Kale is one of the most talked about functional food, and rightfully so. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In cooking, it is a versatile leafy green that adds flavor and texture to salads, stews, soups, and sautés.  Kale is also easy to grow, and its a cut and come again type of crop. To learn how to grow kale, scroll down below.

Lacinato Kale

grow kaleThis growing guide is specific to lacinato kale. This cultivar has thick crinkled leaves with deep blue-green pigment, and it’s sometimes referred to as “dinosaur kale”. Lacinato kale is slightly sweet with a full flavor that is not too overbearing. Lacinato kale is perfect for all climate zones and it can tolerate the cold and heat. If you’re planning to grow during the fall, this is a perfect edible plant for your garden.

In-Ground Garden Growing Guide

grow kale

Lacinato Kale prefers a well-drained soil and full sun. Seeds should be planted 1/2 inch deep in an evenly moist soil for proper germination. Plant each seed 2 inches apart in rows 12-18 inches apart.

Indoor Growing Guide

It’s best to start seeds in-ground to skip the hassle of transplanting. However, if the ground is frozen, you can start indoors. Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart in a container (pots or trays) with a seed starting soil mix. I prefer growing in trays with individual cells to prevent roots from intermingling. When seedlings reach 3-4 inches tall, get ready to transplant.

Each plant should be spaced 10-12 inches apart for better yield. Thoroughly water seedlings, then loosen the roots before transplanting in the ground to avoid rootbound plants. Moreover, transplants tend to lose moisture faster, so regularly check moisture level until plants are fully established.

Growing Tips

Kale produces the best color, flavor, and sweetness when planted in cooler temperatures. Sow seeds in early spring for a summer crop, and in late summer for fall/winter crop.

Harvest and Use

Start harvesting as soon 6-8 leaves emerge, and you can continue harvesting as long as plants regenerate new foliage. Chop leaves and add to salad, or winters soups, stews, and sautés.