Common name: Kale / Curly Kale
It is the hardiest of all brassicas, resistant to clubroot and cabbage root fly, and rarely attacked by birds.
Kale is best grown on well-drained, medium or heavy loam, which was well manured for a previous crop.
A plot which has produced early potatoes or peas and has been cleared by planting out time is ideal.
Do not dig the plot, just dress the surface with a general purpose fertilizer, at a rate of 60gm (2oz) per sq.m.
Plants,subject to variety can growup to 600mm (24") spreading upto 900mm (36")
Week 18: Sow seeds outdoors 13mm (½") deep in a seed / nursery bed.
Thin the seedlings as they grow, to give them enough room to form sturdy, healthy young plants.
Alternatively, sow two or three seeds to a 70mm (3") pot and germinate in a cold frame.
Later thin out each pot to leave the strongest growing seedling.
Week 27: Once the plants are about 100-150mm (4""-6") tall, transplant them 600mm (24”) apart each way.
Plant them slightly deeper than they were when in the nursery bed or pot.
Water in dry weather and feed occasionally with liquid fertiliser.
Keep weeds at bay by hoeing between the rows.
If water supply is limited, apply one heavy soaking about 10-20 days before full maturity.
On exposed sites earth up individual plants,or alternatively, tie them into a suitable sized stake.
Pests and diseases:
Being a brassica, they are open to all of the known brassicas pests and diseases, e.g. Club root, Caterpillars, Cabbage root fly.
Prevention is better than cure so vigilance and early treatment can often prevent such problems.
Week 48> Harvest the leaves from the center of the plant first to allow the side-growths to produce tender shoots well into April.
Older leaves tend to be somewhat bitter.