Brassica Oleracea Series #4 Kale


Note: This writeup focus on growing behaviours of difference kale cultivars in same settings, compare and contrast the different cultivars. This post is purely based on growers' observations, your results may vary. No part of this can be reused without written permission from the blog writer.

#CurlyKale #LocalKale #TuscanyKale

We have grown kale from both the seeds and from shoots. We have tried difference cultivar of kale over the years too. 

In term of taste, we love the curly kale best, all types of curly kale from various countries and may be called slightly difference names but they all look similar.  The young shoots taste good even when eaten raw as kale salad. We love them stir fry or lightly blanch. Below shows a closed up picture of curly kale.

The local kale and Tuscany or Tuscany-like kale however taste hard to us. They are perfect to make into kale pesto or juice. Super nutritional food. Below is a picture of Tuscany Kale.

Kale is an easy and fuss free crops. You can grow them using seeds or by shoots. They grow equally well using both methods. We personally like to grow by shoots, it is faster and relatively easy. But do so only if the mother plant is not infested by pests which will lead to weak infested seedlings.

The Journey of Growth

#KingsSeedsNZ #KaleSquire # #BanLeeHuat #DwarfGreenKale #TuscanyKale

Above shows the kale seedlings from seeds at 1, 2 and 3 weeks old respectively. They are slow starter and will take about 3-4 weeks to reach its full size, 4 to 5 true leaves. That is before they can be transplanted to the designated planting plot. 

We used kale Squire, Kingseeds from New Zealand. Any other curly kale is fine. We just happened to have this brand on hand. Local brand like Ban Lee Huat is a very reliable brand with a wide selections of Kales seeds too.

To give you a feel of how it is like to grow from seeds and shoots. Above shows a picture of Tuscany kale grown from shoot. By the 4th week, it is already quite big, about 25cm height. Just looking at the size difference already explains why we love growing from shoots over seeds. For a seed-grown kale, it will take easily 3 months to reach this size, sometimes longer.

Kale can be grown in growth bed or in growth bags. Give them at least a space of 20x20cm. To allow them to grow to full size of 1 to 1.5m, do give them a good planting depth of at least 30cm.

Simple growth bag works but do not expect them to grow too big if your bag is less than 20cm diameter. The size of the bag in the picture below is 15x15cm.

If you have limited space, then consider the Dwarf curly kale. They grow up to 2 - 3 feet height maximum and is perfect for small space and apartment growing. A small grow bag of 15x15cm works for this cultivar.  Below shows the pictures of the seed pack and the dwarf kales in growth bags.


Just pluck off the leaves from bottom up. Take care not to hurt the stem. To cook, just remove the hard stem in the center. Eat and cook according to your recipe. 

If you are to blend them, just cut them to smaller size for ease of processing for your blender.

The Challenges


In classic tropical weather where you have hot sun whole year round, kale just grow too fast and the leaves tend to be harder too. Harvest young for better tasting leaves. Restart every 9 to 12 months. Plants tend to age fast.

Kale prefers dry over wet soil. Go easy on watering and keep the stem dry to avoid stem rot. Check regularly for aphids and white flies. Good ventilation will reduce the risk of pests attack.

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