Kale Plant Guide: How To Grow Kale, Planting Tips, Benefits Gardening Kale

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | April 2, 2024

Man drinking a kale smoothie looks at a kale plant after learning about types of kale to grow, dietary benefits of kale, how to identify and plant kale at home, and container garden care tips for growing kale.

There are few foods in the United States, or even the entire world for that matter, that is as super as the Kale plant.

It is a true superfood thanks to its green or purple leaves that have so many vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and dietary fibers in every leafy bite.

As more and more people become health-conscious, Kale plant has become the new staple must-have vegetable since its beneficial properties were uncovered over the last few years.

This comprehensive guide explains all about the benefits of Kale, as well as how to grow it yourself, even if you live in a small apartment or other rental residence, because you can use containers for growing it. It also outlines some of the most common and popular varieties of Kale and how to ensure your kale plants remain strong and grow beautifully for a deliciously healthy harvest.


(Brassica oleracea)

Photo of Kale Plant in an oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Genus: Brassica
  • Leaf: The leaves are bushy, green, or purple and are very edible
  • Seed: Small black seeds that are just as edible as the leaves
  • Blossoms: The flowers bloom in the spring
  • Native Habitat: Prefers soil that is well-draining, moist, and loamy
  • Height: Between 1 to 2 feet tall
  • Type: Kale can be an annual and a biennial
  • Native Growing Zone: The plant is native to Europe and in the United States grows in USDA Hardiness zones 7 to 9

Image Credit: Christiane (Oldiefan)35

Kale Origin: Kale Plant Growing Zone

Kale is a member of the same cabbage family as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts, but currently outshines them all in the popularity stakes.

Its fame has been steadily growing for some time now over the last 5 or 6 years from plates in Europe to smoothies in the U.S. Although new to millions of Americans, Kale has been a favorite food source in other parts of the world for over 2,000 years.

Like other members of the brassica family, it evolved from the wild cabbage plants that thrived in the coastal regions of the northern Mediterranean with its native origins hailing from Asia and Southeast Europe.

The Kale plant has become a prominent crop in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the length and breadth of the United States of America where it grows prolifically in soils where the temperature range is between 60-65 degrees, moist, has a high organic matter content and is well-draining.

Planting in any location where the plants will be overshadowed by taller plants or trees should be avoided as Kale requires full sun, 6 to 8 hours a day, yet occasionally partial shade or partial sun is recommended, so think before you plant.25

How To Identify: What Does Kale Look Like?

While most types of Kale are annuals, there are a few that may be cultivated year after year and it is the most closely related to its original wild cabbage ancestors of all the different types of brassicas from way back when.

Selective breeding efforts that began approximately 600 BCE have engineered a better plant where the leaves are bigger and have a more pleasant flavor profile than its wild progenitors.

Kale Leaves

The leaves, which might be green or red and curly, are what people grow Kale for. And even though they are not particularly packed with mouthwatering flavors, for the body conscious they are very body beneficial as they are an excellent addition to a calorie-controlled diet.

The ruffled edges on the leaves were one of the reasons that they were initially used just as garnishes for decoration in many restaurants before their beneficial properties became widely known and coveted.

Now it is a part of the main meal rather than just a component pushed to one side.

Kale Flower

The Kale plant is a biennial and in its second year produces tiny, four-petaled yellow flowers that are adored by pollinators. They are just as edible as the leaves which, by the way, have a slightly nutty and earthy flavor when cooked, but they can also be eaten raw.

Even before blossoming, the little green buds of the florets can be picked and eaten, and some say that they are even sweeter at this stage before the flowers open. Now, even though they are not the main focus point of the Kale plant, they are a delicacy that should be taken advantage of if you’re growing Kale in your backyard.

Kale Seeds

Just like other parts of the plant, the seeds can be consumed raw, are similarly packed with nutrients, and are actually quite delicious.

Due to their small size, they are generally sprinkled into soups or salads, but they can also be fried or steamed. In other words, they are very versatile for use around the kitchen.

Is Kale a Vegetable or a Cabbage?

Kale is a very versatile plant from the Brassicaceae family that has over 900 species, an incredibly large family that includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, turnip, bok choy, and even rocket salad, to name just a few.1

Now, even though Kale is a part of the cabbage family, it is not a cabbage because of the lack of the central white head that characterizes a typical cabbage.

Photo of a massive plantation of Kale.

(Image: JoachimKohler-HB32)

Saying that it is probably more closely linked to wild cabbage than other common types, but it’s still not classed as a cabbage despite similarities.

When To Plant Kale

One of the many benefits of Kale is that it can be planted as early as March before the last of the frost has melted away. As long as they are protected from harsh winds by a windbreak, they will happily continue to develop gradually as the temperature rises.

If you’re in a planting zone where the cold is not in the low teens, you’ll be able to lay down some Kale roots in the fall.

Kale Plant Growth Rate

So how long does it take for Kale to grow?

If you have planted your Kale from seed you can expect to wait over 3 months for the plant to mature but it’s important to remember that Kale has numerous different growth stages that must be understood before you can start harvesting.

For starters, despite its winter resilience, Kale seeds still require soil temperatures of about 75°F to encourage germination.

Once that has occurred, the plant can then tolerate cooler soils and within 2-3 weeks will be noticeable above the soil level and will continue to mature over the next few months.

11 Types of Green and Purple Kales

When you think of a Kale plant, thoughts of either light green or dark green leaves spring to mind.

It may surprise you to know that out of the 150 known and recognized varieties, there are quite a few types with red, pink, or purple, all of which make outstanding ornamental plants in their own right.

Graphic of types of Kale plants showing Dwarf Green kale, Common Curly kale, Nero di Toscana, Pentland Brigg, Dazzling, and Blue Lacinato images in circle frames.

Some of this outstanding foliage displays broad and deeply curved leaves on short and stumpy plants that are no taller than a few inches, while other varieties have long and narrow leaves on 1.2 m tall statuesque specimens.

The majority of Kale cultivars planted now are classified as biennials because they produce leaves in the first year and bloom with tiny yellow florets in the second. There are still, however, certain heritage perennial Kale cultivars that have been around for a long time and will grow year after year.

1. Dwarf Green Kale

This hardy Kale has tightly curled leaves that grow nice and compact, making it an ideal choice for growing in pots. This variety’s deep green leaf color and frilled margins, combined with a succulent delicate flavor, make it an appealing Kale to produce for culinary delights.

Close up photo of a leaf of dwarf green kale with droplets of water on its surface.

