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Learning how to grow Kale makes sense if you are a lover of green leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and kale.

If you aren’t a big fan, maybe you’d enjoy our guide on growing tomatoes, or this one on berries instead.

For everyone interested in learning more about growing kale, continue on below for everything you need to know!

About Growing Kale

Wet green Kale growing in the garden.

Kale is technically classified as a “leafy cabbage” that is edible. It is cultivated for its leaves, some of which are green, others are brown, purple, or mixtures of colors. Due to the range of appearances that various Kale species have, some are grown for ornamental purposes in addition to for nutritional value.

Kale is full of healthy benefits that make it a great addition to a well-balanced diet. This green veggie is good for your eyes, bones, immune system, brain development and so much more.

As far as gardening and growing Kale, either you’re in or you’re out. For most people there is no middle ground, you either like Kale and want to learn how to grow it, or you don’t.

For those who do, below we share all the information you need to get started:

Quick Kale Growing Information

How much light is needed:6 hours or more
How much water is needed:1 inch to 1.5 inches per week
Is it best to start with seeds or plants:Seeds only
The best month to plant:Aprl, May, and June
Preferred climate/temperature:60°F to 75°F
Is indoor or outdoor growing better:Outdoor and Indoor
Do indoor plants need to be pollinated:Yes, cross-pollination is needed
Level of difficulty to grow:Easy
Plant height:12 inches to 18 inches
Time from planting to harvest:60 to 80 days

Tips for Growing Kale

A couple dosen Kale babies growing in starter trays indoors under an LED grow light that makes them look pink.

1. Plant During the Best Time of the Year

There are two great times of the year to plant Kale, depending on where you live and how you garden: early spring, slightly before the last frost and on up to early summer, and again in the autumn.

Planting during one of these two times of the year goes a long way in ensuring an optimal yield.

Small plants can be planted in the garden as early as February or March and started indoors even earlier. Seeds need a bit more time outdoors to sprout and start initial growth.

2. Thin Out Seedlings After 2 Weeks of Growth

If you’re planting from seeds, once the majority of them have sprouted into plants, wait a week or two and separate out the extras. This step is known as thinning out.

While thinning out your Kale seedlings, use the extras to plug gaps in your rows, extend your rows, or plant in additional rows.

3. Keep Rows Around 2 to 3 Feet Apart

As you go, keep in mind that Kale plants get pretty big and leafy after a few weeks. That means you need to leave enough space for them to grow and thrive without bumping into each other.

Typically, two to three feet is ample room. Some species of kale require even less space, say, just 12 to 18 inches.

Kale Growing FAQs

Does Kale Need Sun or Shade?

Kale is one of those garden varieties that does ok in both sun and shade but requires at least 6 hours of light per day. Full sun is compatible with Kale, but the full shade isn’t tolerable for this leafy green plant.

How Long Does Kale Take to Grow?

Kale requires anywhere from 2 to 3 months to grow from “start” to “finish” depending on the species and how you plant them. From seeds, expect a time of 70 to 80 days or more.

What Not to Plant with Kale?

The main type of plants to avoid planting with or around your Kale plants are other Brassicas(such as Brussel sprouts, swiss chard, broccoli, and cauliflower), because they attract the same pests and diseases.

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Suggested Reading: How to Grow Lettuce: Gardening Guide

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