Kale is a leafy vegetable that belongs to the plant family Brassicaceae and this plant is closely related to the common cabbage and mustard plants.
The cultivation of this plant has been recorded in history 6,000 years ago and this plant is known for its ability to tolerate frost and grow well in cool climates.
There are about 50 varieties of this plant grown around the world and it is commonly used as a source of food around the world thanks to the delicious taste of the leaves, being the only edible part of the plant, and they have been used as an important part of the human diet for years.
Kales are also cultivated as ornamental plants in some parts of the world and there are different varieties of this plant that are used for decorative purposes because of the color of its leaves – the leaves of these kale varieties do have lovely colorations which include pink, red, violet, lavender, white, and blue.
Kale is botanically known as Brassica oleracea and it can grow either very close to the ground and for varieties that grow straight up it can reach a height of 6 to 7 feet, depending on the variety, and they add great taste to foods.
Kales are easy plants to grow as long as they have a favorable condition that will support their growth; thanks to their frost-hardy nature, they are quite easy to grow in almost all seasons – you can conveniently and easily grow it in your home.
Kales are nutritious plants and they are a very good source of vitamins A, B9, C, and K, dietary fibers, and minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Kales can be grown as an annual or biennial plant and the taste provided by the leaves consumed from this vegetable depends on the environmental condition under which this plant is grown – so, if you are planting this plant for its leaves avoid exposing it to warm weather.
If you are a lover of vegetables and you will love to grow your own kale plant at your home or you are a savvy gardener who would love to grow this plant then this is the right place for you to be.
In this article, we will take you through the steps to follow if you want to grow kale plants around your home with ease. Take your time and read through!
Table of Contents
- 1 Type of Kale plants to cultivate
- 2 When is the right time to grow Kale?
- 3 How to grow Kale plants
- 4 Conclusion
Type of Kale plants to cultivate
Kale plants have been largely cultivated all over the world for their tasty leaves and this plant has been an important part of the human diet for a very long period of time.
There are 50 varieties of the kale plants cultivated all over the globe; however, there are different types of this plant which vary based on the nature of their leaves as well as their taste. Below are the various types of kale plants that you can cultivate:
The variety of plants that belongs to this type of group do have broad leaves with smooth surfaces. This variety of kales looks more appealing and aesthetically better than other types.
Varieties of kale plants that belong to this group of plants do have leaves that are very curvy (having an irregularly curved shape).
This type of kale plants is usually found tied together in bunches in stores where they are sold. It is one of the most common types of kales grown around the world. They are great additions in a salad.
This type of kale plants develop rough, slightly-deformed leaves which look less appealing compared to other types of kales.
This type of kale plant is not usually used as a garnish for salads because of their ugly appearance but they are remarkable for the outstanding taste that they offer. They are very delicious.
Rape kale types:
This type of kale is known for the development of a fibrous structure which makes it easy for this plant to grow long into winter.
This type of kale plant is known for its ability to endure a much cooler temperature and they hold up well during such season. It is the hardiest type of kale plants to cultivate.
Leaf and Spear type:
varieties that belong to this type of kale are hybrids; they are a cross between the curly-leaved types and plain-types. This plant is known for being edible even when they are young and the matured leaves are also very delicious.
When is the right time to grow Kale?
Before setting out to plant kales, it is essential to know the right time when propagation should be carried out – this will ensure proper preparation.
Having a good idea of the time when planting of kale plants is to be done is very essential and this will be discussed in this section. Kales can be planted successfully in early spring and fall.
In the next paragraphs, we will give a concise discussion on how to grow kale plants during these periods. Below are the right times to grow kale plants:
Kale plants should be planted about 3 to 5 weeks before the last frost. This condition will provide the right cool condition for your plant to grow well and since the winter season is already over at this period, plants will be able to thrive during such period. Planting should be done as early as possible in spring.
This is another period for growing kales; this plant can be grown throughout this season compared to the spring period. Planting should be done six to eight weeks before the first frost is observed.
How to grow Kale plants
In this section of the article, we will take you through the steps involved in growing kale plants so you should read further to learn how to successfully grow your kale plants. Below are the steps to follow in growing kale plants:
Choose the seed:
Since there are about 50 varieties of kale plants that you can choose from you should look for that variety that grows best in your location.
Kales are best grown from seeds so you should select or choose a seed for the variety that you wish to grow. This should be done ahead of the growing season or period.
Choose a planting site:
The site for growing your kale plant must be one that receives full sun but tolerates partial shade. The planting site should be well-draining as water can damage the root of kale plants and the soil pH should be at a range of 6.5 to 6.8. This plant thrives well in soils that are very fertile and rich.
Prepare the soil:
Check the soil pH, draining capacity, and fertility; any part of this that needs amendment should be properly taken care of. Mix compost to the soil with a shovel or hand trowel or add fertilizer to the soil to improve the soil fertility.
Make sure that the soil pH is in the required range so as to avoid the exposure of the plant to diseases as well as the encouragement of plant growth. Ensure that the soil is well-tilled as much as possible to support its growth.
Sow the seed:
Plant about two to three seeds in a hole that is ¼ to ½ inch deep and cover it up with prepared soil at the growing site.
The seeds should be allowed to grow for about 2 weeks to ensure germination; once germination is observed, the next line of action is pruning out weak seedlings and leaves a spacing of 8 to 12 inches between them.
Water the plant after planting and regularly:
After planting, water should be supplied to the plant base and you should ensure that it gets moist (avoid making the soil soggy or overwatered).
After planting, water should be supplied to the plant when necessary and when the weather is very warm water can be added when the top layer of the soil dry out.
Getting rid of weed is one of the major challenges faced when growing vegetable plants as they compete with nutrients and other necessities for plant growth and germination.
Add a mulch of at least one-inch to the base of the plant to avoid loss of moisture and also prevent the growth of weeds.
Kale plants are highly nutritious to the human body and they offer awesome characteristics that make them highly beneficial.
As explained, this plant is very easy to grow and you will enjoy having this plant around you. Happy gardening!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !