Growing Your Own Kale in the Garden


Kale is a vegetable that is up and coming in American society, both in restaurants and in the home kitchen. My favorite way to prepare it involves flash grilling over my fire pit and a homemade Caesar dressing, but the options are limitless.

Many people think that Kale is best grown in cooler areas, and while this is sometimes true, it is in fact a crop that can grow across a wide range of locations in virtually all seasons. Whether you’re planting from seeds or pre-grown starts, this veggie isn’t hard to grow and provides plenty of nutrition to make the process worth your time.

While you as the grower can decide how technical you want to get when growing kale, there are some basics below in case you’ve never grown anything similar. While the duration of seed to harvest will be determined by a number of factors, here are some tips to get you from start to finish.

1. Preparing the right soil

Kale grows best in moist but not damp soil, with mid-level pH and not too firm structure. The plant likes the ability to have space within the ground, but not too much. This veggie will grow in a plethora of soil conditions, but can become increasingly bitter if placed in compromising conditions.

Take home: Find a good soil and keep it moist. If it’s too acidic, add some wood ash or some other natural substance to neutralize it. You’ll be good to go!

2. Determine ideal positioning in garden by season

While kale can grow across seasons, it’s beneficial for you to consider the position of your planting with relation to the weather. If it’s the middle of summer, find a spot where a certain amount of shade will be offered on a given day. If it’s fall, aim for a spot that will receive constant sunlight. Balance is key for kale!

Take home: Kale grows much more efficiently and becomes more delicious with proper positioning. While avoiding over analyzing the situation, use good judgment and plant it where you think it has the best chance at growth.

3. Focus on keeping the soil moist

Kale really flourishes with moist soil, and it’s imperative that you keep it satisfied. If not, the leaves can become brittle and bitter to the taste. When then plant is just under a foot high, you can begin cutting the leaves off, but be sure to maintain watering all the way through the journey.

Take home: Most plants thrive with moisture. Kale is no different. While this vegetable can and will grow in a variety of situations with a wide range of unique methods, for optimum results, moisture is your ticket to sweet kale.

Regardless of whether you’re aiming to make bulk amounts of kale Caesar salad like me, or simply want to grow a nice veggie for your early fall family reunion, kale is a forgiving plant that will be sure to please the crowds.

Mackenzie Kupfer is a writer and gardener. She’s been growing tasty treats like kale in her yard for many years and likes to spread the wealth of her ventures by sharing wisdom online and veggie dishes at home.

One Response to “Growing Your Own Kale in the Garden”

  1. Spadeforkspoon Says:

    Kale is a great ingredient. I’ve got a load growing at the plot and use it a lot. It’s super in soups like this Caldo Verde

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