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The simple solution for growing great kale

06 May 2021

Growing kale is both fun and easy. Before you start your cultivation, there are a few things about kale that you need to know in order to cultivate a large, healthy harvest. One thing is that kale loves nutritious soil, so make sure to provide them with that. Another thing is that kale is easily infested by pests. If you want healthy and delicious kale, protect them from the insects with the easy solution that we will present further down.

How to pre-cultivate and cultivate kale

Start by pre-cultivating the kale seeds into small pots or trays. As the plants grow bigger, replant them into bigger pots. Six to eight weeks after the first replanting, once the plants have grown to about 10-20 centimeters tall, it is time to replant them again. This time, replant the kale to an even bigger pot, into a pallet collar, or directly in your garden. 

Replant the kale plants by digging a hole into the soil, and place the kale in there. Preferably cover the hole with fertilized soil, for example, mixed compost soil. Alternatively, add nutrients to the soil with either plant food spikes or liquid plant food.

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How to prevent kale from pests

Kale is a vegetable that tends to get infested by insects. To protect your kale cultivation, cover it with a net. There are special nets made for kale that you can buy in most gardening shops. You can also use a net of some sort that you have at home. It should be thin, but thick enough to keep diamondback moths (also referred to as cabbage moths) and large whites (also referred to as cabbage butterflies) away. Make sure the net has no holes and that it covers your entire kale cultivation the whole growing season. 

Place the net on top of a couple of sticks that you press into the soil around the kale. In that way, the net will not touch the kale, preventing the insects from laying their eggs through the net and onto the vegetables.

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Despite using a net, cabbage moths and cabbage butterflies can find their ways to lay eggs on the kale. The eggs are usually found underneath the leaves of the kale, and they are often orange. You will probably find them in clusters. Kill the eggs by squeezing them as soon as you find them. 

If, however, the eggs have developed into caterpillars, they are best removed by being lifted off the plant. Alternatively, cut away leaves where many caterpillars have gathered. If you squeeze the caterpillars while they are on the plant, they will leave an unpleasant taste on the kale, so avoid that.

How to harvest kale

Harvest the kale leaf by leaf, from the bottom to the top, or outside to inside. This method is appropriate for all types of kale. In this way, you will get a longer harvest time. The plant will continue to grow, even if you pluck the leaves furthest down or out. In time, you will also be able to harvest an entire plant, like the one in the picture. But by plucking it by its leaves, you will be able to enjoy your kale earlier, and for a longer period of time. 

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