(Image: Matt Bango26)

It is so hardy that it can withstand winter frosts when no other brassica can so can be cultivated in wider planting zones, and barely grows to a height of more than 40cm, making it ideal for windy areas or growing in pots.

In fact, in some areas where the weather is unpredictable or not conducive to some crops, many keen gardeners refuse to be sidelined and have adjusted to growing predominantly in planters, in essence turning their backyards into container gardens that are growing, so to speak, in popularity.2

Close up photo of the Common Curly Kale plant.

(Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture27)

2. Common Curly Kale

When you pop down to the local store, this is more than likely the type that will be on offer. It features dark green leaves with curling edges and very tough stems (which are usually removed because of their bitterness) and has a sharp, peppery flavor when cooked and eaten.

If you do plan on eating it raw, as in a salad, you should massage it with some citrus or acidic material to soften it., Like most other types of Kale, it is extremely adaptable and can be steamed, cooked, or roasted for making Kale chips because this variety is less crinkly than other Kale and its curly edges turn nice and crispy in the oven.

3. Nero di Toscana

This is no doubt the king of Kales as it towers 4 feet above the rest.

It hails from Tuscany in Italy where it has been a prime ingredient in the local cuisine and grows long, wrinkly dark green leaves that are themselves over a foot long.

Blurred and close up photo of the nero di toscana kale plant.

(Image: Foodforestation28)

Apart from being adored in the famous bean stew in this region, the leaves are not only typically steamed or stir-fried, but also coated with olive oil, salt, and lemon juice and served as a salad.

4. Pentland Brigg

Hybridized from the Dwarf Green Kale and the Thousand Headed Kale, the Pentland Brigg has turned out to be a fabulous offspring that can shoulder cold temperatures well on its ruffled leaves that curl inwards. Yet the leaves are not the only feast to be had.

In the spring, numerous flower shoots appear which are extremely sweet and tasty, so tasty that the flowers are very rarely given any time to blossom before they are plucked and eaten as a delicious treat.

5. Dazzling Blue Lacinato

Bred in Oregon, in the United States, this beautiful Cavolo Nero Kale has stunning blue and green leaves and outstanding pink midribs. It is a hybrid of ‘Lacinato rainbow’ with ‘Lacinato’, and the results produced leaves of blue-green with a shock of purple stems running up the centers.

If you suffer under cold winters, you’ll be happy to hear that this hybrid is cold-hardy, tender, flavorful, and ideal for sautéing, steaming, or finely chopped in a fresh salad.

Photo of the leaves of Red Russian Kale plant.

(Image: Idéalités29)

6. Red Russian

This Kale is robust, cold tolerant, and versatile, and gets its name from the flat, tooth-shaped leaves that are blue-green and have red/purple stems and veins.

It grows to nearly 3 feet in height and can be collected throughout the winter when the flavor becomes even sweeter after a frost.

The tender young leaves of this plant also known as Brassica napus (Pabularia Group), are excellent in salads, while the larger leaves are both elegant and savory and are quite delicious when eaten cooked in stir fries, chopped into salads, or blended into smoothies.3

7. Bear Necessities

The dark green leaves on this plant are unlike any other Kale. They are small, thin, and have a very frilly look about them that fills out a salad nicely.

Graphics of types of Kale plants showing Red Russian, Siberian kale, Tuscan Rainbow kale, Emerald Ice, and Chinese kale images in circle frames. (Emeral Ice Image: Surely Shirly)

(Emerald Ice Image: jam34336)

And they also do well in stir fries where the sweetness adds a little something special to the plate.

Photo of freshly picked Siberian kale plant.

(Image: User:Rei30)

8. Siberian Kale

Not surprisingly, with a name like Siberian Kale, it is one of the most cold-hardy types available with absolutely massive gray-green leaves that can withstand significant damage from the cold and from hungry insects.

In the southern United States, it is cultivated as a winter crop and is often enjoyed sautéed with onions and bacon before being steamed with cider vinegar.

9. Tuscan Rainbow Kale

Cold-resistant and vigorous, it has earned the name ‘the Rainbow Kale’ because it has red, purple, and blue-green leaf colors that have a little bit of ruffling along the edges.

The stems can be purple, light green, or even a mixture when grown indoors, and when grown outside, the colors will become more vibrant as the weather cools. Although it can sometimes be a little tough, it is still a lovely aromatic, and delicious Kale to eat.

Close up photo of the white and green leaves of Emerald Ice kale plant.

(Image: Juni from Kyoto, Japan31)

10. Emerald Ice

With a brush of early morning frost, the crinkly leaves practically sparkle in the daylight, the large patches of white contrasting brightly against the deep green of the foliage.

If it were just used as an ornamental Kale alone it would still be impressive, but this variety has such a sweet flavor with even the leaf stems having a very delicious flavor that it would be a pity not to enjoy them with every bite.4

11. Chinese Kale

The stem flowers are the main attraction for this annual plant that is hardy, quick-developing, and can handle cold and heat equally well.

Not unusual for Kale plants, it only reaches a height of 45 cm and produces a blooming stem that is 1 to 2 cm in diameter, smooth, and succulent.

You can eat everything on this plant has a flavor that’s a little tangier than what you would find with broccoli, from the blossoms to the leaves and even to the stem, but you’ll need to take the skin off the stem first.

Another one of the strong points for having this variety is that it matures quickly after being transplanted, in about 60 days, and can be seeded at any time during the growing season.

Nutrition Facts and Benefits of Gardening Kale

Kale is just one of many superfoods that have been hiding in plain sight for thousands of years.

Now that its benefits have been uncovered, it is being recommended by nutritionists for a healthy diet and used by bodybuilders and health practitioners to reduce calorie intakes and also to supplement vitamins and other nutrients missing from their daily diets.

Bar graph representation of the nutritional benefits of Kale plants based on 1 cup of Kale consumption in a day with the vitamins and minerals on the x-axis and the weight in grams on the y-axis.

If you were to eat just one cup of raw Kale a day, your nutritional and caloric intake would look something like this:

  • Calories…………..7.2
  • Protein…………….0.6g
  • Carbohydrates……0.9g
  • Vitamin A………….49.6mcg
  • Vitamin C…………19.2mg
  • Vitamin K………….80.3mcg
  • Calcium……………52.3mg
  • Fats………………..0.3g

Many studies are being conducted to verify the capacity of Kale plants to help in the fight against types of cancers as it includes molecules called glucosinolates that are known to have anti-cancer properties.

Kale includes a fair amount of vitamin K which is essential for bone health as well as blood clotting and has been proven to be a beneficial supplementation for postmenopausal women.

