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Curly Kale

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This pretty blue-green hybrid kale is easy to grow and will keep you supplied for months. Vigorous producer, with leaves growing lushly on compact plants. Cut outer leaves so that center can continue growing. Light frost makes the leaves taste sweeter.

  • Light Full sun to part shade
  • Leaf size 12 to 24 inches
  • Matures 45+ days after planting
  • Plant spacing 12 inches apart
  • Plant size 1 foot wide, 1 to 2 feet tall

Light requirements Full sun is ideal, but plants yield in part shade. Protect plants from strong afternoon sun in warmest regions.

Planting Space 12 to 24 inches apart, depending on type. (Read the stick tag that comes with the plant for specific spacing recommendations.)

Soil requirements These greens need moist, nutrient-rich soil. Amend soil with 4 to 6 inches of compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Soil pH should be 6.5 to 6.8.

Water requirements Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Aim for 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week through rainfall or irrigation. Mulch soil to reduce water evaporation and keep leaves clean from splashing soil.

Frost-fighting plan Established plants tolerate hard frosts (temperatures below 28ยบ F) and produce new leaves all winter long in zones 7 to 10. Frost-kissed leaves boast sweeter flavor. Protect newly planted seedlings from late spring or early fall frosts by covering plants with a frost blanket.

Common issues Watch out for cabbageworms, harlequin bugs, slugs, grasshoppers, and cabbage aphids. Kale is a cole crop, so clubroot can attack plants. Kale can be slow to take off in the garden. Spring plantings may linger until soil warms; fall crops can stall a bit with warm air.

Harvesting Harvest leaves when they are up to 10 inches long. Younger, shorter leaves have the mildest flavor. Pick lower leaves first, and the plant will continue to produce new upper leaves.

Storage Refrigerate unwashed leaves in a lightly damp paper towel slipped into a very loosely closed plastic bag and store up to 5 days.


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