When To Plant Kale In Maryland?
Growing and care of leafy greens –
Incorporate compost into the soil before planting. Collards, kale, mustard, turnips, and pac choi are related to broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi. They are tolerant of cooler temperatures and if winter is not too severe, kale will re-sprout from stems in the spring. They can be grown in spring and fall but fall may be the preferable season (except for collards) because they benefit from frost which increases the sugar content and flavor of the leaves. Turnips are a double benefit vegetable in that certain varieties can be grown to produce both greens and roots (eg. ‘Purple Top White Globe’ and ‘Hakurei’). Kale and turnip greens are more cold-tolerant than collards. Mustard greens are the least heat or cold-tolerant. Collards are more heat-tolerant than kale or turnip greens. The latter two can tolerate temperatures of 15 – 20°F. All greens can be grown well into the fall in the mid-Atlantic region using a protected garden location, floating row cover, or cold frame. Greens are relatively high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals making them an important part of home and community gardens. Cultivars with red and purple coloration tend to be higher in antioxidants (e.g., Asian purple mustard). Watering – Regular watering is required for succulent, fast-growing crops. Weeding – Hand-pull weeds or cut them at the soil line with a sharp hoe. Spread an organic mulch around plants to prevent weed germination and conserve soil moisture. If seeds are sown thickly, early weed competition could be minimal due to shading by vegetable plants. Thin extra plants as needed.
- 1 What month do you plant kale?
- 2 Can I plant kale in March?
- 3 Can I plant kale in April?
- 4 Should I cover kale for frost?
- 5 Do I need to cover kale in winter?
- 6 Can you grow kale all year round?
What month do you plant kale?
Soil, Planting, and Care – Set out plants in spring 3 to 5 weeks before the last frost; in late summer, you can begin planting kale 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost for fall and winter harvests, and continue planting throughout the fall in zones 8, 9, and 10.
- Be sure to choose kale starter plants from Bonnie Plants®, so you know they’ll be strong and vigorous.
- Ale grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade as well.
- Plants that receive fewer than 6 hours of sun daily will not be as stocky or leafy as those that get ample sun, but they will still be plenty edible! Like collards, kale likes fertile soil to grow fast and produce tender leaves.
Enrich the soil with compost and fertilizer before setting out the seedlings. Apply fertilizer and lime according to test recommendations. If you forgo the soil test, work nitrogen-rich amendments such as blood meal, cottonseed meal, or composted manure into the ground before planting.
- The soil pH should be 6.5 to 6.8 to discourage clubroot disease, although the plants will grow fine in a pH of 6.2 to 6.8 if clubroot is not a problem in your garden.
- To be sure about your soil pH, test the soil with a do-it-yourself kit, or by using your regional Cooperative Extension office,
- If that seems too complicated, you can simply improve your existing soil by mixing in a few inches of Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics®All Purpose In-Ground Soil with the top layer.
Enriched with aged compost, it will improve both the texture and nutrition of the native soil. Kale is easy to plant, and grows beautifully in both raised beds and containers. To create the ideal growing environment for the plant roots, fill raised beds with 100 percent organic Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil and containers with Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Container Mix,
- Set plants at the depth at which they are growing in the container.
- Space them 18 to 24 inches apart.
- The leaves will grow bigger if given a lot of space, but smaller leaves tend to be the most tender.
- After planting, water plants well.
- Plants grow best when they have access to both great soil and a continuous source of nutrition, so apply a water-soluble fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition regularly for excellent results.
At this point you may need to be patient, because spring-planted kale may stay small until slightly warmer soil temperatures trigger vigorous growth. Kale planted in late summer or early fall may sulk through spells of hot weather. Then, when conditions improve, the plants will take off, quickly multiplying in size.
- Ale likes a nice, even supply of water, about 1 to 1.5 inches per week.
- You can measure how much water rain has provided by using a rain gauge in the garden.
- Mulch with compost, finely ground leaves, weed-free hay, straw, pine needles, or finely ground bark to keep the soil cool and moist and to keep down weeds.