Other health benefits include improvements to heart health and the relief of certain types of allergies.

Planting Tips for Kale Plants

In zones 8, 9, and 10, you can start growing Kale in late summer, 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost, for fall and winter harvests, and continue planting right up until the first hard frost for the summer harvest.

So, even though to grow successfully, Kale plants ideally need 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day they can also thrive in dappled light. That’s good news because even if any plants that are grown in less than 6 hours of sunlight every day won’t be as bushy or leafy as those grown in more direct sunlight, they will still be perfectly edible.

Therefore, if you’re growing them in less-than-perfect conditions, it will be useful to follow a few top tips to get the highest level of quality Kale that you can get.

The Correct Soil pH Level

Soil quality is always paramount, not only for the draining away of excess water but for the perfect soil pH measurement.5 This is a crucial point because you may or may not be aware whether the dreaded clubroot disease is a concern in your area, or in your garden.

To err on the side of caution, use a DIY soil testing kit to confirm that the pH reading is between 6.5 and 6.8, or at the worst 6.2 to 6.8.

Plant Properly

Kale plants love soil that is rich in nutrients and organic material as this will ensure rapid growth and the development of the sensitive leaves. Before planting seeds you can modify the earth easily by mixing in old leaves and bark composted together with fertilizer.

If you decide to skip the pH test, nitrogen-rich additions like blood meal, cottonseed meal, or composted manure should be worked into the soil to improve the texture and deter any diseases lurking close by from encroaching onto your healthy crops.

How To Plant in Poorly Draining Soil

But what do you do if water is draining away too slowly from the garden area and there is a risk of your plants getting root rot?

A simple solution is to raise the ground. With a little bit of work, you can use the local soil and mix it with compost and fertilizer, and then line the base with small rocks to guarantee a drain-away raised bed. If done properly, this can easily be made into a feature that will expose your Kale as well as other flora to more sunshine.

Seedlings in Pots

Another option for constructing a raised mound in your backyard is to keep your Kale in pots. This way you can completely control the consistency of the soil and the location of where you want to place the plants, either permanently or temporarily.

How Far Apart To Plant: Kale Planting Spacing

It’s true that Kale plants do not grow to towering heights, but when planting in a row a distance of 1 to 2 feet should be allowed between each plant. Some types that have particularly large leaves may require a touch more space so bear this in mind when you are sowing the seeds.

Watering Needs

About one and a half inches of water each week is ideal for Kale but if there is any doubt that nature is doing its job, a rain gauge in the garden can be used to determine how much water has been supplied by rain.6 In dry spells, the human approach may be needed along with a watering can.

Caring for Your Curly Kale Leaf

A simple method of caring for your precious curly Kale leaves is to spread a layer of mulch around the base. Doing so will help suppress weeds and maintain soil temperature and moisture in the case where very hot spells can quickly dry out the soil. When making your mulch, you can use finely ground leaves, straw, pine needles, or finely ground bark. An additional benefit is that mulching can also prevent soil from splashing onto the leaves and potentially contaminating the crop with any soil-borne diseases.

Growing Temperature

To speed up the germination process when you have started to grow your new Kale crop from seed, the soil temperature should be kept above 75°F for as long as feasible.

Above-ground temperatures of between 60 and 70°F are the sweet spot but Kale can also be grown well in the warmer summer months at higher temperatures with no problems or deterioration in quality.

Growing Zones (Where To Grow in the U.S.)

In the United States, planting zones of 7 to 9 have the perfect environment for growing Kale as the plant doesn’t do well in scorching hot degrees or constantly freezing conditions for an extended length of time.

The cold can affect the planting period as the soil has to be approximately 60°F and in regions where hard ground freezes occur in early autumn, planting the seeds early can be essential for producing healthy crops.

In zones where the temperature consistently drops below a wintry 32°F, transplanting when the weather improves or having the Kale in pots for relocating indoors throughout the seriously cold months is highly recommended.

As well as those top tips, here are a few more suggestions to make your Kale-growing journey more pleasurable.

  • If you want to lengthen the growing season, a quick tip is to stagger sowing the seeds over a period of weeks so they will mature at different times.
  • Protect the delicate roots of seedlings by mulching with straw to keep them cool and wet once planted, and then remember to keep the soil evenly moist until the seeds germinate and the seedlings are firmly established.
  • Although they are all related, resist the urge to plant Kale in the same spot as cabbages, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. They do not live well in close proximity to each other.
  • If want to maximize yields, as most gardeners do, grow Kale in rows alongside other leafy greens, such as leaf lettuce, onions, spinach, or Swiss chard, and use fish emulsion at half strength as an organic fertilizer.

Importance of Soil pH Readings

One of the most important factors in whether a plant thrives, struggles, or dies is the soil’s pH level, and this level can determine its fertility and suitability for your Kale plants.

Soil acidity is measured on a scale from 1 to 14, with 7 representing a neutral soil, and a pH value of more than 7 representing an alkaline soil.

The optimal pH range for bacterial development and breakdown in the soil is in the center of the range where microorganisms that fix the presence of nitrogen can thrive at the right temperatures.

Both of these critical activities are severely hampered when the pH level is outside of the optimal range, and that can prevent Kale plants from fully absorbing the soil’s nutrients that they need to grow to perfection.

It is not a long or arduous process so a quick check of the pH level of your soil should be a mandatory inclusion on your to-do list before planting.

When To Plant Kale Plant for the Best Yield

Timing is the key when you’re looking to sow the seeds of a Kale plant to determine when the time is ripe to pick the leaves.

Sow the seeds at the right time and they can be grown as an early summer crop along with other warm-season vegetables, whether you sow the seeds indoors in trays or outside once the soil has warmed up in the early part of spring.7

Photo of young Kale plants in a plant box.

(Image: cultivar413 from Fallbrook, California33)

If you decide to plant in the spring, you can begin to sow them 4-6 weeks before the date of the last frost. This timing period includes both direct seeding into the soil in your backyard or transplanting starter plants that you have recently purchased from the nursery.

If you prefer to start your project so you have your Kale leaves in autumn, it will be best to start sowing the seeds 3 months before the occurrence of the first frost This information can be found online for your specific USDA Hardiness Zone and will also relate to planting trees.

Keep in mind that in regions where summers tend to be particularly hot, planting should be put on hold until the weather cools down as Kale plants do not appreciate excessive heat.

Growing a Kale Plant From a Seed

Kale is one of those low-maintenance plants that both new and experienced gardeners love to grow.

