Increasingly popular with home gardeners Tuscan Kale is also known as Cavalo Nero or 'Nero de Toscana'.
When you realise how easy it is to grow, how nutritious it is and add that it actually looks great in the garden, you may well want to plant some.
The best way to grow Tuscan Kale is from seed, however seedling plants grow well as long as they are young and are not pot bound. Kale seems to be available in nurseries all year round, however it is actually a cool season crop, so plant it early for good results.
As with most leafy greens Tuscan Kale love a nitrogen rich soil, so fertilizers such as dynamic lifter, work wonders.
The best time to plant Kaleis in cooler periods of the year, so autumn through to late winter.
In colder climates you can plant it in spring to summer.
It may not look pretty, and often seen as a European vegetable, but Kale is a nutritious vegetable that is easy to grow, excellent in the home garden.
Sometimes put forward as a 'cold climate' crop it is a little more versatile than that. And it is a leafy green vegetable used in salads as well as cooked dishes.
Available for sale as seeds or as seedlings. For seeds expect to pay around $3 - 4 for 100 seeds (organically certified) Kale is a plant jam packed with vitamins, it is low in calories, high in fibre and has no fat. It has more iron than beef and is very high in vitamins A and K and it is easy to grow. Some other benefits include :
Kale is available in a range of varieties including the popular cavolo nero variety. We also have different leaf types, such as curly and flat.
Sowing Kale Seeds
Best grown in a humus rich fertile soil, an in a sunny position. Te biggest problems are with seedlings, slugs and snails love the smaller plants and can decimate new plantings.
As for when top plant, Kale is a cold weather crop, it takes 12 - 16 weeks to mature. So plant it 4 months before early summer.
Plant seedlings at around 40 cm apart or thin seed sown plants to a similar distance. Kale is a large plant and needs a little space to grow.
Seed is best sown in autumn and seedlings best planted in early winter in most areas of Australia.
As for the idea that Kale tastes better in a frosty position,. This is sort of true, but only light frosts, all Kale plants need protection from very heavy frosts and Tuscan Kale is no exception.
Kale is available in a range of cultivars or varieties including: