Kale is considered as a popular cool weather plant for the gardeners. It is delicious, versatile, nutritious and also quite stately to create some effect in the garden. This plant is able to grow in any climates. Although you live in the location within zone 6, you can overwinter this plant as the early plant for spring.
Location to Grow Kale
If you want to grow this plant, you need to prepare a location that is able to get full sun. However, kale is also able to live under the part-shade location. To be safe, you need to provide at minimum 4 hours of full sun every day.
You also need to prepare well drained and fertile soil as the planting medium. You may need to mix the soil with some organic compost before planting kale.
You may grow kale in containers, raised beds, or even in traditional garden beds. If you want to grow kale in the containers, you need to make sure that the containers need to be at in the depth of 10 inches so that you will provide enough space for them to grow well and healthy.
You can sow the seeds directly in the garden at least 4 or 6 weeks before the date of last spring frost. You can also start the sowing 4 weeks prior the last frost indoor and then transplant the plant near the date of the last frost.
This plant will be mature after 50 or 65 days. You can also pick the leaves sooner than this. The young, tender, small leaves are very delicious to be eaten raw for your salads.
This plant needs to be planted at least 1/2 deep. The spacing among the plants needs to be within 12 or 15 inches from each other. If your seeds start to germinate, you can add thin layer of mulch for about 2 or 3 inches to keep the soil moist.
Organic Kale Growing
You will find that this plant is very easy to grow. You just need to make sure that this plant receives at minimum of 1 inch water every week whether it comes from hose or rain water. You also need to fertilize your plant at least once a month using compost tea or fish emulsion.
Diseases and Pests
The most common pests attacking kale is the cabbage worm. This pest comes from the larvae of cabbage white butterfly. They will eat the leaves and even consume all of them. You can get rid of this worm by picking them up and then squishing them directly.
You can use Bt if you find large infestation of this pest. You can cover your plants with floating row covers to avoid this pest problem.