By Kathee Mierzejewski
When you have a vegetable garden, you should consider planting kale. Kale is very rich in iron and other nutrients like Vitamins A and C. When it comes to healthy eating, kale should definitely be included in your diet.
Kale plants are extremely robust and hardy. They can adapt to many different situations and will grow in the winter. Growing kale can be done in all types of soil although they prefer sunny, well-drained areas.
How to Grow Kale
Although kale is quite versatile, there is a proper way for planting kale. Kale prefers well-drained soil in sunny locations. This means you should choose your garden area wisely. Kale grows best when you plant it after the soil reaches a temperature of 60 to 65 degrees F. However, hot weather can turn it bitter, so you may want to mulch the ground to protect from too much heat and to keep down weeds.
When you decide you are planting kale, you need to start the plants indoors if it is early in the season. Growing kale isn’t too demanding of a job. Simply cover the kale seeds with half an inch of soil and keep it moist to germinate. They do best this way. After all chance of frost has passed, you can transplant the seedlings into the ground outdoors.
If it happens to be late summer or even early fall, you can direct seed kale plants outdoors. Cover the seeds, once again, with half an inch of soil. Do not cultivate around the seed area until the seedlings start showing. Then, only cultivate when necessary as you do not want to disturb the plants.
Keep the ground well watered and as your kale grows, cultivate the soil shallowly around the plants so as not to destroy any roots. Remove any weeds you see starting to grow around your kale plants.
Growing kale is pretty simple. They only take about two months to mature. Since they take so little time, you can start a couple of batches early, a couple more later in the summer and a couple in the fall. This gives you fresh kale plants to pick from for about six months or so.
When it comes to picking kale, simply harvest the young leaves from the bottom of the plant up. Being able to pick kale all season long is definitely a plus to growing this hardy vegetable.