Mulching will also help keep the leaves free of splashing soil for a clean harvest. You also have the option of growing kale indoors. An easy way to do that is in a hydroponic growing system like the Miracle-Gro® Twelve® Indoor Growing System, There’s no soil—plants grow directly in water that circulates around the roots, delivering moisture, nutrition, and air.
Can I plant kale in March?
Best Months for Planting –
In Mediterranean-like climates, kale seedlings should be set out in February, March or April for spring crops, and in August or September for fall and winter harvesting. Seeds are typically started indoors and transplanted into the garden after about 4 to 6 weeks of growing. For extended production from the fall until the plants naturally bolt in the spring, continue planting throughout autumn in USDA zones 8 to 10. Fall-grown kale benefits from the cooler weather that generates a sweet, nutty flavor only possible in this season.
Can I plant kale in January?
Cool season cole crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and other cooking greens, as well as lettuce, grow quickly and can be started indoors mid-January to be ready to transplant into the garden in about eight to ten weeks, just in time for early spring weather.
How cold can you plant kale?
How cold is too cold for kale? – People are often wondering what the coldest temperature is that kale can tolerate. It’s important to note that a plant’s cold tolerance is dependent on its preconditioning, For example, if a plant has been basking in balmy weather for weeks, and the temperatures suddenly drop below 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Celsius), even the most hardiest vegetable may not survive.
- However, if the same plant had experienced a bit of cold to toughen it up beforehand, it may do just fine.
- When temperatures drop, kale and other cold-tolerant plants don’t die, they just slow down.
- There’s an informative article from Oregon State University that says as a general guideline, growth rate doubles every increase of 18 degrees Fahrenheit (7.7 degrees Celsius).
But this only applies within an air temperature range of 40-98 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4-36.7 degrees Celsius). Luckily, kale belongs to the hardiest, most cold-tolerant group of vegetables which can withstand air temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.2 degrees Celsius). Kale is one hardy winter vegetable. Credit: naturalflow / Flickr, kale still surviving
Does kale regrow after winter?
A Two-Year Cycle – As biennials, in their first season in your garden, kale plants will put all their energy into leaf production, growing bushy and lush under the right conditions. To learn more about how to grow kale, see our growing guide here, In USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 10, biennial kale will continue to produce edible leaves throughout the winter. While in colder zones, these plants will go dormant during the winter – which means their leaves may die back, but their root systems will remain alive. After the first winter, your biennial kale plants will begin to put more of their energy into reproduction, and less energy into leaf growth. Yes, this is the birds and the bees part – which is the whole reason why plants produce flowers in the first place. The plant will bolt and flower, then eventually set seed before dying back. While the biennial is focused on reproduction in the second year, its edible leaves will not be as tender, so they may be better suited for use in cooking than eating raw. However, some species and cultivars are more edible during the second year than others. When these pods dry out, you can harvest them to save the seeds for sowing a new crop next season.
Can kale survive a hard freeze?
Frost Dates – First, know approximately when your location typically gets frost. See our Frost Dates Calculator for local average frost dates in spring and fall.
Note: On weather sites, many frost dates are based on a 50% chance of frost. However, our calculator assumes a 30% probability of frost. After all, do you want a 50% chance of your plant dying?
Second, know that a light frost—32 degrees and colder—kills all tender plants such as tomatoes. Hardier plants such as spinach and kale will survive until there’s a hard freeze—28 degrees and colder. (We explain the frost tolerance level of different crops below.)
As gardeners, our frost dates are based on 32 degrees to avoid the risk of any plant death.
Will kale grow back every year?
Does kale come back every year? – Although kale is normally grown as an annual plant, it is actually a biennial, which means it has a two-year life cycle. In its first growing season, your kale plant will produce lots of leafy green foliage. In USDA hardiness zones 7 through 10, it will keep producing new leaves throughout the winter.
What should kale not be planted with?
What Not To Plant With Kale – The ruffled leaves of curly kale grow well with lots of plants. Source: kusine Avoid planting strawberries near kale or any other member of the brassica family. Strawberries will impede the growth of brassicas, including kale and cabbage. To give your kale the best chance at growing, you will want to keep strawberries several feet away at a minimum.
