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Growing Kale

Growing Kale

Black Magic Kale

Black Magic Kale item #01451

A hardy, very cold-tolerant cruciferous vegetable grown for its tasty leaves. Available in a number of forms and leaf shapes. For spring crops, sow seed in the garden up to 4 weeks before the last frost or start indoors 6 to 8 weeks before outdoor planting time. For fall production, sow in mid to late summer, about 8 to 12 weeks before the first expected frost. Cover seed with ½ inch of soil and space plants 18 to 24 inches apart with 24 inches between rows. Individual leaves can be cut as needed, or the top third to half of plants can be harvested to allow new leaves to sprout. Flavor sweetens after exposure to frost. Kale is very nutritious and high in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium.


An easy-to-grow plant for full sun in moist, well-drained soil. Kale benefits from mulching to keep soil cool and moist.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use full rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085), Nature's Source Plant Food Concentrate 10-4-3 (51012), or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Other cold-tolerant crucifers include Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, and Collards. 

Complimentary Products

A moderate feeder that benefits from regular fertilization. Use Thuricide (55889) to naturally control caterpillars pests like cabbageworms, diamondback moths, and loopers. Use Tomato & Veggie 3 In 1 (50317) to control both insects and diseases.

Product Recommendations

Use plantable 2 ¼" Round Jiffy Peat Pots (53222) to make transplanting easy and stress-free for plants.

Kale Facts

Generally less bothered by pests and diseases than most other cabbage family plants. Aphids, caterpillars, flea beetles, harlequin bugs, slugs, black rot, clubroot, and downy mildew occasionally occur. One of the most hardy crucifers, Kale commonly overwinters in zone 5.

Growing Tips