Do you like kale? You should! It is a versatile type of vegetable. It’s extremely healthy, too. The easiest way to grow kale is through container gardening.
How to grow kale in containers? Here is your simple step-by-step guide.
What Is So Good About Kale?
Before we take you to the important steps in growing kale, let’s first talk about this amazing leafy vegetable.
This is a type of cabbage. It is mainly grown as food, but it could also be used as an ornamental plant because of its beautiful curly leaves.
Kale has either green or violet leaves. Although, the former is more popular. But these colors are mostly for the food variety.
There are also kale cultivars that are mainly grown for its beautiful leaves that come in different colors:
By the way
These ornamental kales are edible. However, they are too beautiful to eat.
Here are the known varieties of ornamental kale with colored rosettes:
- Chidori kale
- Color-up kale
- Coral prince
- Coral queen
- Kamone coral queen
- Peacock kale
Another information about kale:
The central leaves don’t form into a head unlike most types of cabbages.
Here are the reasons why you should grow kale:
There are so many important nutritional benefits to eating kale. It is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world.
This means that there are so many nutrients packed in one bunch of kale.
What are these?
According to Healthline, these are the nutrients that you get from just one cup of kale:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
All these for just 33 calories. The six grams of carbohydrates are all fiber.
Basically, this just bolsters the health benefit of the kale. We are separating this benefit to highlight how this humble vegetable can prevent diseases.
There are powerful antioxidants in kale. The antioxidants are important in repairing damage caused by free radicals.
The oxidative damage from free radicals causes aging, and in some cases, cancer.
Now, on to the more specific antioxidants found in kale: quercetin and kaempferol. According to many studies, these substances are good for the heart and they could lower blood pressure.
They are also anti-inflammatory. They are also said to be anti-depressants.
Kale is also known to lower cholesterol.
Just keeps getting better
Kale also has the carotenoid antioxidants known as lutein and zeaxanthin, which lower a person’s risk of getting eye diseases like cataract and macular degeneration.
This vegetable is also good for weight loss since it’s very filling but it has low calorie content.
There’s no need to elaborate on this. It just tastes delicious.
The taste is more earthy. It’s crunchy and dry. It has a strong taste to it.
You can eat it on its own. It can also be mixed in salads and other food mixture because it doesn’t have a strong taste that could compete with other tastes and textures of other food items.
Not only is kale delicious, you can use it in so many ways. We mentioned that it can be eaten as is, and it can also be mixed with other products as in a salad or a soup or any other dish.
Have you heard of the kale pasta or noodles?
Yep! It exists
Imagine enjoying pasta without feeling guilty about it.
Surely you’ve heard of kale chips? Those are delicious too.
There’s kale juice as well. Just mix it with other ingredients to make it more delicious and refreshing.
You can elevate your dips by putting kale in it as in a cool ranch kale dip. You may also give mayo and cheese dip the kale treatment.
It’s amazing how many things you can do with kale.
We’ve covered this earlier. The regular kale is already attractive enough. The ornamental ones, with its curly features and colorful flowers, are even more pleasing to the eyes.
Put them in pots and you can decorate the entire house with it.
Benefits of Growing Kale in Containers
Kale is an annual plant that is grown from its seeds. It can thrive in a wide-range of temperatures but it’s mostly a cool-weather plant.
The enemy of most plants is winter. The kale, though, can survive at up to -15℃.
Kale actually becomes sweeter after a frost.
Anyway, why should you grow kale in containers? Whether you are trying to grow the food variety or the ornamental kind, there are a number of benefits in container gardening.
Easier to move around
Kale is generally easy to grow. You already have that going for you.
When you put them in pots, it’s even easier to monitor their growth while also making sure they are in a comfortable environment.
Let me elaborate
While kales thrive in cold environments, you don’t want snow to cover it. So, when it’s snowing out, you can just easily keep the potted plants away from the snow.
The same could be said when it’s summer. Kale is a cold-weather crop. It’s also more delicious when it has experienced a bit of frost.
When it’s the middle of summer and it’s really hot, you might want to keep the pots away from the heat of the sun.
Easy to care for them
Potted plants need more care because they don’t have a lot of leeway to grow. This means that during summer, you would have to constantly monitor the soil moisture.
You also need to fertilize more frequently.
On the brighter side
It’s very easy to water them appropriately because they are already in pots.
It’s also easier to fertilize.
Change decorations anytime
For ornamental plants, you can change their locations anytime you feel like it.
You are changing the ambiance and how your home looks when you feel like it. That’s how easy it is with potted decorative plants.
They would be great at upgrading the interiors of your home.
How to Grow Kale in Containers
You know, with just a few pots of kale, you can already feed your entire family. And remember, there are so many ways to use the kale.
The family will never get tired of eating kale.
So, how do we plant kale?
1. Prepare your materials:
- Kale seeds
- Soil (light soil mixed with organic matter)
Note on the containers:
Give the kale enough place to grow. Find a container that is around 12 inches in diameter. Something a little deeper, too, to give the roots a lot of room to grow.
They should have proper drainage.
2. Sow your seeds
Sow the seeds indoors.
Also, it’s important that you plant the kale between the fall and early spring. Always remember that kale thrives better in the cold.
For a small container, the kale can be at least four inches apart. You can adjust the space in between depending on the size of your container.
Check the seed label about appropriate sowing and care for the particular cultivar you got.
3. Allow containers to have access to sunlight
Kale may love the cold but it also needs to have sunlight to grow healthy. Make sure you put the container in a place where kale can have at least six hours of sunlight.
4. Water as needed
To know if you need to water your kale, you need to touch the soil. If it’s dry, then you need to water.
The soil needs to be moist at all times.
You need to fertilize at least every week during the early growing season. Then you can adjust it every two weeks.
You can start harvesting kale in two months. That’s how fast it grows.
But to make sure that you are not harvesting it too early, a good rule of thumb is when the size of the leaves are about the size of your hand.
You’re ready to reap
Pick the leaves one by one starting with the outermost leaf.
Leave the small ones, those in the middle, so they will continue to grow.
The good news!
You may be able to harvest again in a week or so.
That’s how amazing kale is!
Kale is one of the most versatile vegetables around. It can be eaten as is, or it could be used as an ingredient in a salad, soup, and many other dishes. It can be made into pasta or into chips. Kale is definitely amazing!
So, how to grow kale in containers? There are five very easy steps that you can follow and then you can start harvesting in at least two months. It’s a cold-weather vegetable that would need at least six hours of sunlight.
Kale is very healthy, which is why you should make it part of your diet. Since it’s very easy to plant, you should grow them in containers at home.