- Tomatoes are sometimes listed as good companions for kale because they are part of the nightshade family, which are considered suitable companions to kale.
- Tomatoes grow much larger than other members of the nightshade family, and require significantly more nutrients.
- Tomatoes can grow to be over 4 feet tall and several feet wide depending on the variety, so they might shade out kale plants in the vegetable garden or severely deplete the soil nutrition.
If you want to be safe, you should plant tomatoes further away from kale so they don’t compete for nutrients in the soil, growing space, or even sunlight. You should also avoid planting kale near other members of the brassica family. Keep vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and collards away from kale.
Can I plant kale in April?
When to Sow in the Spring and Fall – Kale is a cool weather crop, so it grows best in the spring and fall and in locations where it can receive plenty of sunlight, In the spring, you can plant seeds outside immediately after the last frost. At this point, the soil will have warmed enough for germination to occur. You can continue to sow seeds until the end of May. Photo by Briana Yablonski If you are starting seedlings indoors, sow four to six weeks before the predicted last frost date. For example, where I live in Zone 7a, the predicted last frost date is April 18. Therefore, I start seeds indoors in trays the first week of March.
I love watching this new life grow when it is still cold and gray outside. In the fall, you should start seeds early enough that plants have time to mature before the days draw in, and become too short. The latest you should try to grow plants from seed depends on what organic gardening writer Eliot Coleman refers to as the Persephone Period, referenced in his book The Winter Harvest Handbook, which is available on Amazon,
This is the time when days are less than ten hours long. The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses For baby leaves, the latest you should plant is six weeks before this period. If you’re aiming for full-sized leaves, sow no later than 13 weeks before this period.
How cold is too cold for kale seedlings?
Kale Hardiness – Kale is one of the more hardy vegetables around, meaning it can withstand very cold temperatures. According to Burpee, kale can survive even when temperatures fall to 10 below zero Fahrenheit. The plant can survive through the entire winter in areas where temperatures don’t get too cold.
Can kale seedlings survive frost?
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Not ready to hang up your gloves and spade just yet? The fearless gardener still has a chance to plant some cold-hardy vegetables to harvest next spring, said Jim Myers, plant breeder and researcher at Oregon State University. But don’t dawdle.
- Winter gardening is a risky business,” Myers said.
- It may work one year with a mild winter but not another when the weather is more severe.
- If you plant some cold-hardy vegetables from mid-August to early October – depending on the crop – there’s a good likelihood you will produce something on the other end in the spring.
They say farming is a gamble. some years more than others.” Cold weather doesn’t kill these hardy plants; it simply slows their growth rate. For every rise of 18 degrees, growth rate doubles, but that guideline is only applicable for an air temperature range of 40 to 98 degrees, Myers said.
- If you plant cold-hardy vegetables from mid-August to early October, there is a chance they can mature by next spring if they survive in a vegetative state through the winter without reproducing.
- According to Myers, the hardiest vegetables that can withstand heavy frost of air temperatures below 28 include spinach, Walla Walla sweet onion, garlic, leeks, rhubarb, rutabaga, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, cabbage, chicory, Brussels sprouts, corn salad, arugula, fava beans, radish, mustard, Austrian winter pea and turnip.
Semi-hardy vegetables that can withstand light frost of air temperatures in the range of 28 to 32 degrees include beets, spring market carrots, parsnip, lettuce, chard, pea, Chinese cabbage, endive, radicchio, cauliflower, parsley and celery. For beets, spring market carrots and parsnips, the tops will die but the roots will tolerate lower temperatures.
Vegetables that contain the pigment anthocyanin, which gives them a vibrant red or purple color, are more resistant to rots caused by winter rains, Myers said. They include purple-sprouting broccoli, Rosalind broccoli and purple kale. If you live in an area of the state that gets prolonged snow cover, the fluffy white stuff acts as insulating mulch and warms the soil for these tough plants, Myers said.
No matter where you live in Oregon, “some of the worst problems we have in the winter are with rain rather than temperature, so protecting plants from the rain is quite helpful,” Myers said. He recommends covering vegetables with high or low tunnels made from metal hoops and clear plastic, available from greenhouse supply companies.
