To grow kale indoors, place the plant in an area with plenty of sun and temperatures that remain under 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. Kale is a hardy plant that grows well in container gardens.
How to grow kale from seed:
You can sow kale seeds as early as a few weeks before the last frost. It actually thrives off the cool temperatures and will avoid a bitter taste when grown in such conditions. To sow kale seeds, plant seeds in loose soil about ½ an inch deep and an inch apart. The place you choose to plant your seeds should have full to moderate sun.
If you wish, you can begin kale seeds indoors as long as the temperature stays under 75 degrees. To plant indoors, simply plant the kale seeds in peat pots that can be planted directly in the ground when it is time to transplant. Plant a 1/2 inch deep, just as you would if planting outdoors.
How to transplant kale:
If you are planting kale seedlings, or moving your own seeds to the garden bed, you will want to be sure of a few things. First, don’t transplant seedling until they are a sturdy 4-5 inches tall. The kale seedlings should then be planted 12 inches apart. The rows of your seedlings will thrive if planted a good 18 inches apart. Give them plenty of space to open up and bloom outward.
How to care for kale seedlings:
Once you have planted your seedlings, keep these tips in mind for giving them a strong start. Begin by keeping the soil moist and cool. Watering every few days should help you achieve this. You want to add some compost along the base of the plants every four weeks in order to protect the plant, keep the roots cool, and also nourish it.
Are insects starting to hang out on your kale? You can get rid of them by handpicking them off and by removing dead or dying leaves. These dead leaves actually attract pests.
General tips for producing a good kale crop:
Making sure your kale plants are kept cool, moist, and pest free is the best way to ensure a strong crop. Because kale appeals to rodents and rabbits, be sure to put up a deterrent such as a fence to keep nibbling at bay.
Growing Kale in Containers
Are you wondering if you can grow kale in a pot? The answer is yes! If you don’t have enough space for a traditional garden, you can grow kale a pot or another garden container. The pot should have a minimum of six square inches of space for the kale plant to grow in. Plant your seeds or start a seedling in the center of the pot, follow the growing instructions above. Growing kale in a container may allow you to extend its growing season by moving the pot to a shaded area once it becomes hot outside. Here are more container gardening tips.
When and how to harvest kale:
Various varieties will mature at different times, so you will want to check seed packet directions for an estimate for when your kale will be ready. A good rule of thumb is you can start cutting the outside leaves when the plant is 8 inches tall. If you want the entire plant, simply cut about two inches above the base of the plant.
If left in the garden too long, kale will become bitter. Instead, pick it when fresh and refrigerate it for up to a week.