How to plant kale Tips

How to plant kale

Cabbages are plants of the same species as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. 

Cabbages do not form compact heads of leaves like cabbages, but free leaves. There are cultivars with leaves of different shapes and colors, which can be curly or smooth, wide or narrow, dark green, light green, purple, pink, white, or whitish. Some cabbage cultivars, known as ornamental cabbages or ornamental cabbages, are very popular as garden plants and table decorations, due to the colors and patterns of their leaves. Some other types of cabbage that are cultivated for human or animal consumption are the collard greens or collard greens, the collard greens or Portuguese cabbages, the curly cabbages, the forage cabbages, and the palm cabbages.

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Cabbage leaves are usually eaten cooked or sautéed, but they can also be eaten raw, especially if they are the youngest leaves, although some people find raw leaves indigestible. The leaves are very nutritious and contain glucosinolates that are converted to sulforaphane when cut or chopped, this being a substance that can prevent the emergence of cancers.


Climate


Cabbage is a vegetable that grows best in mild or cold weather, and some cultivars can survive even when the temperature reaches -10°C if the plants are already well-developed. Some kale cultivars tolerate high temperatures, but kale is typically grown during fall and winter in warmer climates. During periods of heat, cabbage reduces its growth and the quality of the leaves produced is worse, both in size and appearance, as well as in flavor. In regions with a mild climate, kale can be grown all year round, although they are not sown during the winter in places where it is severe.


brightness

Grow in bright, direct sun conditions. In the hottest seasons of the year, providing partial shade during the hottest hours of the day can be beneficial to the plants. Ground: The soil must retain moisture well but must be well-drained, fertile, with good nitrogen availability, and rich in organic matter. Soil pH should be between 6 and 7.5. Irrigation: The soil must always be kept moist, but not soaked, as this could damage the roots and favor the emergence of diseases.


Planting

Planting can be done through seeds and some cultivars can also be propagated by cuttings taken from adult plants. These shoots arise from axillary buds on the main stem, and should preferably be removed from the base of the plant, already approximately 20 cm long or more. The cabbage side shoots roots easily in moist soil.

The seeds can be sown directly in the garden or they can be sown in seedbeds and other containers, with the seedlings being transplanted when they have 4 to 6 true leaves and are at least 10 cm tall. Transplanting the seedlings should preferably be done on cloudy and rainy days or at the end of the afternoon, irrigating immediately afterward. Sow the seeds approximately 1 cm deep. Germination normally occurs within a week or two.

Optimal spacing may vary with cultivar and growing conditions, but generally, a spacing of 50 cm to 1 m between rows and 25 to 50 cm between plants is adequate. Within certain limits, the greater the spacing, the larger the plants and the larger their leaves. Kale can also be grown in pots that are a minimum of 25 cm in diameter and height.


Cultivation


Remove invasive weeds that are competing for resources and nutrients. Sometimes, depending on the cultivar, the plant can get very tall. In this case, the end of the main stem can be cut to favor the development of lateral shoots and thus keep the plant at a height considered comfortable for handling and harvesting. On the other hand, excluding or limiting the number of side shoots can encourage leaf growth on the main stem.


Harvest


Harvesting of cabbage leaves usually begins 10 to 16 weeks after planting. Younger plants can have their leaves picked, but this can stunt plant growth. Avoid picking the leaves during the hottest part of the day and leave at least the 5 youngest leaves on the stem. It is believed that leaves harvested after a frost has occurred have better taste. Under the right conditions, kale can produce for a few years without the need for replanting.

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