Growing Kale, also Borecole

Brassica oleracea sp. : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    T T T              
    P P P              

(Best months for growing Kale in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 8°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 50 - 100 cm apart
  • Harvest in 7-10 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, camomile)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chilli, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • Cavolo Nero kale (CC BY 2.0 licenced Dwight Sipler (flickr))
  • A seedling Cavalo Nero
  • Scotch kale

Green leafy plant. Kale is a good addition or substitute for cabbage varieties. Cavalo Nero can be grown in slightly smaller spacing.

Very winter hardy. Flavour is improved by frost. Ornamental varieties are colourful, and edible. Rotate with other crops to avoid clubroot infection.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Kale

Strong flavoured and nutritious vegetable.
Wash well and chop finely then steam.
A tomato or cheese sauce will mask the flavour if too strong.

Your comments and tips

25 Dec 07, jacki (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Even though I currently reside in Brisbane, I would like to know where I can purchase some kale seeds for planting. The temps here may not be cold enough for kale, but I would like to give it a go because it is such a nutritious vegetable. Thanks Jacki
01 Feb 08, John (Unknown climate)
Jacki, I have bought Kale seeds from
06 May 08, carolyn (Australia - temperate climate)
Can I plant Kale seeds now (and thru June) in a little hot house?
29 May 08, anne-maree etem (Unknown climate)
I would like to grow some lacinato kale,not sure where to find the seeds or seedlings.I live in Maroubra,NSW
06 Jun 08, Jodie Cowan (Unknown climate)
I have purchased Kale (Red Russian) online from Rangeview Seeds from Redcliffe North QLD. Great seeds, great I live in Newcastle NSW.
30 Jun 08, Sandra Murray (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Cooking show on ABC presenter used kale in a recipe may be available online. Pete the gardener reckons its the main reason he is so healthy and he is going on 80plus.
19 Jul 08, Ros (Australia - temperate climate)
Kale is great!! I live on a mountain nortwest of Berry on the South Coast of NSWand my husband has been growing Kale for a few years now. It is so versatile. I cook it in stir-frys, mix it in mashed potato with a small finely chopped onion, mix it in white sauce and melted cheese on top. etc. etc. The plants last for ages and we harvest from the ouside of the plants. Maybe we are just in the right place but it grows very well and there are so many varieties my favourite is the very curly leaf variety.
26 Jul 08, farmer john (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
My wife grows Kale as well here in the Southwestof WA and recently bought some several varieties of Kale from EDEN SEEDS . THought that might help
02 Jan 13, Jeanette (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi i am in Margaret River wa and would like to know if you have tried the ornamental mauve one
17 Aug 08, Maureen (Australia - temperate climate)
Where can I buy Kale seeds, which the portuguese use in making "Caldo Verde"
Showing 1 - 10 of 174 comments

If you are planting now, end of Aug or early Sept. Full sun is great in 7b

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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