in today’s episode we look at growing kale a cool season crop that a member of the cabbage family and a healthy leafy green vegetable to grow in your garden now although you can direct sow kale seeds i recommend that you start your seeds indoors or in these seed starting kits the variety of kale that i’m going to show you here is called the dwarf blue variety of kale which is a popular variety And I’ll also show you some of the other varieties that are available in places like southern california you can plant kale pretty much around the year but kale in general is a cool season crop so it’s best if you plant them in early spring or fall if you plant them and spring you can harvest all through spring and summer and if you plant them in the fall you can harvest them right thru fall and even in winter now we sowed our seeds in this seed starting kit here it’s these six cells we sowed about two seeds in each cell and the mix that were using here for the seed starter is a mix of peat moss, perlite and worm castings now you can use coconut coir if you have it instead of peat moss but in general this is a good seed starting mix now in just a few weeks about four to five weeks you will see that the plants have germinated the seeds have germinated and the plants have now come up and at this stage you can start transplanting them I’m going to be transplanting these kale seedlings into this whiskey barrel container you can grow a lot of these kale plants in this whisky barrel container and I’ve grown kale in whiskey barrel containers in other regular containers as well as in raised beds and it grows very well no matter where you grow it kale is an excellent plant to grow in the home garden because there are very few problems with growing kale and as you’ll see it produces an abundant harvest [music] and as far as watering kale goes you need to water it well during planting and then depending on the temperatures in your area you can follow a watering schedule for your kale plants now here you can see that we’re growing this kale plant in a smaller container and it grows perfectly well for a container of size of about five gallons you can grow one kale plant as you can see here it grows very well so I know a lot of folks just use five-gallon containers and grow one kale plant in each one of them and that’s a very good approach to growing kale it will give you an abundant harvest now although kale can be grown in full sun it will also grow very well and partial sun now when we talk about partial sun it’s important to remember that it still needs about four hours of sunlight every day and less than four hours of sunlight you might still be able to get through by growing the plant but the yield would not be that good there are mainly two types of insects that I’ve seen on kale the first one is what you see here the caterpillar or the looper worm and this will chew away at your kale leaves so what I do is I just shake the plant rigorously just like that and any caterpillars that are there on the plants are going to fall down and you can pick them up and you can even hand-pick those caterpillars they’re easy to hand pick since they’re pretty big I’ve also seen aphids on the kale plant now if aphids generally show up later in the season when it starts getting warmer like late spring or early summer you can see if aphids and what I usually do is if I get aphids I just wash the plant with a water hose I just wash it down all the aphids go away and then I just remove the leaves that I don’t need now let’s take a look at the types of kale that we have curly kale is the most common kale variety the dwarf Siberian and the dwarf blue are common curly kale varieties and then we have the lacinto kale which i will be showing you in today’s video the red Russian and redbor kale are another two varieties of kale that you might find in your grocery store i have not grown these two kale varieties but we’ll be doing so soon in the future so what you’re seeing here is the curly kale variety so the common varieties are the dwarf blue or the dwarf Siberian kale an excellent variety to grow very delicious as well and this is the lacinto kale as you can see here the leaves look very different they are a dark green and they are flatter compared to the curly kale variety and here you can see that once the kale plant grows pretty large you can get an abundant harvest from just a few kale plants now you don’t need a lot of kale leaves
unless you’re eating it every day but still the kale plant does produce a lot of leaves so let’s look at our harvest here here we are harvesting the curly kale this is the dwarf Siberian or the dwarf blue variety they are very similar varieties great kale variety to grow now when you’re growing kale you want to make sure that you do not harvest from the top part of the plant you want the top part of the plant to grow larger and not branch out so unlike most other vegetables that you harvest you want your kale to grow in a straight line producing leaves all around it and here is the lacinto kale being harvested dark green leaves flatter leaves delicious varieties now when you’re growing organically at home you might see a few holes in your leaves here and there don’t worry too much about it just use the leaves that look good to you and as long as you’re handpicking your insects and watching your plants on a regular basis you should be able to grow very good healthy kale leaves in your garden without a lot of insect damage now since kale is a leafy green you need a fertilizer which is high in nitrogen can use liquid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen all-purpose fertilizers or any fertilizer that high in nitrogen if you’re using organic fertilizers just make sure you work it into the soil at least four to six months before planting and that will give you the best kale that you’ve ever grown so there we have it folks that was our episode on growing kale I hope I’ve answered most of your questions for growing kale if you have any more questions do put them in the comment box below and let us know your experiences of growing kale we’ll you again soon happy gardening