Kale isn’t the cheapest of green leaf vegetables since its harder to find at the shops, and I’m honestly surprised that it isn’t more easily available; it was so incredibly easy to grow, its so high in nutrition, and its delicious! My local shops in Kuwait sells it for 3KD/500grams. Thats US$20/kg r AU$30/kg!! To think that I have had multiple kilograms of produce come off my small bucket… Selling kale is like a get rich quick scheme!
I’ve been so happy with our kale plants. We’ve made smoothies and kale chips and salads, and without a doubt we are going to be making more in the future.
And it’s been growing really well; the leaves are absolutely massive! As you can see, each leave is about the length of my entire hand and forearm.
As the leaves get older, they get wider.
I’m not sure how much longer this particular plant will last; I am probably going to harvest the entire plant and start some seedlings fresh again. Kale will survive for roughly two years per plant, but as you harvest it will grow taller and taller. Unfortunately for me I have a limited height on my shelves, and when plants get too large they have been be harvested and replanted.
The biggest question is… will I plant only one box, or multiple boxes of kale? Is there ever a problem of too much kale?
This week we saw the kale’s leaves turning a beautiful silvery shade. The picture below hasn’t been photo-edited. They color is fairly accurate to what I see myself.
The largest leaves are about the size of my palm, and I expect that they will probably get much larger.
Lets compare that color to the previous week leaves, which had the bright green of most seedlings:
The kale still looks quite small, especially compared to some of my other hydroponic plants such as the Swiss Chard. That’s okay; kale is slow growing; it takes 70-80 days for it to reach full maturity. It’s only 25% through its life cycle, so its barely even a teenager.
If you look closely at the base of each branch you can see a number of new leaves and branches beginning to emerge. The Cotyledons, or first leaves, are just beginning to droop, so they will probably die and fall off in the coming week.
What’s your favourite leafy green? Have you tried growing it hydroponically?
I love Kale, especially as a healthy alternative oven baked chip. I am honestly surprised that I haven’t been able to eat my kale… its growing faster than I can eat it!
If you look underneath the gorgeous silver colored leaves you can see that they have plenty of new growth emerging. Like I said, growing faster than I seem to be able to eat.
I am really happy with how the kale is growing. There is a chance that within the next two weeks I will do a complete harvest from these plants to start new seedlings. The weather is changing towards winter and I suspect that new plants will grow much more proficiently, giving much higher harvests in the future… (wait do I need even more yields if I am already struggling to consume it all?)
Have you grown kale before? What’s your favourite variety? What’s your favourite way of eating kale? Let me know in the comments below.
This week saw many of the plants explode with growth, and the Nero Toscana Kale was no exception. It doubled in size!
The leaves still have their gorgeous silver color that I am definitely falling in love with. I want to grow this plant as just decorative…
You can see the smaller and newer leaves emerging form many of the plant centre points, whilst the bigger and larger leaves are now overflowing and fighting for space.
I planted five kale plants to each Ikea Sockerbit bucket, and I have definitely decided that this plant needs the extra spacing. In the future I will plant only three kale plants per bucket. Unlike lettuce which I tend to harvest more regularly, I was waiting for the leaves on this Nero Toscana Kale to grow larger; the kale has less but much larger leaves compared to the lettuces.
I am going to harvest the kale tonight. I probably will leave some of the smaller leaves on the plants and let them keep growing, but the larger leaves definitely need to come off! It’s time to eat.
In fact I am probably going to do a large harvest of many plants over the next few days. I’ll make a post soon about how much I get from each of the plants. Check the blog soon for these details.
Have you grown kale? Did it look like mine? Let me know in the comments below.
I love kale. Offer me any leafy green and chances are I will pick kale. So I am obviously quite excited that my kale is growing.
I have a bit of a a dust problem in my grow room, but we’ve been having a couple days of dust storms in Kuwait. We are moving towards winter, so hopefully the dust will reduce over the coming month or two.
The kale are still kind of spindly; you can see them sort of falling over with the weight of their leaves. I suspect in the coming week the stems are going to firm up a lot as the leaves start to collect more energy from the lights.
This week saw the kale starting to grow their first real leaves. They have even started growing their second sets of leaves. I have noticed that once plants start to put out their “real” leaves the plants tend to suddenly go through a huge growth spurt.
Have you grown kale hydroponically? How fast did yours grow?
It’s been one week since I planted my kale seeds in my Kratky hydroponic container, and its time to see how they have grown! The variety is Nero Toscana.
Please excuse the dusty lid; whilst my plants are growing inside, we still get quite a lot of dust from dust storms, and just general air. I also noticed that my paint hadn’t fully cured and was slightly sticky, thus catching all those little dust particles.
4 out of 5 of my Nero Toscana kale plants sprouted, and have grown enough to remove the little grow dome (salvaged from some used Aerogarden Bounty pods).
One net cup did not sprout anything at all, even though I planted three seeds in each cup. In itself I would consider this just bad luck, but in the Swiss Chard bucket beside this one the same outer cup didn’t grow there either.
The rock wool medium is wet, so the seed should be getting enough moisture to germinate. Perhaps there is too little light reaching these outer cups? I have switched the outer cup with an inner cup in the hopes that it gets the light needed for a slightly later blooming, but so far nothing.
Do you have any idea why just one cup might not germinate? Please share your ideas in the comments below.
A bit over a week ago I planted some spinach seeds, and sadly they didn’t germinate. I began a bit of research as to why. Despite my spinach varieties being hardy to warm weather, they still need cooler soil to germinate! The adult growth stage can handle warmer temperatures but the seedlings are too vulnerable still.
I began to wonder what I could grow with my current temperatures. It’ll also be handy to know the minimum temperatures for when the seasons change.
Whilst my plants aren’t being planted in soil, instead hydroponic is usually planted in rock wool or peat moss, the germination temperature should theoretically remain the same.
Amaranth, Red Leaf
Basil, Purple Petra
70 – 90
21 – 32
Kale, Nero Toscana
Lettuce, Little Gem (Romaine)
5 – 24
Lettuce, New Red Fire
Lettuce, Red Sails
Lettuce, Red Salad Bowl
Swiss Chard, Bright Lights
Swiss Chard, Lyon
50 – 75
10 – 24
Taisai, Pak Choy
10 – 27
Tomato, Marmande VR
60 – 70
15 – 20
Tomato (Cherry), Supersweet 100 FT
Tomato, Sam Marzano
I measured my Aerogarden water and it’s hitting a maximum of 85°F (30°C)! No wonder my spinach never sprouted, its ideal temperature is 50-75°F (10-24°C). Its just way too hot for them.
I’ll have to wait a while for the weather to get a bit cooler before I can sprout spinach; in the meantime I can try growing some Bright Lights Swiss Chard and Nero Toscana Kale.