Whether you are seeking to prepare steamed vegetables, stir-fried, or add a sweet touch to omelettes and quesadillas, kale is mostly the right vegetable that will do the trick almost every time. Kale is also a fine addition to smoothies and delicious salads are made from the young developing leaves of the plant. It is a powerhouse of nutrients. Kale, a member of the cabbage family, is a cold-hardy and resilient vegetable that is very easy to grow.
Like a lot of herbs and vegetable crops, it is an annual plant. This means that it grows only in one season of the year. Mostly, the best time to grow these vegetables is fall, and this applies in areas that do not experience harsh conditions during winter. This is because kale leaves are much sweeter when they are grown in cool weather. Stick around as we will be looking at how to grow kales; offering a quick guide and complete information on how to turn your garden into a beautiful display of leaves kissed by the rays of the sun.
Why Grow Kale?
Kale is a deeply green vegetable. That usually denotes that it is rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy stuff. And it is. Another good thing about kale is that it is a versatile, leafy crop. It can be paired with a lot of foods. It is an easy way to add nutrition into your diet. Another awesome fact about kale is that it is a cut and come again vegetable. This means that you can cut its leaves for consumption even though the plant is still growing. That will not impede its growth whatsoever.
Kale has tons of health benefits. It helps you manage your blood pressure. It boosts your digestive system. It even helps prevent terminal diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Kale also removes unwanted toxins, known as free radicals, from the body. It assists in bone growth and maintenance; it is especially helpful in maintaining healthy teeth.
Aside from keeping you healthy, kale also assists in keeping you pretty. It helps maintain skin and hair health. It provide the body collagen, which is foundational in the construction of healthy skin, hair and bones. It is also rich in vitamin A, which is commonly known for its eye maintenance properties.
Kale is a healthy vegetable. It is an easy addition into your healthy life.
Start Up Guide: Things to Consider before Beginning Growing Kale
- Ensure that the soil is well moist.
- Ensure that the pH ranges from 6.5-6.8
- Your garden’s soil should be improved by addition of compost manure or rich organic matter.
With that out of the way, let’s begin on how to grow kale.
Soil Condition for Growth of Kale
First, you need to begin by setting out plants in spring usually about 4 weeks prior to the last frost (late summer). When planting kale, you should begin 6 to 8 weeks ahead of the first frost for the harvests of fall and winter and planting throughout the fall should continue.
The best soil condition for growth of kale includes maximum sun, but the plant is known to endure inequitable shade. This is a crucial knowledge on how to grow kale. It is known that anything less than the minimum 6 hours of daily sun will not be enough to ensure that the kale plants become leafy. Fertile soil is also an important factor to consider as this will ensure that your kale plants grow faster and produces succulent leaves. The soil should be supplemented with rich organic matter and fertilizer preparatory to starting out the seedlings. Rotten manure is a good, natural fertilizer. it is certainly a good option to consider.
Applying of fertilizer should be based on given recommendations from the tests conducted on your garden’s soil. If you however choose to forego tests on the soil, you should apply amendments that are rich in nitrogen. These amendments include blood meal, composted manure or cottonseed meal that can be applied into the ground previous to planting.
The pH of the soil should range from 6.5 to 6.8. This will help in preventing diseases such as clubroot. Although, the plants will grow from a starting pH value of 6.2 if the disease does not pose as a threat in your garden. Also, by enriching your soil with aged compost will boosting the native soil’s texture and nutrition.
Planting Process of Kale
Planting of kale is relatively easy and does well in containers and raised beds. To come up with the absolute environment for growth of the plants’ roots, you should fill the raised beds with pure rich organic matter. This also goes for the containers, if you prefer it this way. You need to set the plants at their growing depth in the container spaced roughly 22 inches apart as this will give the leaves room to grow bigger. After the planting process of kale, efficient watering of the plants is required. This should be in ample supply, about 1-1.5 inches every week.
Kale can be planted on a container and transplanted apart. Just make sure that you have adequate sunlight, moisture and nutrition in the soil.
Your kale plants will have maximum growth when they are planted in great soil and there is ceaseless source of nutrition. In order to achieve this, you need to regularly apply a water-soluble fertilizer for exceptional results. Mulching is needed to prevent splashing of soil which will later ensure a clean harvest. Mulch with finely ground leaves, straw, finely ground bark, weed-free hay, compost, or pine needles is your best bet. This will also ensure that the soil remains cool and moist as well as keeping down weeds.
Kale can also be grown indoors. If you fancy it this way, you can be guaranteed an easy process that is in a hydroponic growing system.
Pests Affecting the Growth of Kale
Being a carefree crop, there are pests affecting the growth of kale. There are a number of insects which enjoy kales leaves. You need to watch out for these insects that are out to destroy your plants. Cabbageworms which are velvety green in color can frequently be found chewing holes in the leaves. Another type of insect that are fond of kale leaves are harlequin bugs. These bugs appear colorful with a coating of black and orange and they can be seen on kale plants that are old with age. Outbreaks of cabbage aphids on the other hand are very common. These are grey-green insects which often gather in groups within the kale leaves.
In order to protect you kale plants especially the young seedlings from the devastation of pests is to cover the leaves. You need to use a cover that has lightweight fabric. This cover can be removed in late fall when presence of pests is minimal. You can also use insecticidal soap for minimal pest issues. For the cabbage aphids you can prune and remove leaves that are badly infested.
Kale growing is a straightforward process that requires minimal requirements. When learning how to grow kale, there are things that need to be considered before beginning growing that will ensure maximum growth and a bumper harvest as well. The planting process involves proper timing of the yearly seasons and with the required conditions of maximum sun and rich soil.
Like every other plant, kale experiences the menace of pests and effective measures are needed in order to ensure that they do not bring damage to your plants. This involves pruning or the use of insecticidal soap that will reduce damage through insects. By efficiently following all this steps you can be guaranteed success when starting out as a kale farmer. This can be a wonderful project to begin at your home garden and if you are a food enthusiast, you will find a variety of uses for well-cared kale leaves when experimenting with different recipes in your kitchen. For more growing guide, check out https://gogrowgarden.com.