The 2 ways to start from seed are indoors in containers or trays, or sowing the seeds directly into the soil outside. But before you start digging loads of holes in your garden or rush out to buy trays of pots, it’s important to understand the basics of planting Kale seeds in order to have a successful crop.

The Kale Plant Guide: Steps in Growing Kale Indoors

Gardeners sometimes start growing Kale from seeds inside when outside conditions are not favorable and would make the germination process sluggish, while others prefer the indoor environment because it gives them more control over every aspect of the project.

When starting indoors, the first two items at the top of the shopping list should be the containers and the potting soil apart from the seeds, that is.

Make sure the container has an adequate amount of drainage holes and that the potting soil you have just purchased is suitable for Kale as they can vary considerably.

  1. Buy a container that is going to be large enough to hold a few seeds. You can base this on the amount you intend to sow, considering that a further 3 inches will have to be reserved between each seed and the edge of the container so they will have room to grow.
  2. If you don’t think your container has enough holes, feel free to drill a few more. The risk of using a pot that allows water to settle on the bottom due to the lack of holes is not worth the risk of the roots getting waterlogged.
  3. The next step is to fill the container with moist potting soil and pat it down gently without compacting it, leaving just under a soil-free inch from the lip of the pot.8
  4. Poke holes in the soil about 3 inches apart with your finger up to the first knuckle, and then place 2-3 seeds in each hole. Once all the holes are occupied, use the rest of the potting mix to fill each hole and gently pat them down.
  5. It remains to you at this juncture to water the surface until you notice traces of water beginning to seep out of the bottom of the pot. This verifies that the plant has been watered enough and that your container can indeed drain away any excess. But a word of warning. When watering, do not suddenly drench the new soil in one big deluge as this will unnecessarily disturb the seeds.
  6. For the next 10 to 14 days make sure that the soil does not dry out and water as and when needed. By the end of that time, the seeds will have germinated and a slow-releasing fertilizer can be used to supply any missing nutrients that the new plants now need.
  7. If you want to increase the likelihood of your Kale seeds germinating, you may soak them for a few hours before planting but it’s not generally needed.
  8. If you’re the impatient type and 2 weeks is too long to wait for germination to take place, it is possible to speed up the process by placing the tray on a seedling mat or heated floor. But once the seeds have sprouted, they like somewhat cooler temperatures of about 60°-65°F.

Through every stage of the operation where needed only use brand-new, sanitized materials and tools if you don’t want to introduce widespread plant illnesses to any of your Kale plants.

How Long It Takes To Grow Kale Plants Indoors?

Now that the seeds have germinated, there is a period of adjustment and care before transplanting them into the big wide world of your garden.

For starters, where the temperature is below the recommended level, you can cover the container with a plastic sheet. This is designed to keep both the warmth and moisture in the soil, and as soon as the seedlings poke through the surface they can be transplanted singly into larger containers indoors or outdoors.9

But if you prefer to plant more than one in a container, just make sure it is big enough to allow a space of 12 inches between them and is itself a minimum of 12 inches deep.

To prevent any form of shock to the newly forming seedling, fill your new, bigger pot with the same growing medium and then follow these steps.

  1. Carefully take the young plants out of their containers by gently loosening the soil around each plant with your finger. And then even more carefully pull each seedling out of the soil to protect its delicate roots from any damage.
  2. In the new container, gently insert the roots into holes that are a fraction larger and then fill in the gaps without compacting the soil too much. Just patting it down is sufficient so water will flow through the medium with ease.
  3. Location is of prime importance at this stage of the Kale plant’s life cycle so position it where a minimum of 4 hours will be available on a daily basis.
  4. If those 4 hours prove to be unattainable due to your location or the time of year, feel free to employ the use of grow lights to provide both the necessary heat and light.
  5. As indoor plants require more hydration than when situated outside, ensure that the soil is moistened every few days or earlier if you suspect that it has dried out.
  6. When your Kale plants are about to mature, remove the outer, older leaves by hand as this will prevent the plant from bolting. The good news is that the leaves that are removed may be used in salads, smoothies, and other meals after a quick wash.

How To Plant Kale Seeds Outside

When planting Kale seeds outside, the first step is to get the soil ready for transplanting the seedlings into a new location that is in and on foreign soil as far as the roots are concerned.

The roots are going to have to be carefully extracted from the containers they have been comfortably sitting in for the last couple of months and relocated into an unknown environment.

To mitigate the shock of moving home, follow these 6 steps.

  1. Unearth the roots from the container but leave a ball of the soil wrapped around them that they have been accustomed to.
  2. Ensure that the holes are free of weeds or other types of plant waste and that they are spaced out sufficiently wide and deep enough to accommodate the root ball.10
  3. Take the time to work compost or manure into the top 6-8 inches of soil before planting, and the area should be raked flat to remove any big clumps or stones that might stunt the development of the plant’s roots.
  4. If you haven’t already got one, purchase a soil thermometer to determine the exact soil temperature so it’s similar to the soil the seedlings have just been pulled from.
  5. Apply a general-purpose liquid fertilizer and dilute as directed on the label once every two weeks to further improve the soil’s nutritional requirements, and water every week.
  6. If you notice that a few other Kale plants start sprouting in one spot, you may trim them out by cutting off the lower leaves and stems with scissors. Whatever you do, don’t yank them out of the ground as this can disturb the roots of the primary plant which is the last thing you are going to want as it can stunt leaf and plant growth.
  7. In 55-65 days, most Kale plants are ready for harvest and to ensure that the leaves are going to be of top quality, mulching around the base will retain the precious nutrients it requires as well as retain moisture levels.

Greenhouse Kale Growing Seasons

Kale can also be grown in a greenhouse setting every day of the year to guarantee the quality of the yield as temperature, lighting, irrigation, and even humidity can be precisely controlled.

In fact, in some parts of the United States and other parts of the world greenhouses are becoming more vital to the food security of many nations since they may make it possible and feasible to produce certain crops year-round to ensure the population can get fed.

Kale does and doesn’t fall into this category as it can survive under a certain level of cold discomfort, yet it can still benefit from winter cultivation in a controlled setting at the early development stage when it is more vulnerable to weather changes, whether too hot or too cold.

The advantage of the commercial production of Kale is the ability to start hundreds of seed trays to instigate the first growing stage until they are ready to be transplanted outdoors.

Growing plants to maturity within a greenhouse may also make excellent use of the available vertical space as more than one level can be utilized. This option is not always available outdoors, but with proper planning, multi-level farming can be employed successfully.

This would all be achievable due to the automation and the control of lighting, the heat each plant receives, and the regular frequency of fertilization and irrigation from sprinklers.

One of the most crucial elements of a productive and successful greenhouse is adequate ventilation, regardless of whether it covers nearly 50,000 acres as the one in Andalucia in Spain, or a simple lean-to propped up against the side of your house in your backyard.11

The planting zone where you live may enable you to grow Kale for most of the year, but a greenhouse will let you plant even if the ground is frozen solid or doesn’t drain well at all.

You can control the consistency of the soil, the heat, the light, the shade, the watering schedule, everything.

Growing indoors may not be as nature intended Kale to be grown, but under this automated regime your leaves will be healthier because there will be fewer pests to plague them, and tastier, as they will be guaranteed a steady nutrient and water supply.

How To Harvest Kale Without Killing the Plant (How To Harvest Kale So It Keeps Growing)

There are several things to bear in mind when you are first learning how to select the right Kale leaves so that the plant won’t suffer and will continue to thrive.

First and foremost, if you want your Kale to keep growing, you should never pluck the center leaves or the bud in the center of the plant. Instead, you should remove the Kale leaves from the stem, starting with the oldest outer leaves first before taking any younger ones.

Now, before you begin harvesting check that the plant is at least a few inches tall and is not just a seedling and that there are at the minimum 10 mature leaves.

From the moment you have planted the seeds to the point that there are viable leaves ready to be plucked can take around 2 months.

The length of time shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the leaves are harvest-ready as the optimal time to harvest Kale depends on the plant’s maturity level rather than the calendar because of the impact of the fluctuating weather conditions.

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to start plucking off leaves as even though there’s no one correct technique to harvest Kale, taking too many leaves at once or picking them from the incorrect area might prematurely kill the plant.

To avoid this life-or-death situation, follow a few of these guidelines to keep your Kale green and keen.

When Is Kale Ready To Harvest?

If you pick Kale leaves while the plant is still young, it might not recover to the same level of health. Therefore, whenever you’re harvesting vegetables such as Kale, you shouldn’t start until the plants are fully developed and have 10 or more huge leaves.12

Be Selective

Try not to lop off too many of the leaves. Keeping 60% of the adult leaves will give you a good harvest now and a better one in the future. Take no more than three of the mature leaves from your Kale plant and let it grow to the magic number 10 again.

As those older leaves are harvested, the Kale will respond naturally by sending up new shoots that will actually regrow bigger than the first ones.

Leave the Leaves

It won’t matter if you just take a few leaves as and when needed. If you leave more leaves on the plant than you harvest, the Kale will have enough to perform photosynthesis and continue growing into an even bushier version of its old self.

How To Pick Kale: Oldest First

You should get into the habit of always harvesting the outer, older leaves first to keep Kale alive and fruitful throughout the season. Never remove Kale leaves from the inside out as they will be the youngsters. It may seem like a good idea to harvest the buds while they’re still young and tender, doing so will cause the plant to cease developing.

Don’t Stop Harvesting

It may seem counterproductive to constantly harvest the leaves, but if they’re ready they need to go. Keeping a plant’s leaves healthy and alive requires a lot of energy when they are still attached. If no one is there to cut the Kale back, it will continue to grow and grow until it reaches a particular size with too old leaves encroaching on the younger ones. If this point is reached, the plant will not have the energy or the resources to keep expanding and will begin to deteriorate.

The Young Ones

If you have a preference and are determined that the young leaves are more to your taste, you can harvest the relatively young, fragile leaves growing between the older ones and the buds. These middle ones will just about be ready to be harvested without negatively affecting the crop quality later on.

While Kale leaves may be picked by hand, doing it efficiently and cleanly requires practice and just a bit of patience. For beginners, a nice sharp pair of scissors is the preferred method for safely and efficiently pruning Kale stems without leaving a mangled mess behind.13

Common Pests of the Kale Plant

Kale may be simple to cultivate, a low-maintenance plant-it-and-watch-it-grow kind of plant, and it’s easy to assume that it is invulnerable to exterior problems. Unfortunately, it does attract its fair share of insect pests looking to do it harm.

Some of them are so small and hard to spot, that they can sneak up on their stationary prey at will and have their wicked way at their leisure.

Let’s have a closer look at the list of worst offenders who have a tendency to launch their attack on your nutritious and tasty Kale leaves at different times throughout the year.

Cabbage Worms

These slightly hairy green caterpillars are the offspring of the beautiful white butterflies you are probably pleased to see at the advent of spring. After mating, these white-winged beauties proceed to lay hundreds of eggs on any nearby Kale or cabbage plants.

They feast hungrily non-stop on the leaves themselves, boring holes, nibbling along the edges, often leaving stems behind that have been picked clean.

In early spring, many of the cabbage worm’s natural enemies, such as wasps, birds, and robber flies that feast on adult butterflies and provide a natural control measure, are simply not yet present in large enough numbers to clear them out.

To protect your plants, you can either hand-pick the worms if you’re not squeamish, use row cover barriers to prevent egg laying in the first place, or apply an organic pesticide containing Bacillus thuringiensis.

Spinosad Neem oil, insecticidal soaps, and other organic foliar treatments may be used to manage these leaf-destroying cabbageworm larvae at this stage of their development.

Cabbage Aphids

These are extremely tiny insects that feed on the sap within the plant and are very crafty at doing so.

During autumn, the Kale plant can easily survive through mild winter months as long as the weather doesn’t plummet below freezing for a prolonged period of time and will then be ready to harvest first thing in the spring.

Cabbage aphids, which are wooly and grayish-green, also survive the chilly season by hiding within the plant itself, and, as the weather warms up, they begin to mature and quickly breed into a horde of hungry pests in waiting.14

These insects eat by puncturing leaf tissues and sucking out the fluids to such an extent that it will result in leaf-wilting and possibly dying off, an occurrence more likely in more vulnerable younger plants.

Any Kale leaves that have been severely invaded by cabbage aphids should be picked off and thrown in the compost bin immediately and are not worth the effort of trying to revive them.

Natural organic control can come in the form of beneficial insects like ladybugs, parasitoid wasps, and other tiny insect predators that love eating cabbage aphids, but it is difficult to completely eradicate the pests once they have got their jaws clamped around your Kale leaves.

Insecticidal soap or neem oil may be sprayed on plants if an aphid infestation persists despite the presence of predatory insects.

Aphids may be discouraged from feeding on plants by using reflecting mulches, such as silver-colored plastic, or by spraying with a powerful jet of water that can knock them off the leaves.

Fortunately, this Kale insect doesn’t seem to care much about young plants that are in the prime of healthy plants, so if an infestation does occur, you have the option of completely ripping out the old plant rip that has been overrun and starting again with a new your spring harvest.

Flea Beetles

So tiny that their round black bodies appear as just a small dot on a large leaf, flea beetles delight in boring myriad small holes in leaves that will not remain healthy for long.

The beetles overwinter in plant debris and weeds, or in the soil beneath your Kale plants, patiently waiting for their time of emergence. And when they do finally hatch, the little black bugs may be seen crawling all over the top and bottom of your Kale leaves, stopping frequently to gnaw away.

The leaf damage caused by one of them may not seem to pose any form of imminent danger as healthy Kale plants may eventually grow over these areas. The problem arises from the multiple holes peppering the surface that can restrict the plant’s overall development by slowing down the process of photosynthesis.

In dry weather, applying neem oil to the top and bottom of the leaves will help deter flea beetles from merrily munching away on your Kale crop, but it won’t really kill them.

The use of row covers or screenings may well stop the flea beetles in the first place as will planting companion plants nearby that they will prefer to infest such as radishes rather than your Kale.15

Harlequin Bugs

Because of their vivid coloring, harlequin bugs are easily seen on Kale plants in North America as the summer warmth arrives, but despite their jazzy exterior, they have recently become a major problem in certain parts of California and Arizona.

If left unchecked, this bug that barely measures 10mm, can wipe out an entire Kale harvest by depleting the sap completely from their target plants.

In areas with low insect populations, harm might potentially be reduced by hand-picking the bugs and literally killing the adults by hand as they emerge from hibernation in the autumn and spring.

Black and orange harlequin beetles are a common sight on Kale plants showing signs of age. When mid- to late-summer rolls around, most gardeners give up fighting the harlequins and just pick up and compost the old plants.

Using sweet alyssum as a companion plant helps to deter them as they find the smell off-putting so they may go and bother some other plants that are unprotected by a funny-smelling neighbor.

Once the bugs have gathered in one place, however, organic pesticides may need to be used or in the worst-case scenario, the plants will have to be uprooted and burned.

Covering young seedlings with a row cover or other lightweight cloth in late summer is the best way to protect them from these and other pests like grasshoppers and the covers can then be taken off towards the middle of fall when insect numbers have dwindled somewhat

Treating Kale pests early in the previous season not only makes the current infestation issue simpler to deal with, but it also usually results in fewer pest problems for the remainder of the season.

Swede Midges

First coming to prominence in Ontario, Canada in 2000, the Swede Midge is a new threat to brassica crops since it emigrated from its natural ranges in Europe and southern Asia.16

The adults are not really any cause for concern as they can not only fly short distances, but they are so small and light, a maximum of 2mm long, that a puff of wind can easily dislodge them

It’s when they emerge in spring after hibernating in the soil at the base of the plant that the females mate and soon start to deposit their eggs in groups of 50 at a time on the leaves.

These small, 0.3 mm-long eggs hatch into transparent white larvae that feed on the developing tip of the host plant for weeks on end before flinging their engorged bodies off the leaves and into the earth to pupate.

It takes Swede midges anything from 7 to 21 days to complete their life cycles which quickly seems neverending for the Kale plant as it never receives a break from its constant feeding frenzy as new eggs are being laid, and hungry larvae are constantly emerging.

The damage is therefore quite significant over a short period of time in the form of misshapen leaves, scarring, and tissue damage from a trace chemical that the larvae secrete.

While it may be difficult to eliminate an established population of Swede midges, the harm they do may be greatly mitigated by the use of cultural measures such as traps.

There are commercially available pheromone lures that are only one of the few effective methods of reducing any infestation, and the traps should be set on a stake inside the crop canopy and inspected once a week.

If you are growing commercially, you should set up at least three or four traps every acre of land and replace them when they get full or clogged with dead midges, which on average is about 4 weeks.

Natural Pest Control for Kale Plants

Many pest insects that eat Kale also carry and transmit illness in the dead leaves and stems that remain in the garden after harvest as they take shelter within the discarded mass throughout the winter.

Cleaning up in the fall by getting rid of dead plants and stirring the soil to expose any insects hunkering down for the cold season, will do wonders for avoiding issues in the spring.

Insecticidal soaps and neem oil are also positive and organic treatments that will control any infestations to a certain level, but they do not affect all pests. Another form of control is to attract other types of beneficial insects that will prey on the harmful pests relentlessly.17

By planting certain herbs and types of flowers, birds, lacewings, ground beetles and assassin bugs will be attracted to your backyard and they will prove to be an even more effective and natural form of protection, just as nature intended.

Kale Diseases and Kale Plant Disease Prevention Tips

There are few plants that are not susceptible to infections from a wide variety of diseases, regardless of whether they are dangerous bacterial leaf infections or milder fungal irritations.

Unfortunately, Kale is not one of them that is completely disease-resistant and can be besieged by pathogens, and fungal infections that are ugly and can severely threaten the continued existence of your Kale plant.

Certain fungi, water molds, and particularly those nasty nematodes, can be genuinely terrifying bacteria and pathogens that may attack your Kale under certain conditions.

Here are a few of them:

Black Spot (Alternaria Leaf Spot)

Alternaria leaf spot is caused by the fungus Alternatia brassicae and Alternatia brassicicola and is characterized by large brown spots, measuring between 6 mm and 18 mm in diameter, and as the fungus develops spores, the patches darken to a jet black.

It will continue to spread throughout the summer in areas with high humidity, little air circulation between the plants, and frequent dew formations that are slow to evaporate.

In its mildest form, black spot causes discoloration on the surface of the leaves and perforations in the foliage. When it becomes more severe, and more entrenched within the plant, there is a real risk of total defoliation.

You can stop these fungi from taking hold of your Kale by making sure the leaves are always dry rather than leaving them soaking wet without the ability to get dry.

If you must water your plants, do it first thing in the morning rather than in the evening, and avoid getting the leaves with the spray.

Plant spacing also plays a pivotal role as if situated too close together no air will circulate between the plants, and the leaves will then be unable to be dried by the winds of nature.

If you do detect any signs of a black spot, treating with a liquid copper will sort out the problem, or under Alternaria Leaf Spot severe infections, an appropriate bio-fungicide can be applied such as Bacillus amyloliquefaciens or Bacillus subtilis.18

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum higginsianum)

The severity of this illness varies from species to species, from being just unsightly with dry, circular blemishes on the leaves to being a fatal infection for the entire plant.

Kale falls into the latter category if no treatment is administered quickly, but very rarely becomes serious because the standard environment for growing Kale plants is not consistently wet and humid.

