Plant Seeds or Transplants
Mulch, Feed, and Water
Harvest Your Kale
To add some variety and attractive foliage to your flower beds, consider kale. It's a type of cabbage, but instead of forming a head, it produces curly or ruffled leaves of green, blue-green, or burgundy that contrast beautifully with annuals or perennials. All forms of kale are edible, although the ornamental kales may be less tasty. They all taste best when they're able to mature in cool weather.
Plant in well-drained soil amended with organic matter, such as Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil. A month before your last frost date in spring and 6 weeks before your first frost date in fall, sow kale seeds 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart or transplant seedlings 6 inches apart in rows 2-3 feet apart. Gradually thin the seedlings to a foot apart.
When seedlings are 4 inches tall, feed them with a high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food, such as Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food. Keep the soil consistently moist. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch, Such as Scotts® NatureScapes® Color Enhanced Mulch, around the plants will conserve moisture, keep the soil cool, and prevent weed growth.
Kale leaves are ready to pick 55-75 days from seeding. The central rosette is the tastiest part of the plant, but let it grow if you want the plant to produce more leaves.
Tender young kale leaves are good in salads. Chewier older leaves are best steamed, sautéed, or cooked like cabbage. Remove the middle rib from the leaves first. You can store the fresh leaves in the refrigerator for up to a week before using them.