- To protect plants, you can also use row covers or cloches.
- To warm the soil use mulch made from yard debris, cardboard or newspaper.
- Cross your fingers and by next March you could be feasting on shelled, succulent fava beans seasoned with salt and lemon juice.
- For more information on extending the gardening season, see the OSU Extension guides Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, How to build your own raised bed cloche and Garlic for the Home Garden,
For an interactive map of Oregon’s first frost dates, go to the United States Department of Agriculture’s website, Want to learn more about this topic? Explore more resources from OSU Extension: Garden Vegetables and Herbs
Should I cover kale for frost?
Kale – Kale can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees and is also noted for improved sweetness after frost. A very hardy vegetable, kale not only tolerates the cold, but it has no problems with insects like cabbage can have.
Do I need to cover kale in winter?
Cold hardy and resilient, kale and collards are the most productive plants you can grow in your autumn garden. Plants set out now will produce an abundant crop of autumn greens, stand through winter with modest protection, and then explode with new growth in early spring.
Both the leaves and buds from overwintered kale and collards are remarkably sweet and tender, and plants that are allowed to bloom become beacons for early season pollinators. Collards and kale are both classified as Brassica oleracea, and have impressive nutritional profiles that include vitamins A, B, E and K.
Established plants are winter hardy to at least 10°F (-12°C) without protection. Horticultural fleece and/or plastic covers further enhance winter survival of the plants. Leaves and buds from overwintered ‘Red Russian’ kale Dark-leaved curly kale varieties like ‘Redbor’ make a beautiful statement in the winter garden, and provide vivid contrast with green-leaved varieties like ‘Prism’. ‘Red Russian’ kale has many devoted fans because it produces a heavy crop in autumn and then again in spring, followed by delectable flower buds.
I especially like ‘Red Russian’ kale for overwintering because the leaves stay tender through all types of weather. Among collard varieties, ‘Champion’ is easy and dependable, or you might try pale green ‘Yellow Cabbage’ collards, which are remarkably mild and tender. Be forewarned that collards are phenomenally productive plants that need picking twice a week in late autumn.
Like kale, the plants slow down and rest when winter days are short and cold. Summer-planted kale benefits from partial shade
Does kale need full sun?
7 Vegetables That Grow in Shade Not every gardener is blessed with full sun, making vegetable gardening challenging. But, by choosing shade tolerant vegetables, it’s possible to harvest plenty of fresh, homegrown produce. Different levels of shade Before you begin experimenting with vegetables that grow in the shade, it’s important to understand there are different levels of shade, and each level has a different degree of productivity.
Dappled shade occurs beneath deciduous trees, where the sunlight filters through the foliage. This is the best canopy for shade tolerant vegetables, as they’ll still receive occasional light during the day, depending on the sun’s movement. Partial shade occurs when a garden receives sun for only a portion of the day, perhaps in the morning or afternoon.
It’s quite possible to grow a decent vegetable garden in partial shade, just be careful to select the right kinds of shade loving vegetables. Full shade conditions, such as on the north side of a structure or under heavy tree cover, make growing even shade tolerant vegetables difficult.
In deep shade such as this, gardening is a struggle.7 vegetables that grow in the shade Most vegetables require a minimum of six to eight hours of sun. This is especially true of vegetables that produce fruits, such as tomatoes, squash, and peppers. But, the veggies listed below have a high shade tolerance, and you’ll get good yields, even with only two or three hours of sun.1.
Lettuce For the best results from this shade tolerant vegetable, harvest leaves in the baby stage, while the plants are young. If full-sized heads are desired, stick with loose-leaf types.2. Kale One of the most nutritious shade loving vegetables around, kale thrives in just a few hours of sunlight per day.
Kale is also extremely cold tolerant, making it a great crop for fall harvests.3. Carrots Though their roots will be slightly smaller than carrots grown in full sun, and they’ll take a few weeks longer to mature, it is possible to grow a decent crop of carrots with minimal sunlight.4. Chard Swiss chard produces edible leaves and stalks all summer long.
