Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group) 'Curly-Leaf'
Also known as
Portuguese Kale, Scotch Kale, Leaf Cabbage, Krulkool, Boerekool (Afr.), Scots Kale, Blue Curled Kale
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
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
Use birdnetting if you do not get a change to harvest!
Welcome in crop rotation to give soil a resting time after heavy feeders like tomatoes or root crops.
Other uses of Curly Kale
Green leafy vegetables are high in minerals and vitamins K
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.