Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow under glass
Sow outside
Plant outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type Fertile, Firm and Well Drained
  • Ideal Ph range 6.0 to 7.5
  • Site Full Sun
Kale is a Brassica so try to avoid planting where Brassicas have been grown in the previous 2 years. Try to pick a sunny spot, though kale will tolerate a little shade.

Make sure your soil is fertile and has plenty of moisture retaining organic matter, dig in some well rotted manure or compost several months before sowing and planting.

Note if your soil is acidic kale will benefit from digging in a little lime. Apply some general purpose fertilizer a week before sowing or planting.

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 5 to 7 days
  • Sow 10mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 25mm
  • Rows 500mm apart
Kale seed will germinate in relatively cold soil temperatures. Direct seed or sow in cells or small pots and transplant when plants have 4 or 5 true leaves

Growing a bumper crop

Water well throughout the season, trying to keep an even level of moisture in the soil. Kale will benefit from a nitrogen based fertilizer to encourage the growth of the edible foliage.

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 450g per plant
Harvest young leaves to use fresh in salads and larger leaves for cooked greens. Harvest from the outside inwards, giving the centre of the plant the chance to continue growing.

Kale will produce leaves for harvest for a long period and is considered a cut and come again crop. If you live in a part of the world where frosts occur, kale will not only survive but the flavour of kale is actually enhanced by frost.

If you need to store picked kale, place it in the refrigerator and keep it moist but not sealed. It can retain it’s crispness this way for a week or two.

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