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Growing kale


by Jane Moore

There are always a few jobs that I hate doing at this time of year. One of them is pulling out the overwintered plants that have flowered and set seed.


Jane MooreThere are always a few jobs that I hate doing at this time of year. One of them is pulling out the overwintered plants that have flowered and set seed. It seems such a shame to remove these plants when they're only doing what nature intended.

But I need the space, so I've ripped out the old curly green kale plants. They're well past their best. The trouble is that they're in full flower at the moment and look spectacular. Their bright lemon-yellow blooms are towering at head height and can be seen from every corner of the plot - far better than any show of wallflowers. They're also attracting bees and hoverflies, which is definitely a good thing, especially as there's not much else in flower on the plot at the moment. But they've got to go. I need the bed for my butternut squashes which I've potted on and put outside to harden off before planting them out later on this month.

It's sad to see the kale go, but next winter's crop is already underway. This time I'm giving the trendy black kale Cavolo Nero, 'Nero di Toscana' a go, instead of the plain old 'Dwarf Green Curled'. 'Nero di Toscana' has a lovely flavour but I wonder if it will flower as profusely next spring?



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Gardeners' World Web User 22/05/2009 at 16:01

I left my flowering leeks last year because the big purple heads were so beautiful and this year I have leeks for free from the seeds that dropped!

Gardeners' World Web User 23/05/2009 at 12:55

I left one pentland brig plant in the ground flowering last year, it resprouted and fed us a few pickings through the hungry gap AND set seed. I saved and sowed this seed this year - as I also grew the nero di toscano last year I wonder if the babies will be hybrids?

Gardeners' World Web User 25/05/2009 at 20:43

I was also inspired to grow Nero di Toscana this year by my veg box supplier and I was able to get the seed via an online organic seed shop. Read this variety is very tough, surviving most winters, so ideal for my exposed garden. Also growning Red Winter for the first time. I plan to harvest both varieties as 'cut and come again'.

Gardeners' World Web User 26/05/2009 at 21:13

growing with children what way up do i plant them

Gardeners' World Web User 30/05/2009 at 21:41

why has my kale flowered also it has not got curly leaves? is it past its best?

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