All year round
At its best:
Mar, Apr, May
Sea kale 'thongs' are root cuttings. Soak them in tepid water for an hour or two if they look very dry. Plant in compost in early spring, covering with a layer of compost 2cm deep. Keep the compost just moist and grow on the cuttings into young plants, protecting them from mice, slugs and snails.
In May, plant out the young plants, 60cm apart, in well-drained, weed-free soil, ideally in a sunny spot. Firm the soil well. Protect the young plants from hungry slugs and snails.
Avoid harvesting for at least one full year, ideally two, keeping the plants well watered and fed. Regular weeding is essential to allow the plants to establish well.
Sea kale (Crambe maritima) loves the British weather, is easy to grow and tastes delicious.
In late winter of the second or third year, cover some plants with black buckets. This will 'force' them, encouraging early shoots to grow taller, more tender and pale in colour. Keep watering the plants.