Why kale?

Why not! This ‘superfood’ is, fully hardy and beautiful in all weather’s kales will withstand a tough Scottish winter and, if harvested right, can be picked right through until the days begin to lengthen and they sprout, and you can cook and eat those too! New growers often overlook kales as we are distracted by summer crops when we need to sow kale ready for winter. Relatively slow-growing kales need some time to grow from seed and get established. One option is to buy young plants from community gardens, garden centres from mid-summer onwards and get plants growing and established before the autumn months. Once you are hooked, choose from a range of varieties by growing from seed.


Kale needs a sunny spot and fertile, freedraining soil. You can grow Kale in a medium sized pot or preferably in open soil. 


Grow: June, July, August, September

Eat: September, October, November , December, January, February

Growing tips

Some varieties can get quite tall and ‘heavy’ so kales aren’t particularly suited to sandy soils or windy spots. 

Any ‘brassica’ (member of the cabbage family) likes fertile, nitrogen-rich soil. When planting add plenty of garden compost or organic fertiliser. 

Kales, like all other members of the cabbage family, are particularly tasty to the cabbage white butterfly, and pigeons. So  where you can net your plants, and keep an eye out for bright green caterpillars and leaf damage and pick them off for the birds.

Most kales are best harvesting by taking the bottom leaves first and working your way up the plant. Always leave at least a third of the plant to keep it growing.

Into spring let ‘spent’ plants run to flower to produce early flowers for pollinators.

 Every growing space and every season is different and changes how we grow. Grow 6 is a place to start to practice and learn how to grow and adapt to these changes. Along with supporting new growers through regular updates, your tips and experiences are welcome as we all ‘Get Growing’.