Growing Kale, also Borecole

Brassica oleracea sp. : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

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 7-10 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
  • Cavolo Nero kale (CC BY 2.0 licenced Dwight Sipler (flickr))
  • 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

02 May 22, HappyEgg (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
My tatsoi, cabbage and lollo rosso seeds have all failed to germinate. Planted in trays in a cloche inside a polytunnel. What am I doing wrong? Help please!
08 Apr 22, Simphiwe Gcumisa (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Which provinces produce or plant kale chomoulier in South Africa?
13 Apr 22, Anonymous (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Ring your agricultural dept.
26 Mar 22, Frank Williams (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Eating Kale flowers I had a period where there was not much to eat out of the garden and everything was going to seed, especially the Kale. So time to get creative... what I learnt was that the Kale flower stems, before the flowers emerge, make an excellent dish. Colourful, tasty and with such a nice texture on your plate. They are also good after the flowers emerge, but the early flower stems are best. Try it, I think you'll agree...
14 Feb 22, Ethan (Australia - temperate climate)
amazing details and much better than the other website I was on
11 Apr 20, Daniel Saitta (USA - Zone 7b climate)
best kale, potato ,tomato ( sandwich or salad ) ,squash -summer and winter ,corn for grain mill and sweet corn.I know there are many types but which is the most common heirloom ordered . Thank you
15 Dec 19, Sandy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I am new at growing veggies. What are other veggies compatible to plant with?
17 Dec 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
If you know which vegetable you want to grow, find its information via the Vegetables and Herbs tab. Make sure the top scroll bar is set to your climate zone and read the information below. Most plants have Compatible or Avoid lists.
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
Showing 1 - 10 of 167 comments

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.

- Lexi

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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.
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