Growing kale in your own backyard is easier than you might think. The folks at Urban Fig are going to teach us! An I’m offering up a couple of the best kale salad recipes. I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Carol Carimi Acutt, founder of UrbanFig. Carol’s site is all about sharing ideas, products & tips for backyard farming.
As you know, I absolutely love cooking with farm fresh ingredients — and how awesome if they were from your own backyard!?
Since kale is so popular these days, I wanted Carol to teach us how to grow it ourselves!
Carol has an awesome UrbanFig Store on the site, which is full of fantastic things to get your backyard farming started!
It’s a Great Time To Plant Kale
by Carol Carimi Acutt
The fall is a great time to plant kale, especially in mild climates like Southern California and the South. Kale is sweeter in cooler temperatures, and you can start it from seed or seedlings in your garden box.
Kale is one of those greens that is pretty easy to grow as it is sturdy and will grow for years, becoming like a tree. As long as kale has enough light and water, it will feed you generously.
Guidelines for Planting Kale
- Full sun (minimum 6 hours per day)
- Enjoys temperatures between 60 – 65 degrees (this keeps your kale sweet)
- Slightly acidic soil (5.5 to 7.0pH)
- High nitrogen
- Keep soil moist
How to Plant Kale
- 1 plant per square foot
Typical Pests or Problems When Growing Kale
- Caterpillars, aphids, cabbage worms, downy mildew.
Organic Pest Solutions
- To get rid of bugs you can use Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Spray.
- To avoid spraying, you can do this daily:
- Remove the caterpillars by hand and check the kale daily with vigilance.
- Spray the aphids off with the hose — it’s helpful to have a great nozzle.
- You can also use Downy Mildew: Fill a spray bottle with half milk and half water. Spray this mixture generously on the leaves. The mildew will disappear!
Kale Growing Tips
- Add a handful of coffee grounds once a month, if your kale doesn’t seem to be healthy. This will add nitrogen and raise the acidity.
- Spray with Worm Leachate or Worm Tea every 2 weeks.
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Kale?
Kale is rich in Vitamins A and C, high in potassium, calcium and iron, and is a good source of fiber. It also has omega fatty acids and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Lots of good reasons to eat it and grow it!
The Best Kale Salad Recipes
Hope you give growing kale in your own backyard a try!