Lacinato Kale is among the most popular varieties of Kale available for you to grow as of now. These plants deliver beautiful green leaves with a mix of blue. You can think about getting them to your flower garden or vegetable garden without keeping any second thoughts in mind. The leaves of Lacinato Kale are tender and thinner when compared to other types of Kale. Hence, you can think about using them for your dishes either raw or cooked. Moreover, growing Lacinato Kale will not be a difficult thing to do. Continue to read and we will share all steps with you on how you can grow Lacinato Kale.
What exactly is Lacinato Kale?
Lacinato Kale is a great example for an heirloom vegetable. People call this as Black Kale, Italian Kale, Toscana Kale, Tuscan Kale, and few other names. You can grow this as an ornamental vegetable and add to your meals. The Lacinato Kale plant would grow up to a height of three feet. When the plant grows up, it will have a straight stem. One of the greatest things about Lacinato Kale is that it can thrive during hot summer months as well as cold winter months. Hence, you may think about growing Lacinato Kale throughout the entire year.
When should you plant Lacinato Kale?
Before you learn how to plant Lacinato Kale, you need to figure out when to do it. You will have a lengthy planting season because this plant is capable of surviving both hot and cold seasons. It is possible for you to directly plant the seeds or go ahead with a transplant. The ideal planting season starts around three weeks ahead of the final day of spring frost to eight weeks before the first day of the fall frost.
Before planting Lacinato Kale, you need to make sure that soil temperature is in between 55 F and 77 F. You can proceed with harvesting from mid-summer to winter.
As you grow Lacinato Kale, you will need to provide some shelter to these plants during the summer months. Then you can minimize water evaporation that would take place from soil. Moreover, you will also be able to facilitate proper germination. When you notice sprouts coming out from the soil, you may proceed with removing the cover you placed on top.
Steps to plant Lacinato Kale
You need to be careful to figure out the perfect location for planting Lacinato Kale as well. We encourage you to select a location in your garden that receives around 10 hours of sunlight per day. Then you can ensure healthy growth of the plants. However, you may also think about growing them by offering six to eight hours of sunlight.
Lacinato Kale prefers excellent draining to thrive. Moreover, you need to ensure that the soil is fertile enough to support healthy growth. In case if the soil is not fertile enough, you may think about using a granular fertilizer before you plant.
Starting Lacinato Kale seeds indoors
The first option available for you to plant Lacinato Kale is to start the seeds indoors. You will be able to plant these seeds in cell packs or pots. However, you should be careful to use the best quality potting mix available out there for purchase.
It is a good idea to plant only a couple of seeds per cell. You need to dig holes with a depth of an inch. Then you may place all the containers under a grow light. Or else, you may place them next to a sunny window. No matter what, you should ensure that the plants receive around 15 hours of sunlight per day.
While the seeds are growing, you should keep soil well moist. However, it is also recommended not to make the soil too wet. That’s because the seeds will not germinate perfectly well due to the moist environment. When you notice that the seedlings are few inches in height, you may think about adding liquid fertilizer to them. By doing this, you can harden the young plants before you transfer them into the garden.
Direct seeding of Lacinato Kale plants
If you want to get large kale leaves, you may think about direct seeding grown up plants. You can directly sow the seeds while keeping a distance of around four inches in between. When the seedlings grow up to a couple of inches, you may replant them at a distance of around 15 inches apart.
Direct seeding of baby leaves
Baby Lacinato Kale leaves will help you with preparing delicious salads. If you are looking for a way to grow greens quickly, you may proceed with this. This is where you need to think about sprinkling the seeds evenly as much as possible. You should pick the leaves after a period of around four weeks from seedings. You need to plant the leaves at a depth of around quarter inch. When the seedlings grow, you will come across the need to thin them out.
Growing Lacinato Kale within containers
If you have problems with space, you may also proceed with growing Lacinato Kale in containers. You can have them in a sunny deck and support healthier growth. If you decide to grow the Lacinato Kale plants in containers, you will need to be careful to purchase fabric planters. Then you will need to ensure that you are slowly releasing organic fertilizer into the plants.
After some time, you may plant these in your soil. However, you should be careful to keep soil moist consistently. This will help you to ensure proper germination at the end of the day. When the plants are growing, you should water them on a regular basis. Moreover, you should also keep an eye on pests such as cabbage warms.
Be mindful about common kale pests
As you continue to grow Lacinato Kale in the garden, you should keep your eyes open about the common kale pests as well. That’s because they can lead you to trouble in the long run. One of the best things you can do to avoid the disturbances caused by common kale pests is to refrain from keeping anything that is beneficial for the insects and birds in the yard. If you see any caterpillars or eggs, you will need to hand pick them. You will also be able to wipe them out of the plants while keeping a glove on your hands.
Another important thing that you can do is to create a barrier for the plants. You can use a lightweight floating row to create such a barrier. Then no insect will be able to penetrate through the barrier and reach the plants.
Harvesting Lacinato Kale
As mentioned earlier, Lacinato Kale plants will grow quickly, and you will be able to harvest them within a relatively short period of time. For example, you will be able to harvest baby greens when they are about three inches in length. You may use these for wraps and sandwiches. Moreover, you can also think about pulling out the young plant entirely or pinching them off from the leaves. If you pinch the leaves, you can continue to support long-term growth of the plant as well.
Some people prefer to harvest mature Lacinato Kale leaves as well. The Lacinato Kale leaves would grow up to one foot in length. You can prepare quality kale chips with the help of it. Then you may think about adding them to soups, pastas, or salads. The ideal time to harvest mature Lacinato Kale leaves would be two months from planting them.
Now you know how to proceed with growing Lacinato Kale at home. Make sure that you adhere to these steps to get healthy Lacinato Kale grown at the comfort of your home. You will fall in love with the results as well.