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The Kale Patch

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March 5, 2016
The cool season is the perfect time to enjoy the goodness of home grown greens. And you know what? Besides being good for you, they can look pretty darn good in the garden too. Southern Gardening has looked at the colorful ornamental kale in the landscape but I think some gardeners overlook the ornamental value of the traditional culinary varieties. This super food isn’t just flat green leaves anymore. Let’s take a look at some varieties I’m growing in my sub-irrigated EarthBox trial garden. As you can see, there’s quite a variety of color and texture. Here are a couple of my favorites. The first is Scarlet kale, which has broad, frilly leaves similar to the Mississippi Medallion Redbor. I really like the look of the crinkly leaves. It has upright growth and grows up to three feet tall. One popular type of kale is called dinosaur kale, which has deeply blistered, almost greenish black tinted leaves. I think you would agree the leaves really look reptilian. This variety is called Black Magic and is packed with healthy flavor and nutrients. An added feature is letting kale go to flower, like this Hanover Salad kale, which provides for the cool season pollinators looking for a snack. And speaking of a snack I absolutely love homemade kale chips. Email me for the recipe. There’s still time to squeeze in a nice batch of kale before tomato planting season and the garden centers will have transplants available. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.
Department: Agricultural Communications

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