Not too long ago Kale, or Borecole, was considered only fit for feeding to cattle but recently its popularity has grown so that it has now reached the dizzy heights of being classed as a superfood.
High in vitamins A, B and C plus iron, copper, manganese and calcium, Kale is also equal to Broccoli in terms of antioxidants.
On top of being such a healthy food, available at a time when the veg patch is looking bare, Kale is also very tough and easy to grow. Kale likes a fertile soil and doesn’t mind if it is acid or alkaline as long as it is well-drained. Plant in rows about 23cm apart with spacing of 45cm between plants and water well.
Tolerant of club-root and cabbage root fly Kale will succeed where other brassicas fail. It’s also very hardy and will cope well with frosts. In fact, as with some other brassicas, frost will actually improve the flavour by reducing the bitterness and increasing the sweetness.
So, where’s the catch? There really isn’t one. Even if you don’t have a designated veg patch most Kale plants are attractive enough to be grown amongst your flowers and some dwarf varieties can be grown in containers.
Once harvested kale can be eaten in many ways. Young leaves can be enjoyed raw in salads and treated as a cut-and-come again crop whereas older leaves are perfect for soups, stews and stir-fries. Chop the leaves up small and stir them through creamy mashed potato or better still turn Kale leaves into chips by tossing them in seasoned oil and then baking them in the oven!
If you’re now tempted to invest in some Kale plants then how about the Dobies Kale Mixed Collection? This collection will provide nutritious tasty meals from late autumn through winter and includes 7 plants of each of the following varieties:
Nero de Toscana has attractive, strap-like, dark green leaves. So dark it is sometimes referred to as the Black Tuscan. Pick the delicious leaves from the outside in the prevent damaging the growing plant and if it bolts you’ll find the flower shoots are pretty tasty too!
Red Russian originated in Siberia and has red veining running through attractive frilly blue/green leaves. This red veining deepens as the weather gets colder. More tender and sweet than some other varieties Red Russian is perfect for eating as a young salad leaf.
Green Curled Afro is a compact variety with tightly curled dark green leaves and small enough to grow in containers. Possibly the sweetest and least bitter of all the kale varieties.
Available to order now the Kale Mixed Collection plants will be delivered to your door in late September/October.