March 30, 2017
My winter garden kale is nearing the end of its run. I’ve pulled a few plants overrun with aphids. But gardeners in cold winter areas may be planting kale seeds or transplants soon.
I’ve planted these varieties of kale and more over the years. Here are some images.
Love the look of Red Winter kale with the magenta veining.
Lacinato or Tuscan leaf kale is my current favorite to grow and eat.
Tuscan Baby Leaf Kale, an heirloom Italian selection from Renee’s Garden is perfect for containers. I usually plant this in addition to the Lacinato in the ground. The baby leaves are very tender and perfect for salads.
But kale does have its pests and aphids are the late winter nemesis of my plants. Barbara Pleasant at GrowVeg gives gardeners the scoop on 3 Common Kale Pests and How to Manage Them. Here’s the start of her piece.
Growing kale is one of the pleasures of spring vegetable gardening. The sturdy seedlings survive sudden cold spells when given modest protection, so you can get an early start and start harvesting nutritious leaves by the time it’s warm enough to transplant tomatoes. Stately kale plants are pretty, too, so they are a great vegetable to mix with pansies, calendulas or other cool-season flowers as shown in this Garden Planner planting plan for spring kale.
But even easy-to-grow kale has its fair share of insect pests, and because they are so small and furtive, kale pests have special talents for launching sneak attacks. Here I will discuss the three most common kale pests in seasonal order, with links to more information at The Big Bug Hunt, where you can report your sightings. Read more
Give kale a try in the garden or in a container. It even mixes with annual or perennial flowers.