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Brassica napus 'Russian Red' (Kale)

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Plant description

brassica napus russain red kale

Kale is a leafy type of cabbage, and is very nutritious, hardy and easy to grow. It can be grown all year round, and grows well in a wide range of temperatures. It tolerates frosts when established, as well as heat. They are highly regarded as an ornamental vegetable, as their leaves are deep blue-green with a contrasting red rib, and frilly decorative leaves.

Russian red kale is tolerant of poor soils, but grows bigger and better with good soil, feeding and watering. Some lime is beneficial on acidic soils. They prefer a moist soil without waterlogging, but willl tolerate some dryness.

Kale is a repeat harvest plant, which means that leaves can be broken off from the plant, leaving the plant to grow on producing. It can be eaten fresh when picked young and tender, or older leaves can be cooked. Older leaves can become tough and bitter. They may be sauteed, steamed, and used in stir fries and soups, as well as in salads or straight from the plant. Chickens love the older leaves of kale.

Sow seed from spring to autumn, in seed pots or direct where they are to grow.

Russian red kale is one of the strongest and most disease resistant vegetables to grow. Aphids, whitefly and caterpillars are the main pests. Aphids usually attack underfed or stressed plants, so regular feeding and watering help to deter these problems. Caterpillars from white cabbage moths can be picked off or squashed before they do too much damage, with regular inspections. They usually live on the undersides of the leaves.

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: yellow
Flowering season: spring summer

Plant size

Maximum height: 0.75 metres
Minimum height: 0.3 metres

Maximum width: not specified
Minimum width: not specified

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

This plant will tolerate full or partial sunlight.
High frost tolerance.
Plant is salt tolerant.

Fauna attracting?

Yes. Attracts: Cabbage white butterflies, bees.

Climate

This plant species will grow in the following climates: cool, temperate, subtropical, tropical.

Soil types & conditions

Loam: moist, well-drained.

Clay: moist, well-drained.

Sand: moist.

Soil pH: 5.0-8.0

Pests

Aphids, caterpillars, white fly

Miscellaneous information

Planting season: Spring to autumn.

Types of fertiliser: Good general purpose fertliser or liquid fertiliser..

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