• DELIVERY INFO: Autumn Plants will be delivered in Sept/Oct. Please see FAQs for further info.

Kailaan Chinese Kale

£4.99

Out of stock

A fantastic versatile and healthy vegetable
This interesting plant is a quick grower and will reward you with deliciously tender stems, leaves, buds and flowers.

DELIVERY: Please see FAQs for up-to-date delivery information

Number of plants: 10

Variety: Kailaan (organic*)

Can be grown in: Chinese kale prefers to be grown in raised beds or a well dug veg patch. Find out more in our growing guide below.

In the kitchen: Can be stir fried with garlic, oyster or soy sauce and a pinch of sugar, add the leaves and flowers for the last couple of minutes of cooking – scrumptious!

Plant out: late April to early July. These plants will arrive bare-rooted with an approximate height of 10-15cm.

*Transplants suitable for organic growing.

Kale

Choose a sunny site with fertile soil

A sunny spot with fertile & moisture-retentive soil is ideal. Partial shade is ok too. Add plenty of compost or organic matter before planting.

Kale

Raised beds or a traditional veg patch

Kale is best grown in raised beds or a well dug veg patch. You could plant curly kale in pots or planters as this is a small plant, but Red Russian Kale and Cavolo Nero are better suited to growing in beds.

Kale

How far apart

Plant Curly Kale about 20-25cm apart, and Red Russian Kale and Cavolo Nero about 30-40cm apart.

Kale

Protect with a brassica collar

You can make these easily out of cardboard. Cut a 10cm diameter disc, cut into the centre and make a slit so that you can pop it around the base of the plant. This is to prevent cabbage root fly larvae from hatching by the base of the plant and burying under the soil to eat the roots.

Kale

Net against pigeons and butterflies

Pigeons love brassica plants and will easily destroy a crop of young plants in a morning. Meanwhile, cabbage white butterflies are attracted to brassicas and lay eggs on the leaves. When the eggs hatch, the caterpillars are quick to nibble away the leaves and strip the plant bare. To protect against both these pests, cover plants with fine mesh netting or horticultural fleece.

Kale

Water well

As weather warms up it is important to keep kale cool and to give the plants enough water. Try to keep the soil consistently moist rather than allowing it to dry out. During dry spells, water well, once or twice a week.

Kale

When to harvest

You can harvest leaves as they grow for a continuous crop throughout the season. Pull the leaves downwards at the stem to harvest. Start with the larger leaves towards the base of the plant (particularly for cavolo nero which keeps producing new leaves at the top of the plant – the others are a little more bushy so you can take your pick!) You should be able to keep the plant going through autumn and sometimes through winter too.

Pigeons

Pigeons will eat the foliage right down to the ribs/veins. Keep plants netted if you have a lot of pigeons around.


Caterpillars

Lots of holes appearing in leaves is a sure sign of caterpillars. They soon grow, and the holes grow too. Check the underside of leaves and you may see tiny eggs – wipe them off with kitchen paper – or caterpillars themselves. Keep plants netted against butterflies.


Slugs & Snails

Protect plants well from slugs, especially when they are young and vulnerable. Beer traps work well and you may need to to do a dusk patrol with a head torch and bucket to remove slugs if they get really bad!


Club Root

Cabbage flies lay eggs at the base of brassica plants. When the eggs hatch, the larvae bury into the ground and feed on the roots. The plants eventually wilt and die. Prevention is key – use brassica collars (see growing advice section)


Bolting/Early Flowering

Sometimes, if the plants get too hot or too dry, they can bolt and start producing flowers. To avoid this, keep them well watered and cool in hot/dry weather. A mulch really helps. If they do start to bolt, you can harvest the broccoli-like spears and cook them up as well.


Storage Tips

Harvest kale as you want to eat it – it will store in the fridge for a few days, but is much better cooked fresh.

Ways to cook

We quite like cooking up a super kale and potato hash with a poached egg for brunch. A great start to the day!

When we deliver
We usually deliver these plants through into July/Aug, although it’s a little dependent on the weather.

You can order from…
These plants are available to be ordered now and we’ll despatch them as soon as they are big enough to both handle the journey to your garden and handle life outside the poly tunnel.

Do I need to sign for them?
All our plant orders are dispatched with an overnight courier* to mainland UK and do not need to be signed for when they are delivered, but will be left somewhere safe. When placing your order, please let us know where you would like the plants left if you are not in when the courier delivers.

We will keep you posted
You will receive an email to let you know that your order is ready to be dispatched and another on the day your plants are packed and leave us, so you know to expect and prepare for their arrival.