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Sea-kale

Sea Kale Stat Summary

Plant Spacing: 15" (381 mm)
Row Spacing: 15" (381 mm)
Planting Depth: 1" (25 mm)
Plants Per Person: 1
Soil Temperature: °F (°C)
Days to Emergence:
Recommended Soil PH: 7.0
Earliest Outdoor Planting: After Last Frost
Tick Can direct seed outdoors

Planting Sea Kale

Plant sea kale in an open, sunny area where it can be left undisturbed. It prefers a deep, rich, sandy soil; ideal pH is 7. Good drainage is essential; lighten heavy soils with sand or grit. It is possible to start sea-kale from seed, but germination can take up to 3 years; therefore, most gardeners grow sea kale from root cuttings.

Root cuttings can be purchased or obtained from established plants. Select a healthy 3+ year old plant; after its leaves die back in November remove it from the ground. Select side roots about pencil thickness and cut them into pieces 3 to 6 inches long. To avoid planting them upside down, make a straight cut across the top and a slanting cut across the bottom.

Tie the cuttings into bundles and stand them in a box of sand in a cool shed until March. By then buds will have appeared on the shoots; rub off all but the strongest central bud. Plant cuttings 1 inch deep and 15 inches apart. Water well until soil is completely moist.

Growing Sea Kale

In summers with little or no rainfall, water weekly until soil is completely moist. Mulch around but not on top of the plants with three inches of organic compost. Prune old foliage off plants and apply a light application of organic fertilizer on top of the soil in early spring. Forcing: after the leaves die back in winter, the roots can be lifted for early forcing in winter in a heated place, or left in place until spring and forced by covering it with a large pot or container that completely keeps light out. After the forced leaves and stems are cut, remove the cover and allow the plants to produce new shoots and grow away for the remainder of the summer.

Harvesting and Storing Sea Kale

The main crop of sea kale is the spring blanched asparagus-like shoots that are harvested when 3 to 8 inches long. The flower-buds, resembling broccoli heads, are not only beautiful and fragrant but also have very good flavor. The leaves of first and second year plants can also be eaten, and taste like collards. Roots can be used raw or cooked, usually boiled or steamed like asparagus and served with butter. Stop cutting in May and allow plants to regrow.

Sea Kale Insect and Disease Information

Sea kale is virtually trouble free.

Sea Kale Yield Information

No yield information for Sea Kale.
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