Friday, 14 August 2015

How to grow kale.

How to grow kale
'Cavola Nero' or Black Tuscan kale (from Seeds of Italy)

Rather like a miniature palm in structure with a radiating ruff of dark-green, linear leaves, its common name (palm cabbage) is apt.
The mildly flavoured leaves are delicious eaten steamed or boiled with butter and it can be picked earlier than others - often in early autumn.
Like all brassicas the leaves taste better after a frost.
How to grow kale
All brassicas want to grow for you but kale, like all the others, prefer fertile, well-drained soil.
Seeds can be sown in drills, in modules or in trays in spring - usually late March.
I prefer modules because they make individual plants which are easy to handle and quick to grow away.
Plant out the young plants by mid summer (50 cm/ 20 in apart in rows 75 cm/ 30 in apart) and they should soon become statuesque.
Net them as soon as you’ve planted them to keep away cabbage white and small white butterflies - using 4 ft high canes topped with small pots to support the small gauge netting.
If their leaves touch the net the butterflies still lay their eggs - so aim for a tantalising gap.
If your allotment has heavy soil build a simple raised bed by mounding up the soil to a foot high, or nine inches (20 -30 cm).

49 ways to use mint.

49 ways to use mint (and how to grow it in containers)