Don’t expect huge leaves in the shade, but tender baby chard leaves are amply produced with only three hours of sun per day.5. Beets Another shade tolerant root crop, beets produce small – but delicious and tender – roots in the shade. In areas with less than four hours of sun per day, focus on growing beets for their greens, not roots.6.
- Arugula This peppery salad green doesn’t just tolerate shade, it thrives in it.
- Because arugula bolts when the weather warms, growing it in shade extends the harvest.7.
- Radish A quick-growing veggie that’s ready to harvest in a mere 30 days, radish is one of the best vegetables to grow in shade.
- In dappled shade, this early crop is ready to harvest even before the leaves emerge from the trees.
: 7 Vegetables That Grow in Shade
How long does it take for kale to grow?
Starting Kale Seeds – Though kale will produce in warm weather, it has a tendency to become woody and bitter. It’s best when allowed to mature in cool temps. Start spring seeds indoors approximately six weeks before the last frost to give plants a chance to mature before summer’s worst heat.
Can you grow kale all year round?
Living in the UK, with distinct seasons, it is a challenge to keep yourself in organic vegetables all year round. With careful planning and clever planting you can avoid the ‘hungry gaps’. In the following page we’ll explore:
- Planning – what to grow and when
- Sowing – getting an early start; plus summer sowing for later crops
- How to fill gaps – different plant varieties; quick growing veg to fill the empty spaces; cut and come again
- Extending the growing season – greenhouse, polytunnel and cold frames
Planning Start by looking at hungry gap times: early Spring has little veg or fruit available, and of course winter is a challenge for many crops. Here’s what you can grow, or store, to keep you in vegetables throughout both these seasons:
- Brassicas – kale, cabbage, turnips, broccoli will all grow over the winter months.
- Some varieties of spinach beet will survive frosts.
- Root veg such as carrots and beetroot can be harvested late autumn, and stored carefully for several months. As can potatoes, onions and garlic.
- Parsnips taste better when harvested after the first frost, they too will store.
- Squash and pumpkins are cut late autumn and will store throughout winter.
- Both French and Broad beans can be podded and dried in the autumn for winter casseroles.
See Harvesting and Storing Sowing To get fresh greens ready for early Spring, sow or raise plants early in the year, indoors. Cool, light windowsills in late January and February are perfect for seed sowing, especially if you don’t have a greenhouse. Quick germinating lettuce and other salad leaves will give you greens in a matter of weeks.
Some herbs, such as coriander and parsley, will also get going. Sowing into a module tray is great for raising plants such as brassicas or lettuce. Because modules have a greater depth of soil than seed trays, they allow the young plants plenty of growing time to put down roots and mature. This means you can either delay planting outdoors (maybe the conditions aren’t right – too cold or wet) or you can plan a succession of plantings, by putting out a limited number every few weeks.
This succession means not every plant will mature/bear fruit at the same time. And you will have a constant supply of veg. Summer sowing The key to success in having veg through the autumn and winter is to continue to sow, even in mid-summer. This captures the productive growing time in late summer/autumn.
- Beans, dwarf French – mid July
- Beetroot – mid July
- Spring cabbage – mid Aug
- Calabrese – mid Aug
- Carrots, early – mid July
- Chicory, red – mid Aug
- Chinese cabbage – mid Aug
- Endive – late Aug
- Kale – Aug
- Spinach – Aug
- Spinach beet – Aug
Choice of Variety Choosing the right variety is important when you are sowing through the season. ‘Early’ varieties will give a quicker crop at the start and end of the season. Lettuces, for instance, come in many shapes, sizes and colours. Some can be grown well into autumn.
The loose leaf varieties are slow to run to seed. And the ‘cut and come again’ variety extends the harvesting period. Try mini-veg varieties. These are ready to harvest sooner than a large size variety, which is particularly helpful if you have a short growing season (further North) and they can be sown to cover the ‘hungry gap’.
The reason they are called ‘mini’ is that they will crop well at close spacing. You can sometimes fill the gaps by choosing a different type of vegetable. Here are some suggestions:
- Spinach beet and Swiss chard are excellent alternatives to spinach, cropping for months rather than just a few days.
