Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

Growing Kale, also Borecole

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
S S T T                

(Best months for growing Kale in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings

  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 20 - 39 inches apart
  • Harvest in 7-9 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, camomile)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chilli, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • A seedling Cavalo Nero
  • Cavalo Nero
  • Scotch kale

Green leafy plant. Kale is a good addition or substitute for cabbage varieties. Cavalo Nero can be grown in slightly smaller spacing.

Very winter hardy. Flavour is improved by frost. Ornamental varieties are colourful, and edible. Rotate with other crops to avoid clubroot infection.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Kale

Strong flavoured and nutritious vegetable.
Wash well and chop finely then steam.
A tomato or cheese sauce will mask the flavour if too strong.

Your comments and tips

08 Apr 19, Martha Wilkins (USA - Zone 13a climate)
I live in Gilbert Arizona, on my East side my planter I just built gets sun till 1:00 then the house shades it. Is it ok for black Kale ... With a shade cloth...
31 Mar 19, Celeste (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I live in the Eastern Cape and find it extremely difficult to get my hands on ornamental kale seeds or seedlings. Please give me advice on hour to procure these. Thank you
07 Mar 18, Lexi (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
I found a company called Cape Kale that produces a dried Kale product. They are organic and it is dried at the correct temperatures. You can find it in most health shops in Cape Town.
18 Jan 18, Orville Roache (Australia - tropical climate)
supermarkets in Jamaica are asking for this a lot. Does anyonee have aJamaican Experience ?
07 Jul 17, Mary (Australia - temperate climate)
Grow as much Tuscan kale as you can and make kale chips. I tear the kale into roughly 2 inch squares, put it into a bowl with olive oil and gently coat them. Then separate them, put them in your dehydrator (I only use an excalibur) and dry them till they are crispy. Lay them flat, salt them with pink himalayan and put them in a bowl on the table..I guarantee they will all be gone in 5 minutes..delicious!
21 Jun 17, Coral (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Just wondering how long a kale plant will live for?
21 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It is a biennial plant - could live for a few years - a good outcome is 3 years. It is a cool weather crop and can handle some frost. Tastes a bit bitter in the summer - drier and warmer. My rule is once a plant has produced a good crop and the quantity and quality has fallen away time to plough out. Put something else in that will produce a good supply.
02 May 17, Alice (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Aphids over wintering on any curly leaved kale. Last year I grew a lot of leafy greens, the kale Nero was a great success, however the others grew really well but were infested with wooly aphids seeking shelter I assume. I'm not into chemical sprays, and getting the spray in all the curly leaves seems too time consuming, I can wash them off but it's almost pointless with the numbers per leaf. Have others found this? What can I try that's not too much of a hassle as I have a young family and don't really want to go out spraying with garlic spray for example after each time it rains.
25 Jan 18, Wihiria Mark (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi, An organic gardener told me that broken egg shells keep any crawly grub away as they do not like the sharp edges of the egg. Good way to use egg shells as well. I found it did work with cabbage, cauliflower, hope this is useful to you as well.
22 May 17, hornz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
try companion planting with spring onions, shallots &/or garlic
Showing 1 - 10 of 157 comments

I live in Gilbert Arizona, on my East side my planter I just built gets sun till 1:00 then the house shades it. Is it ok for black Kale ... With a shade cloth...

- Martha Wilkins

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Buy the app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on GardenGrow. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.