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Kale has the distinction of being one of the hardiest vegetables known to man. It is a non-headed cabbage variety noted for being exceptionally nutritiousâ€”an excellent source of vitamins A and C, itâ€™s also loaded with calcium (90 milligrams in a 1-cup serving) and folic acid.
Kale is super-hardy and adaptable. It likes sun but tolerates the shade and prefers well-drained soil. Because kale prefers cooler weather to hot, itâ€™s usually best to grow it in the spring and early summer. The flavor is better when the temperatures are relatively cool.
Sow seeds 1/2-inch deep, approximately 1 foot apart in rows spaced 24 to 30 inches apart. You can plant your transplants 4 to 6 weeks before your average last-frost dateâ€”kale can handle the cold. Plant transplants 12 inches apart with rows spaced 18 to 24 inches. You can also direct-seed kale 1 inch apart in rows spaced 18 to 30 inches, thinning to 12 to 18 inches apart.
About the Author: Samantha Johnson is the author of several books, including a forthcoming book on gardening for children. She raises purebred Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin.