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A picture of a Curly Kale

Curly Kale

Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group) 'Curly-Leaf'

Also known as

Portuguese Kale, Scotch Kale, Leaf Cabbage, Krulkool, Boerekool (Afr.), Scots Kale, Blue Curled Kale

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

9a

USDA zone

-7°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

90cm

Max

45cm

30cm

Min

30cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

Curly Kale Overview

Brassica oleracea 'Curly Kale' (Acephala Group) produces loose rosettes of traditionally green broad leaves that are tightly curled or have fringed edges. Commonly known as Curly-leaf Kale, it is occasionally called Scots or Blue Curled Kale. It is one of the most accommodating crops you can grow, providing fresh greens in the depths of winter. If harvested correctly, when the leaves are still young, it makes a delicious addition to winter recipes. Unlike cabbages, cauliflowers and other brassicas, kale isn’t prone to many pests, making it very rewarding to grow.

Common problems with Curly Kale

Kale plants are known to be relatively pest and disease free, but may sometimes be attacked by cutworms and cabbage worms. They can be hand-picked off the plants. Plant celery, celeriac, rosemary, sage and thyme close to kale plants to deter cabbage moths.

Curly Kale Companion Plants

Beets, Celery, Herbs, Onions and Potatoes

How to harvest Curly Kale

Kale will be ready for harvest 55 days from transplanting, 70 to 80 days from seed. Pick about one fistful of leaves per harvest. Avoid picking the terminal bud (found at the top center of the plant) because this will help to keep the plant productive for a long time.

How to propagate Curly Kale

Seed

Sow seeds during spring and space rows 30 to 45 cm apart. Sow to a depth of 1cm. Keep soil moist, but well-drained.

Special features of Curly Kale

Attracts birds

Use birdnetting if you do not get a change to harvest!

Crop rotation

Welcome in crop rotation to give soil a resting time after heavy feeders like tomatoes or root crops.

Other uses of Curly Kale

Culinary. Medicinal.

Medicinal

Green leafy vegetables are high in minerals and vitamins K

Edible

Leaves can be used in stir-fries, smoothies, soups, stews or dried to make kale chips. Stems are also edible. Popular in freshly squeezed green juice.