Growing Kale or Borecole

Growing Kale or Borecole

Brassica oleracea acephala

There are a number of different types of kale, but only two are widely available — curly kale or Scotch kale, in tall or dwarf forms, and a hybrid called ‘Pentland Brig’. They all produce excellent ‘spring greens’ and are a useful crop to follow early potatoes.

Sow April to May and transplant July to August, spacing the seedlings 500—600 mm (20-24 in) apart. The soil should be rich enough if the crop follows early potatoes, but it may need some high-nitrogen fertiliser around the end of the year.

borecole When you are growing kale, the sowing and transplanting methods are as for growing cauliflower.

Pests and diseases: see Brassicas

Harvest from late winter into spring; pick the young leaves of the curly types and young side shoots of ‘Pentland Brig by snapping them off like Brussels sprouts.


Asparagus Kale, a hardy, late dwarf type which produces a profusion of tender shoots in the spring. These shoots arise in the axils of the frilly leaves and are very tasty.

Cottager’s, grows 2-½ ft. high. The leaves are crimped and curled along their edges and after a hard winter are often purplish in colour. Tender shoots or sprouts are produced in March or April.

Green Curled, has intensely curled leaves; the plants are of medium height and compact. One of the typical Scotch kales which withstands frosts well.

Green Curled Dwarf, is the best variety for small gardens, because it grows only about 1-½ ft. high and produces masses of curly leaves of excellent quality.

growing kale Hungry Gap, one of the tallest kinds. A good variety for colder areas, it will survive the hardest winter and is often not used until May or June. The leaves are dark green and much curled.

Ormskirk Heading, an exceptionally hardy variety, popular in Lancashire and Cheshire. Dwarf and robust. A rather loose type of heart is produced, and the leaves have a thick mid-rib.

Ragged Jack, has dark green, deeply-cut leaves with crowded foliage especially at the tops of the plants. A northern variety, much grown in Northumberland and Westmorland and in parts of Scotland.

‘Pentland Brig, hardy, long-cropping;

‘Tall Green Curled’, extremely hardy

Site: Preferably open

Soil: Firm, rich

Sow: April to May

Harvest: From late winter into spring

19. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Brassicas, Fruit & Veg, Kitchen Garden | Tags: , | Comments Off on Growing Kale or Borecole


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