At the Backyard farm we approach kale the same way every time and have great success with this kale growing method. You are going to need;
- Good quality soil
- Kale seeds (Your chosen variety, we like Lacinato kale or cavolo nero)
- Gloves (optional)
- Toilet tubes
- Somewhere to plant them
- Kitchen roll
- A warm and dark place
Germinating your Kale seeds (optional)
This stage is optional but advised. It will help your Kale seeds off to a strong start, to germinate your kale seeds;
- Fold your paper towels and dampen them
- Place your chosen amount of seeds between a folded and damp paper towel, leave around 1cm between the seeds
- Fold the paper towel over the kale seeds and place them into your Tupperware container
- Leave the container in a warm dark space and check on them daily
- Once the seeds have sprouted we can move onto the next stage
Planting your germinated Kale seeds
Now that your seeds have sprouted we can plant them into our toilet tubes. Toilet tube are a great way to reduce stress during planting as it removes the need to disturb them when being transplanted.
- Fill your toilet tubes a quarter way with soil
- Add a quarter layer of compost and the rest with more soil
- Poke a hole around 2cm deep and place 1 sprouted seedling into the hole (Be very gentle)
- Cover the seedling and place your tubes somewhere they will remain a steady warm temperature, keep the soil damp
- The seedlings will push through within a few days, allow them to establish their first set of sun leaves. Once they have these they are ready to plant
Planting your kale seedlings
Using the toilet tube method is a fantastic way to save you hassle and stress to the plant during this stage.
- Dig a hole for each tube containing a kale seedling, make it deep enough to accommodate the tube
- For multiple plants place the holes around 1ft apart
- Place a tube in each hole and cover with soil
That’s it, the toilet tube will rot away as the plant grows. The roots will make short work of the damp cardboard and spread into the surrounding soil. The minimal disruption to the plant means its a relatively stress free move for the kale plant. Allowing it to concentrate on becoming lush and tasty!
Is Kale easy to grow?
Yes, Kale is an easy plant to grow. It requires little effort and is very cold hardy. It is however tasty, to us and slugs or snails. Make sure your defence against these critters is up to scratch, otherwise they will get those big green leaves before you do!
We like to use our used coffee grinds and crushed eggshells at the base to help fend off slugs and snails.
Can I grow Kale in pots?
Yes, kale takes to growing in pots very well. Simply follow the above instructions but instead of planting the kale seedlings and tubes into the ground, plant them into your chosen plant pots.
This is especially handy if you want to grow kale through the colder winter months as you can move the plants inside at night.
Should I grow Kale indoors or outdoors?
You can grow kale either indoors or outdoors, it favours both. Again, if you want to grow kale during the colder months, having somewhere it can stay warm and get good sunlight will always be a bonus.