Incredible Edible Kale

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Kale

Image by Jess CC BY-NC 2.0

Kale, Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group), is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat—one serving is both low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals, including 200 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement.

Kale can be grown in the home garden in rows, planted in containers, or even used as an accent plant in the landscape. Once growing well, there are few insect problems after a frost occurs. Flea beetles are the exception. These insects overwinter as adults in plant debris. In early spring, they often become active. If there are extended warm spells in the winter, they may also come to kale and other crucifers to feed.

If you like the sweetest leaves, harvest after the first frost. To encourage plants to continue to grow, harvest the larger leaves, allowing the center leaves to continue to produce. For more information on growing, purchasing and cooking kale, visit content.ces.ncsu.edu/kale.

—Shannon Newton

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