Italian heirloom with blue-green leaves loaded with flavor,
Also known as Dinosaur or Tuscan Kale, this Italian heirloom dates back to the 18th century, and is an essential ingredient of caldo verde (green broth), a popular soup in Portugal. By whatever name, the sweeter, milder, blue-green, heavily crinkled strap leaves impart excellent flavor, especially harvested young and after first frost.
Sow in full sun in early spring; midsummer for fall crop. In Deep South, Gulf and Pacific Coast areas, sow from fall to early spring. Plant seeds evenly and thinly and cover with 1/4" of fine soil. Firm lightly. Plants emerge in 10-21 days.
How to Grow
Before transfer to the garden, accustom to outdoor conditions by moving to a sheltered area outside for a week. Set kale plants 1-1 1/2’ apart in a sunny location. Kale prefers rich, well-drained soil, and can tolerate light shade. Avoid area where any of cabbage family grew the year before.
Harvest kale after first frost if you prefer a sweeter flavor. Pick the outer leaves as needed once they reach 6-8" long- about 55-60 days after transplanting. Leave the central bud since it will grow new leaves. Use kale as a substitute for lettuce, cooked cabbage and collards.