Brassica napus (pabularia group)
~5,000–8,000 seeds/oz; 175–280 seeds/g.
Culture: Important crop in colder climates owing to its natural resistance to frost, kale is sweeter after exposure to cold. To enjoy it at its best and to avoid the worst of the flea beetle season, direct seed in July or August for late-season maturity. Kales are excellent microgreen crops.
Scientists say kale descends from wild cabbage, a plant found primarily on the lime cliffs of coastal Europe. Originating in Greece, kale was enjoyed for thousands of years throughout Europe where it was the most common green vegetable until the Middle Ages when cabbage became more popular.
One cup provides more Vitamin C than a glass of orange juice, more calcium than a cup of milk, more potassium than a banana and, per calorie, more iron than beef. Kale may be used in textured salads, steamed or braised as a side dish, mixed in omelettes, lasagna and stews, and made into chips.
Days to maturity are from direct seeding. Subtract 20 days from date of transplanting.
Note: We cannot ship packets greater than ½ oz. (14 grams) of any Brassica into the Willamette Valley. The State of Oregon prohibits shipping any commercial quantity of untreated Brassica, Raphanus or Sinapis because of a quarantine to control Blackleg.
Culture: Hardy. Require warm temperatures to germinate (68-86° ideal) but need 60s during seedling stage for optimal growth; higher temperatures make seedlings leggy. Heavy feeders; for best growth, need regular moisture and 2–3' spacing. Have done well for us succeeding onions and garlic in beds. Cauliflower and broccoli are damaged by hard frosts, especially in spring.
Young broccoli sproutlings make good microgreens.
- BR: Black Rot
- BS: Bacterial Speck
- DM: Downy Mildew
- FY: Fusarium Yellows
- TB: Tipburn
Pests & diseases: Major pests: Cabbage Looper, Diamondback Moth, Imported Cabbageworm
Cultural controls: control cabbage-family weeds near crop fields, till under crop debris of early-season brassicas after harvest.
Materials: Spinosad, Bt.
Pest: Cabbage Root Maggot
Cultural controls: time planting to avoid first hatching, use row covers, control weeds.
Major diseases: Black Rot, Alternaria Leaf Spot, Blackleg, Club Root, Downy Milldew, White Mold
Cultural controls: avoid transplanting plants with yellow leaves or v-shaped lesions, crop rotation, destroy crop debris after harvest, avoid overhead irrigation, control weeds, allow for good air movement.
Materials: Actinovate, copper compounds may help for some of these diseases.