This is a guide to growing kale. Find out when to plant, feed and harvest and troubleshoot any problems you have with your kale crop.

Soil

What soil is good for Kale?

Rich, well draining soil with plenty of compost mixed in. 

Position

How much sun does Kale need?

Prefers full sun, however will grow well in partial sun to partial shade. 

Frost Tolerant

Is Kale frost tolerant?

Yes

Spacing

How much space does Kale need?

30-40cm apart

Planting

When should I plant Kale?

Kale is a cool season crop that grows best in temperatures between 4 and 21°C (39–70°F). Seeds are best sown once soil has warmed to at least 10°C (50°F)

Usually planted out in autumn. Will grow right throughout winter in warmer climates. Can also be planted in spring, particularly in cooler climates. 

If transplanting seedlings, plant out in the early morning or evening and/or on an overcast day. Avoid planting at peak sun times or on windy days, this will allow your plants to settle in comfortably and protect them from windburn and sunburn.  

Feeding

What do I feed Kale?

 Apply an organic fertiliser throughout the season.

Harvesting

When can I harvest Kale?

Harvest the outer leaves as needed throughout the season. Harvest regularly to ensure that the leaves are tender, older leaves will become coarse.  

Pests

What pests does Kale get?

Aphids, Slug, Snail, Cabbage Moth, Cabbage White Butterfly, Diamondback Moth, Flea Beetle, Cabbage Root Fly, Cutworm, Armyworm, Cabbage Looper, Cutworm, Cabbage Worm, Thrips, Root Knot Nematode, 28 Spotted Ladybug

Diseases

What diseases does Kale get?

Leaf Spot, Black Rot, Club Root, Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew, Anthracnose

Troubleshooting

How do I troubleshoot my growing problems?

Check the leaves in the very center of the plant regularly as aphids love to hide in there and can cause damage very quickly. If aphids are found, wash them off with a spray of water from the garden hose. Visit the Pests guide for other ways to control Aphids. 

Inspect plants regularly or use fine mesh or exclusion netting to prevent white butterflies from laying eggs on the underside of leaves, caterpillars can greatly damage Kale plants.