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Useful Plants Series – Kale and Walking Stick Kale

If you like cabbage, kale is a must have in your garden. It is very tender, healthy and full of minerals. There are a lot of different varieties of kale, some of the most popular ones are red Russian kale and Black Tuscany (also known as Dinosaur kale or Nero). The key advantage is that kale never forms a head like cabbage, so you can harvest the leaves bit by bit as the plant matures. We have grown kale for a few years now and we don’t miss cabbage one bit. All kale makes for great recipes like soup or satay.

Kale is in the Brassica family and therefore it’s biennial and will flower in the second year the produce seeds, this makes for early spring insect food. It will happily overwinter after the first years growth and the leaves make for good winter greens.

Walking stick kale, also known as Portuguese kale is perennial and therefore you can harvest leaves off it for years to come. However, never harvest more than 25% of the plant at any one time same as rhubarb. We are not sure how old a kale plant can get, please drop us a comment if you know. If you manage to grow the main stem straight it will turn into a good and unique walking stick, hence the name.