- Kale is hardy, easy to grow and comes in many types. If sown as late as August, it will keep you in leaves all through the winter and the spring hungry gap
- Kohl rabi is not the easiest vegetable to grow, but when it does well it is delicious. It can be sown from late February to August, and can be ready in as little as seven weeks
- Asparagus needs a permanent spot, and it will be several years before you get a good harvest, but it is a great hungry gap filler from late April to early June
- Squash (pumpkins) store well into the following year
- Cabbage needn’t be huge. Growing smaller should mean an earlier harvest.
For advice on how to grow any of the above, and other vegetables, see our How to Grow cards, If you harvest veg early you can prevent a mid-season glut. New potatoes, the size of golf-balls, are delicious, as are slim small broad beans which can be eaten pod and all.
Cut and come again veg, like spinach beet and loose leaf lettuce, can be picked as soon as the leaves are big enough to eat, and they will go on providing leaves through their growing season (always leave a few on the plant to keep it growing). Extending the growing season You can protect many crops throughout winter and early spring by using fleece, cold frames and cloches.
Pots and containers can be covered with cardboard or hessian, packed with straw or bubble wrap. Greenhouses and polytunnels give sheltered growing space, but you’ll need to add extra insulation to prevent deep frost penetration. Use deep pots or grow bags inside for your veg.
Can you grow kale all summer?
Does kale grow well in the summer? QUESTION: Does kale grow well in the summer? Which kale varieties should I plant? -Shelley L ANSWER: Kale will grow throughout the summer in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 10, but in hot weather, it tends to become tough and bitter. For best results, kale should be allowed to mature in cooler weather. If you want to grow kale in the hotter parts of summer, you’ll need to choose heat-resistant varieties that have been bred to grow healthy and strong even in the heat. A selection of some of those varieties is listed below.
Blue Ridge : Blue Ridge is a hybrid variety of kale that has dark blue-green leaves that are fully curled, also called a “triple curl”. It resists heat well and is slow to bolt or stretch, with leaves that are easy to strip for quick preparation in cooking. This variety is ready for harvesting in about 60 days.
Lacinato : This heirloom kale variety holds up well in hot weather. Lacinato kale grows to reach heights between two and three feet tall. It’s referred to by a slew of names, including Black Cabbage, Black Kale, Black Palm Tree, Cavolo Nero, Dinosaur Kale, Lacinato Blue, Nero Di Toscana, Tuscan, and Tuscan Black Cabbage. Lacinato kale is ready for harvesting in 60 to 80 days.
Red Ursa : Red Ursa kale is a cross between Red Russian and Siberian kale varieties that grows between 24 and 30 inches tall. It tolerates heat well, is frost hardy, and is resistant to bolting. Red Ursa has thick, frilly oak-shaped leaves that are deep green with pretty reddish purple veins. It is ready for harvesting in 65 to 70 days.
Squire : Squire is a variety of Vates Blue kale that tolerates heat well and is slow to bolt when overwintered. Its blue-green leaves are finely curled, and it produces high yields. Squire is a sweet, tender kale that can be chopped and eaten raw in salads or used in stir-fries, with flavor that sweetens in cold weather when frost hits. Squire kale is ready for harvesting in 60 to 70 days.
Tronchuda/Tronchuda Beira : This Portugese kale variety has large leaves with a flat, round shape similar to collard greens. Tronchuda is resistant to both heat and cold. Its flavor is sweet and leans more toward that of cabbage than other kale varieties, and the stems are more tender than other kale types, so they can be eaten along with the leaves. Tronchuda kale grows to 12 to 18 inches tall and is ready for harvesting in about 60 days.
Vates : This is a dwarf variety of curly kale with blue-green leaves that grows to about two feet tall. It can be planted in spring or in fall. It can be overwintered by gardeners in the mid-Atlantic region and is resistant to yellowing leaves in both hot and cold weather. Vates is also known for being an especially flavorful type of kale that’s delicious served raw or cooked. Ready for harvest in 50 to 60 days in spring or summer and 70 to 85 days fall through winter.