Growing Guide: Kale

Growing Kale in the Garden

Growing kale in your garden is a smart and affordable way to get this extremely nutritious (and quite pretty) vegetable on your plate. In fact, not to sound alarmist, but if more people knew how to grow kale, I don’t doubt that this audacious cruciferous vegetable could easily convince gardeners (and raw food foodies!) to put a few of their other garden veggies out to pasture.


When to sow indoors6 weeks before last frost
When to sow outdoorsCool climates: late spring/early summer

Warm climates: early spring or late summer/early fall

Warm climates: winter
Seed depth1/2"
Germination soil temperature45° – 95°F
Germination length5 – 7 days
When to transplant4 – 6 weeks
VarietiesStarbor (resists yellowing)

Winterbor (winter variety)

Red Chidori (purple!)

Wild garden mixes (great raw!)
pH range6.0 – 7.5
Soil temperature for growing60° – 65°F
WateringModerate to heavy, then light after first frost.
LightFull sun
Nutrient requirementsN = moderate

P = moderate

K = moderate
Fertilizer scheduleEvery 2 to 3 weeks; use nitrogen fixing cover crops.
When to harvestPreferably after a frost or two

Looking for more information and inspiration?
Check out these tips for growing kale.

Image thanks to deedavee genderebel!

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