Crop name: Kale
Scientific name: Brassica oleracea
Family name: Brassicaceae
Cultivar groups: Acephala group
Warm season or cool season: Cool season
Space between plants/between rows: Sow ¼ to ½ inches deeps, 1 inch apart in rows 18 to 30 inches apart. Thin to 12-16 inch spacings.
Fertility Requirements: Well-drained soil high in organic matter. pH 6.0 to 7.5
Watering Needs: Prefers consistent moisture but can tolerate drought (although quality & flavor will be worse)
Number of days from seed to transplant and/or seed to harvest: Kale will be ready for harvest 55 days from transplanting, 70 to 80 days from seed (depending on the variety
- Direct seed about 3 months before expected fall frost. Sow ¼ to ½ inches deeps, 1 inch apart in rows 18 to 30 inches apart. Thin to 12-16 inch spacings.
- Transplant (mid-October, unheated tunnel): 12 inches between plants, 2 rows per bed
- Cabbage loopers
- Cabbage worms
- Flea beetles
- Cabbage root maggots
- Cabbage aphids
- Black rot
- Black leg
HARVEST & STORAGE INFORMATION:
Flavor can improve with frost. Late May, early June harvesting. Harvest about 2 months after planting, multiple harvests possible. Cut entire individual leaves off with harvesting tool. Store at 32 degrees F for 10-14 days.
When Ready to Harvest: Harvest about 2 months after planting, multiple harvests possible. Flavor can improve with frost.
How to Harvest: Cut entire individual leaves off with harvesting tool. Harvest the older, larger leaves with the stem (close to the base of the plant) otherwise you could stunt the plants growth for additional harvests. Avoid harvesting the terminal bud.
Optimal Time of Day to Harvest: During the coolest part of the day (shade harvested crop from direct sunlight as much as possible); wash with spray washers
Best Method to Cool Crop: Vacuum cooling or hydrocooling
Optimal Storage Temperature and Relative Humidity: Optimum storage is 32°F and a high relative humidity of at least 95% (will help prevent wilting)
Possible Storage Life: At optimal storage, 10-14 days. Kale packed in polyethylene-lined crates and protected by crushed ice keeps in excellent condition for 3 weeks at 32°F.
Common Post-Harvest Losses/Problems: Wilting, bruise damage, leaf punctures. Don’t ship with ripening tomatoes, cantaloupes or peaches because they are ethylene sensitive.
Average Yields: Average yield expected/ft2 = 0.33-0.67 lb
Farm to YouNH Crop Data:
|Year||Crop||Variety||Date Planted||Date Harvested||Days to Harvest||Total Yield (lbs)||Yield (lbs/sq. ft)|