The dark, crinkled leaves of the kale plant are both pretty to gaze upon and tasty to feast upon.
I'm not referring to the ornamental or flowering kale which is grown just for show, but to the culinary kale varieties: the tall, dark--almost black--leaved dinosaur or lacinato kale, the novel treelike walking stick kale, the ruffled blue-green leaves of Siberian kale, the deeply frilled leaf margins and red mid-ribs of red Russian kale, and the often used curly Scotch kale.
The leaves of all of these kale varieties, at different stages of course, are suited to the salad bowl, the soup pot, and the skillet.
Kale plants are ornamental enough to be tucked in amongst the sun loving annuals if you are short on space.
Kale greens mature in 50-65 days from seed or about 40 days after setting out transplants.
You can pick just the outer leaves if you want to keep growing kale over a long season from a single planting. Alternatively, you can pull out the entire plant and start fresh plants later.
The new tender leaves are what you want to add to salads as they will be the mildest.
Growing Kale Through the Winter
Mulch the plants heavily after the first hard frost. Completely bury them in mulch. The leaves will remain green and you can dig them up whenever you want to make
Portuguese kale soup
or some other
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