Feature Wednesday – Curly Kale

As Kale is one of the favorite leafy greens here at Bain Home Gardens, you had to know several would be on our list! While we love all types, we have found Blue Vates Curly Kale to be the best one for our zone. Why do we plant it year after year?

▪︎ It tastes so good & is versatile in its use – from eating in a salads to eating as pesto or with corn bread!

▪︎It holds up to heat and cold. While the Winter is of course best for these leafy greens, Curly Kale endures heat well too! Admittedly the flavor is far less sweet in the Summer but applying shade cloth keeps the leaves moderately tender. We often use our Summer crop for smoothies or greens powder.

▪︎It grows fast! In the Spring from planting it will be ready for first harvest in about a month and a half. In Fall that jumps to about two and a half months. We always fertilize with blood meal or fish emulsion at planting and quarterly thereafter.

▪︎ It is a cut and come again green. You don’t harvest the entire plant just the leaves, making yield possibilities have high potential! We have had two Curly Kale last 2 years and we harvested the entire time!

Cons…

▪︎ The Curly nature of the leaves makes it difficult to clean. We prefer to plant it in our high tunnel to avoid splashes of dirt collecting from rains.

▪︎Pest control is more difficult because it is very easy for the pests to hide in the crevices created by those curls.

▪︎Every pests seems to love it especially at the young tender stage. We fight hard to get it past this stage (1st 30 days). We utilize organic sprays and mosquito netting to accomplish this.

There you have it! I know most of you already have Curly Kale planted in your gardens. If not, it’s not too late! The growth maybe really slow this time of year but come Spring your Curly Kale will blow up in all is Curly kaleness! What do say? Will you grow Curly Kale with us?