How to Grow Kale – A Beginner’s Guide

kale plant growing in garden
Kale, which are known botanically as Brassica Oleracea, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing kale as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Kale

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the kale seeds 3 to 5 weeks before the last frost. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when kale are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Kale the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing kale in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your kale grow. Generally, your soil should be loamy, well-drained soil with high organic matter. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 7.5.

2″ apart in rows. 18″ apart in rows. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about  .25-.5″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your kale seedlings when plants are about 3″ tall, thin to 12″ apart.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Kale

How Much to Water Kale

How Long Does it Take Kale to Germinate and Grow?

When to Harvest Kale

The best time to harvest your kale is when the leaves are about the size of your hand.

Kale can grow up to about 1–2 ft. tall.

What Can Kale Be Used For?

Food Use: Bake this kale variety to make delicious kale chips.

Flavor Profile: Sweet and mild taste.

Can Kale Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you will ideally need a 12″+ containerfor each plant. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your kale around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Kale Safe for Bees?

Yes, kale are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing kale is bee-friendly.

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