Kale (Brassica oferacea)
Germination Soil Temp:
Days to Germinate
Date to sow Indoors:
Date to sow Outdoors
1/4 - 1/2 inch
45 - 85 Degrees
5 - 7
6 weeks before frost
July - September
6.0 - 7.0
60 - 65 Degrees
16 - 18 inches staggered
Moderate N, P and K
Avoid the cabbage family
Kale is cole crop with frilly, collard-like leaves. It has a sweet flavor and a crispy texture. Kale is a cool-season, winter hardy plant.
Soil should be well-drained and high in organic matter. Composted manure or a cover crop should be turned over before planting.
Broadcast a complete fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 13-13-13, at a rate of 1 1/2 pounds per 100 Square foot before planting or use compost. If plants begin to lose their green color, sidedress with nitrogen or compost.
Cultivate soil and direct sow from July 1 to September, or plant transplants in August. If seeding, space rows 30 inches apart and thin seeds to 12 - 16 inches.
Plants need adequate water, especially during the hot weather. Water weekly if there is no rain. Keep rows weed free.
Carrots, coriander, fennel, dill and sage
Dwarf Scotch and Vates
Kale tastes best after several frosts. Harvest older leaves (outside leaves) first until March. Flavor will decrease as weather warms.
Kale provides iron, calcium, potassium and Vitamins A and C.
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Source: UT Extension, PB1578 - Tennessee Master Gardener Handbook