Kale thrives in cool weather and is very frost tolerant, making it a great veggie for four-season gardens. Most varieties sweeten after a hard frost, so late-season harvests are often most flavorful. It’ a beautiful and nutritious vegetable that can be used in soups or stir-fries. It’s also delicious braised and sautéed.
Size: 10 inches (compact varieties) to 30 or more inches (full-sized varieties)
Sunlight requirements: Full to partial sun
Water requirements: About 1 inch per week
Soil requirements: Well-drained soil, high in organic matter. Excessive nitrogen will cause lanky, thin leaf growth.
When to plant: Direct-seed in early spring (spring and summer harvests) or in early- to mid-July (autumn harvests). Choose varieties with good winter hardiness for autumn harvests.
Where to plant: Garden; containers
When to harvest: 1 to 2 inches long (baby kale); 8 to 15 inches long (full-sized kale). Harvest outer leaves to allow continued inner-leaf development.
Product storage: Store unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.