Ethiopian Kale

Ethiopian Kale

SKU: KL448
As its name suggests, this biennial cousin of kale (technically, it’s a mustard) is grown as a leafy green in Ethiopia. The leaves have a milder flavour than either kale or mustard, but are rich in nutrients. Read More

Exposure Full-sun

Matures in 48 days

Season Cool season

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More details about Ethiopian Kale

Brassica carinata. As its name suggests, this biennial cousin of kale (technically, it’s a mustard) is grown as a leafy green in Ethiopia. The leaves have a milder flavour than either kale or mustard, but are rich in nutrients. The flowers are highly attractive to honey bees, and the seeds are a potential source for bio-fuel. The plants are cold hardy and drought resistant. Grow for tasty, nutritious baby greens or full size leaves. The full sized leaves benefit from blanching or stir-frying to become tender and tasty. Plant some Ethiopian kale seeds in containers or raised beds.

Matures in 48 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)

All About Ethiopian Kale

Latin

Latin
Brassica oleracea var. acephala
Family: Brassicaceae

Difficulty

Difficulty
Easy

Season & Zone

Season & Zone
Season: Cool season
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: Winter hardy to Zone 6.

Timing

Timing
Direct sow in early spring to mid-summer for summer to winter harvests. Or start indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost, and transplant out as soon as the soil warms up. Optimal soil temperature: 10-30°C (50-85°F). Seeds should germinate in 7-10 days.

Starting

Starting
Sow 3-4 seeds 5mm (¼”) deep in each spot you where a plant is to grow. Thin to the strongest plant. Space 45-60cm (18-24″) apart in rows 75-90cm (30-36″) apart.

Growing

Growing
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. Add lime to the bed 3 weeks prior to sowing. Kale likes well-drained, fertile soil high in organic matter. This plant prefers plentiful, consistent moisture. Drought is tolerable, but quality and flavor of leaves can suffer. Mix ¼ cup of complete organic fertilizer into the soil beneath each transplant, or use 1 cup beneath every 3m (10′) of seed furrow.

Harvest

Harvest
Kale and collards can both be grown as a cut and come again crop for salad mixes by direct-seeding and cutting when plants are 5-8cm (2-3″) tall. They will re-grow. Or pick leaves from the bottom up on mature plants as you need them. In spring, the surviving plants start to flower, so eat the delicious flowering steps and buds.

Diseases & Pests

Diseases & Pests
Protect from cabbage moths and other insect pests with floating row cover. Prevent disease with a strict 4-year crop rotation, avoiding planting Brassicas in the same spot more than once every four years.

Companion Planting

Companion Planting
All Brassicas benefit from chamomile, dill, mint, rosemary, and sage. Avoid planting near eggplants, peppers, potatoes, or tomatoes, as the acidic soil these plants thrive in can cause problems for Brassicas.

More on Companion Planting.

How to Grow Kale

Step 1: Timing

Direct sow in early spring to mid-summer for summer to winter harvests. Or start indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost, and transplant out as soon as the soil warms up. Optimal soil temperature: 10-30°C (50-85°F). Seeds should germinate in 7-10 days.

Step 2: Starting

Sow 3-4 seeds 5mm (¼”) deep in each spot you where a plant is to grow. Thin to the strongest plant. Space 45-60cm (18-24″) apart in rows 75-90cm (30-36″) apart.

Step 3: Growing

Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8.

Add lime to the bed 3 weeks prior to sowing. Kale likes well-drained, fertile soil high in organic matter. This plant prefers plentiful, consistent moisture. Drought is tolerable, but quality and flavor of leaves can suffer. Mix ¼ cup of complete organic fertilizer into the soil beneath each transplant, or use 1 cup beneath every 3m (10′) of seed furrow.

Step 4: Germination

Days to maturity: From transplant date.

In optimum conditions, at least 80% of seeds will germinate.

Step 5: Harvest

Kale and collards can both be grown as a cut and come again crop for salad mixes by direct-seeding and cutting when plants are 5-8cm (2-3″) tall. They will re-grow. Or pick leaves from the bottom up on mature plants as you need them. In spring, the surviving plants start to flower, so eat the delicious flowering steps and buds.

Tips!

Disease & Pests: Protect from cabbage moths and other insect pests with floating row cover. Prevent disease with a strict 4-year crop rotation, avoiding planting Brassicas in the same spot more than once every four years.

Companion Planting: All Brassicas benefit from chamomile, dill, mint, rosemary, and sage. Avoid planting near eggplants, peppers, potatoes, or tomatoes, as the acidic soil these plants thrive in can cause problems for Brassicas.

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