Growing Kale at the Allotment

Growing Kale at the Allotment

Kale; also known as Borecole is easier to grow than other brassicas and can withstand cold weather and a less rich soil; classed as a super-food, kale has become increasingly popular and comes in a flat leaf or curly leafed type with a few different varieties.

Kale is preferably sown directly in position; particularly flat-leafed varieties, as they do not like being transported, however curly leafed varieties can start in pots. Kale can grow quite big and can potentially take up a fair bit of space.

Kale is a fairly low maintenance crop; it can be sown in light shade. Sow your kale from March - June. 

Sow the kale seeds approximately half a metre apart and about 1cm deep. You will ideally protect the kale against slugs and keep the soil weed-free until the plant becomes established and will shadow and prevent any weed growth. Water during dry spells.

You can plant out pots of curly leafed kale once they are big enough and you can thin out as necessary. Young leaves can be used in salads.

From later in autumn throughout the winter into early the following spring, you will be able to harvest the leaves. Pick young leaves from the crown first to encourage side shoots. Larger, more mature leaves can be bitter in taste.

Crispy Kale is a favourite healthy snack, and we have a recipe here.

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Growing Kale in Summary

Sowing Kale

  • Sow directly from March
  • Curly leafed kale can be sown in pots
  • Sow in light shade

Growing Kale

  • Water during dry spells
  • Protect against slugs
  • Weed using a hoe around younger plants

Harvesting Kale

  • Pick leaves from November to early next spring
  • Pick young leaves from the crown first
  • Young leaves can be used in salads