make sure your soil is loose and easy to dig. If it’s hard and compacted, you might want to add some compost or other organic matter to the top few inches (and mix it in). This will help your plants grow strong roots. Some Kale varieties will do well in slightly acidic soils (around pH 6.5) but others prefer neutral or slightly alkaline soils (around pH 7.0). You can test your soil pH with a home testing kit that you can get from your local garden center or hardware store.
If you’re planting Kale in containers, use a pot that is at least 10 inches wide and deep, so there’s room for the roots to spread out a bit. Make sure there are drain holes in the bottom of the pot so any excess water can drain away without drowning the plant.
Harvesting of Kale Plant
The kale is harvested by cutting the leaves off with a knife. The plant is then left to regrow and the second crop of leaves can be harvested within a month. Kale can also be harvested as a baby leaf when the plant is between 10–25 cm tall.
The baby leaf is ready in 35–45 days depending on the cultivar. Kale is best suited for human consumption before it reaches 30 cm tall. At this stage, kale has more iron and Calcium than Spinach. Kale has a long harvest period, from early summer until early winter, but in mild climates can remain in the ground year-round.
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