To prevent anthracnose, infected sections of plants must be removed and properly disposed of as even decomposing leaves left lying around may continue to spread the disease.

Copper fungicides may be used sparingly to avoid any soil problems, and a simple tactic like crop rotation is recommended to avert annual plant illnesses that can reoccur yearly if not prepared for and thwarted early the previous year.

Downy Mildew (Peronospora parasitica)

Although downy mildew does have fungal-like characteristics, it has recently been reclassified as a water mold, which is actually more closely related to algae.

It is caused when there is a lot of moisture in the air created from too much dew, fog, light rain, or in areas of high humidity.

Fuzzy gray or white spots on the undersides of the leaves are a telltale sign that your crop has been affected. There may also be several blotches of discoloration on the leaf’s top surface which may range in color from very light green to yellow, purple, or an unsightly brown,

In extreme cases, leaves may shrink and become brown or turn yellow and drop early or the entire plant could be so severely damaged that it will become stunted and weak, and then open to more infections.

Managing this condition effectively requires a certain level of dispassionate ruthlessness. Affected leaves need to be snipped off and when there is no hope for the plant’s recovery, the plant has to be uprooted and destroyed.

White Rust

Kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage are all susceptible to white rust, commonly known as white blisters, a fungal disease caused by the fungus Albugo candida that can lead to an entire field of crops wilting, becoming distorted, and eventually perishing in as little as 3 weeks.

The symptoms start on the undersides of leaves exhibiting masses of chalky white spores that are born from warm days and nights that are chilly and moist. The frustrating part is that these white lumps cannot easily be removed by scraping as they are adhered to the very fabric of the leaf itself.

Even if it doesn’t prove fatal to the plant, the disease can reduce the market value resulting in severe economic losses to the farmer.

Management and prevention start with being mindful not to accidentally water the leaves where the pathogens will fester, and pruning or positioning the plants so sufficient air can flow between them and keep the leaves dry.19

An effective treatment if the infection isn’t too severe is the use of an acetic acid solution to wipe down the leaves. This will eliminate the small spores and then the surface of the leaf would need to be thoroughly rinsed and wiped down to remove any traces of the solution.

Organic treatments that are partially successful and are worth trying, are wiping the leaves down with white vinegar and gently scrubbing the leaves with a strong bristle brush made of nylon to avert any damage to the sheen on the leaves.

Both have a limited level of success and both methods are considered to be safe for the environment.

How To Stop Kale Plant Disease

How you prepare and tend to the Kale plants in your garden may have a major impact on both the quality of their production and vulnerability to potentially very harmful infections

If you implement a few of the following measures as part of a pre-preparation program, you may just be able to mitigate if not completely dodge some nasty diseases.

Agricultural Biodiversity

Essentially, this refers to the practice of cultivating a variety of plant species in close proximity to each other, known as polyculture, as opposed to being surrounded by the same species, known as monoculture.

The Native Americans had a polyculture system that was called the Four Sisters (corn, beans, squash, sunflowers/bee balm) yet also often included additional plant species.

They quickly came to realize that a farmer who only grew corn was more likely to attract corn-specific pests and soil pathogens that would target that type of crop.

Experimentation revealed to them that if they planted other crops that repelled those disease-carrying insects, improved the soil quality, and didn’t interfere with the prosperity of the corn was a simple adjustment that avoided the problem of some infectious pathogens and provided another crop to harvest at the same time.

Soil Tillage

Soil preparation for planting seeds and the elimination of weeds and pests by turning has always been a standard element of farming to eliminate problems before they can even start.

When you till your garden, you aerate the soil by turning over the top layer and breaking up the compacted dirt to disturb any buried pathogens and provide room for roots to grow and improve soil health.20

The term “tilling” refers to the mechanical process of bringing soil from below ground level to the surface, where it is then broken up or loosened, allowing your Kale plants easier access to a wide range of nutrients necessary for growth.

Hot Water Seeds

There are occasions when a pathogen or a dormant fungus can be sown into your garden without your knowledge, lurking in the dark depths of your tiny Kale seeds ready for the day when they can strike.

Growing crops shouldn’t be a battle for survival from day one, especially if the seeds you have just purchased are the cause of the infections. The problem is determining if a seed is potentially harboring a fungi fugitive is nigh on impossible to tell from the naked eye, by touch, or by smell.

However, some plant infections are able to enter and thrive within the seed itself, making them immune to a host of seed treatments that are applied to the seed’s outer layer.

In order to prevent seed-borne illnesses from being established on a farm from the moment you have implanted the seeds, or from being reintroduced year after year, hot water seed treatment is an invaluable tool.

The hot water treatment for Kale seeds involves immersing the seeds in hot water heated to a temperature of 122°F. They have to stay immersed underwater for 20 minutes and the result should be the elimination of such dormant diseases as Black rot, Alternaria leaf spot, Blackleg, and Bacterial leaf spot.

Seeds that have been treated with hot water may still contract these diseases at a later date, but at least they won’t be ticking time bombs. Plus, they will germinate more quickly than those that have not been primed.

Companion Plants for Growing Kale Plants

Planting diverse crops in close proximity to each other is an age-old method used for centuries to help with pest management and pollination, and even for providing habitat for beneficial insects.

Farmers and gardeners often employ companion planting to make the most efficient use of the arable space they have to increase crop yields.21 When interplanting with Kale there are quite a few plants that are perfect and have their own specific functions.

They can be placed into several categories such as repellents, insectaries, and nitrogen fixers. When they are in the same vicinity they will naturally keep harmful insects at bay, attract beneficial ones that will prey and eradicate the ones that slip through the invisible barrier, and improve soil quality.

Other companion plants will be more decorative, filling a space where other species fear to tread, or enriching the soil with missing nutrients such as nitrogen.

Below is a brief list of which plants will help to keep your Kale plants safe, and which are just around to keep them company.

Type of Companion Plant HelpPlant Types
Hot peppers
Nitrogen FixersBeans
Hairy vetch
Ground CoversSweet alyssum
Swiss chard

Any or all of the above plants can contribute towards the health and well-being of your Kale plants. They all foster an environment that is a symbiotic relationship, each assisting the Kale to grow to its full potential while receiving reciprocal benefits in exchange.

A win-win arrangement.

Carbon Footprint of Vegan Diet

Vegans have long realized that there is an enormous opportunity for reducing carbon footprints and mitigating climate change by shifting eating habits away from meat and other animal products and toward plant-based foods such as Kale, and there are research papers to back up their claims.

