(Brassica oleracea) Kale may be the hardiest and easiest to grow of the cabbage kin. It excels in cold weather, tasting best after frost has kissed the tender, succulent leaves, and making moderate growth whenever there is even a slight warm spell. In the spring, sow seeds 8 to 10 weeks before last spring frost. For fall harvest, sow seeds directly from July-September for a late fall crop that will taste super sweet after a bit of frost exposure. Sow seeds ¼ inch to ½ inch deep, ideal germination temperature is 70-75 F. Seeds germinate in 8-10 days. Kale and collards require good moisture. Kale prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. Set plants out or thin to 10-18 inches apart. Kale thrives in rich soil, heavy on organic matter, that is moisture retentive but well drained.
A stunning ornamental, this is also one of the best-tasting kales we have tried! The incredible beauty of this variety belies its sweet flavor and tender texture. White midribs and splashed ivory and green foliage make a show in the landscape and on the plate. This cool weather-loving kale is ideal for edible landscaping and container gardening; the plants stand 2-2.5 feet tall with stunning bi-colored foliage. Young leaves will be all green, and as they mature, they will become splashed with white. A real crowd pleaser! This nutritious vegetable contains loads of vitamin C, almost as much as orange citrus fruit!
60 days. This loose-leafed cabbage dates back to the early 1800s at least. It has beautiful, heavily savoyed, deep black-green leaves that can be 24 inches long. This Italian heirloom is popular in Tuscany and central Italy for making fabulous soups and stews and is one of the most beautiful and flavorful types you can grow. One of the healthiest vegetables we ever tested! It can have up to 3 times the recommended daily vitamin A, plus loads of minerals, calcium, and vitamin C, as well as lots of fiber and protein, truly a miraculous plant from historic Italy.
(crambe maritima) Perennial in USDA zones 4-8, harvest in the second year. Sure to be the next biggest craze in northern permaculture, this edible perennial is as tender and gourmet as it is rugged and reliable. Sea Kale, aka scurvy grass, is a native to the European coastline. For hundreds if not thousands of years, peoples from the north Atlantic to the Black Sea have scoured the coastline to forage it as an edible delicacy similar to asparagus. The edible possibilities transcend harvesting for shoots; you can also eat the leaves as a tasty kale green. The Royal Horticultural Society has also awarded this gorgeous perennial with a Garden of Merit award. Thanks to its incredible ornamental beauty, the white blooms are stunning and attractive to pollinators. Plants reach 2.5-3 feet in height and 2.5 feet in width.