Kale ( Brassica oleracea) is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including vitamins A, B6, C, K, and calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron and magnesium, among others. Studies suggest it helps prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as premature ageing of the skin.
This hardy plant can cope with temperatures down to –7°C, providing nutritional support during an otherwise bleak period in the vege patch. While considered a cool-season vegetable, kale is adaptable and will grow well in almost any climate. In some areas it can be grown year round, but its quality diminishes in summer when temperatures start to rise above 25°C.
Kale grows in most soil types except heavy clay. It does not like acidity, so add lime, or even wood ashes, before planting if necessary to raise the soil‘s ph. Keep plants soil moist during the growing season and add a layer of mulch to retain soil moisture in the warmer months.
Watch out for whiteflies and white butterfly caterpillar in spring and summer.