One such study highlighted the fact that a switch to a plant-based diet may cut deaths worldwide by 10% and the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from livestock farming methods by an incredible 70%.

Reducing cattle production reduces the methane that they produce and that is one of the main contributors to the rise in emissions of greenhouse gases.22 Logically, therefore, if more people become vegans then less livestock will need to be reared and fewer GHG emissions will be generated.

As much as 57% of the GHG emissions are caused by livestock production on a worldwide level, whereas only 29% comes from arable farming.

Millions of people have switched to a vegetarian or vegan diet because they believe it to be healthier as many ailments like heart disease and diabetes have been exacerbated by eating meat, but many of them also do it to help the environment.

For example, in comparing the CO2 emissions based on diets, a vegan emits about 5.4 pounds a day, a vegetarian about 9 pounds, and a traditional person who consumes fish and meat about 10.4 pounds.

Those results clearly demonstrate that a vegan plant-based diet is very beneficial in the fight against climate change and the carbon footprint every man, woman, and child leaves on the planet.

Kale Plant Facts

The power of Kale starts with its ability to grow in most places on the planet and then because it’s one of the easiest brassicas to grow, and also one of the healthiest with more calcium than a glass of semi-skimmed milk.

Even if you don’t like the Kale on your dinner plate, you can find decorative types with pretty pink and purple leaves and even different types of white flowers that are very ornamental on and off the plate.

And there are even more interesting facts secreted between the leaves.

  • When stored properly in a cool and dark location, Kale seeds have a 4-year shelf life, raw Kale will last up to a week and frozen Kale will last up to 6 months.
  • During World War II, the British government urged the besieged population to grow Kale as a means of compensating for probable dietary deficiencies brought on by food rationing at the time.
  • It was in 2008 when Kale started to become the trendy vegetable that it is today, and since that date, nearly 540 boys have been named Kale.
  • Every year Germany holds a festival called Curly Kale Hike (Grünkohlfahrt), where lots of Kale is eaten, preceded by lots of beer, an actual hike is done, and then that is followed by even more beer.
  • Beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium can all be found in high concentrations in Kale.23 Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects have also been observed when the leaves are eaten either raw, cooked, or in smoothies. Kale is good for your brain, heart, bones, skin, eyes, and hair if you eat it regularly as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, and ongoing research may soon prove that it can also lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • When the stems are removed, the leaves can be used in place of other leafy greens in salads, soups, stir-fries, and pasta dishes to add texture and firmness that those dishes would otherwise lack.
  • Someone somewhere invented a drink called Kale Mary that is alcohol-free and very interesting, to say the least. It contains horseradish, soy sauce, tomato juice, hot sauce, celery juice, and, of course, Kale.
  • When Kale is in season, it can be easily frozen in a plastic bag for about 6 months for use throughout the year. Some even argue that freezing the plant improves its flavor with the nutrients perfectly preserved and the taste profile slightly elevated. Just remember to blanch them first.
  • The Kale plant, which has been decorating dishes for over 2,000 years, has Scottish ancestry that dates back to the 19th century and was previously known as ‘Scotch’ Kale.

Kale has been hailed as a superfood, a powerhouse in the world when nutritious foods are sometimes hard to come by in many countries.

It may not be the flashiest vegetable sprouting from the ground, but the numerous benefits it provides clearly prove that the humble Kale plant should be treated as more than just a garnish at meal times.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kale Plant

How Much Sunlight Does Kale Plant Need Each Day?

Kale plants require between 6 to 8 hours of sun a day. Anything less than 6 hours may affect the quality of the leaves.

What Are the Best Growing Conditions for Kale Plants?

Although it thrives best in nutrient-dense, stony soil, Kale may be grown almost everywhere as long as it is bathed in enough bright sunlight or even dappled shade.

What Are the Watering Needs for Kale Plants?

Keeping the soil evenly moistened by watering deeply between 1-2 inches about once a week is sufficient to maintain the health of your Kale plant.

Is Eating Too Much Kale Poisonous?

Rumors that the roots absorbed toxic levels of thallium and lead from the soil were rife at one stage but were quickly proved to be unfounded, giving Kale a clean bill of health.24


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2No yard? No problem. Grow a thriving container garden. | Stories | Oregon State University. (n.d.). Oregonstate.edu. Retrieved October 9, 2023, from <https://oregonstate.edu/stories/no-yard-no-problem-grow-thriving-container-garden>

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6Lebouitz, J. (2022, March 22). How to use your rain gauge. UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County. <https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasotaco/2022/03/22/how-to-use-your-rain-gauge/>

7What is the difference between cool season and warm season vegetables? (n.d.). Hortnews.extension.iastate.edu. Retrieved October 9, 2023, from <https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/what-difference-between-cool-season-and-warm-season-vegetables>

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11Greenhouses: Heating, Cooling and Ventilation. (n.d.). Extension.uga.edu.   <https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B792&title=greenhouses-heating-cooling-and-ventilation>

12Apr 10, F. | H. 1262 | U., & Print, 2020 |. (n.d.). Harvesting Vegetables. Home & Garden Information Center | Clemson University, South Carolina. <https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/harvesting-vegetables/>

13Pruning Basics for Trees and Shrubs. (n.d.). Www.uky.edu. <https://www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture/QRLabels/Pruning.html>

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26Photo by Matt Bango on StockSnap <https://stocksnap.io/photo/fresh-kale-DBJ0PLZH0E>

27U.S. Department of Agriculture (2015, August 23). 20150823-AMS-LSC-0001. Flickr. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/20961513379/>

28By Foodforestation – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30325891>

29By Idéalités – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76260198>

30By User:Rei – Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10311251>

31By Juni from Kyoto, Japan – Flickr.com – image description page, CC BY 2.0, <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=345672>

32By JoachimKohler-HB – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84522310>

33By cultivar413 from Fallbrook, California – 190909 030 Chicago Botanic Gdn – Fruit Veg Island, Pennisetum glaucum 'Jester' Pearl Millet, Calendula officinalis 'Indian Prince' Pot Marigold, Brassica oleracea var sabellica Curly Kale, CC BY 2.0, <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83472643>

34Emerald Ice Kale Photo Photo by brewbooks / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED. Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/309193447/sizes/c/>

35Plant Kale Photo by Christiane (Oldiefan). (2015, October 31) / Pixabay Content License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Pixabay. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://pixabay.com/photos/plant-kale-1011492/>

36Brassica oleracea Photo by jam343 / Attribution 2.0 Generic. Resize and change format. Flickr. Retrieved February 16, 2024 from <https://www.flickr.com/photos/jam343/1851888/>