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West Coast - Scarlet Kale
West Coast - Scarlet Kale
West Coast - Scarlet Kale

West Coast - Scarlet Kale

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A beautiful new variety from UK breeding, Scarlet kale seeds produce plants that grow tall, with highly curled leaves, almost as dark purple as Redbor. Scarlet has great flavour either as baby leaf or mature kale, and the flavour improves (along with the colour) after frost. This is a handsome, ornamental, and very edible kale to try in your organic vegetable garden. Plan short rows of Scarlet for early spring, then for summer, and finally for fall and winter harvests. Chopped or minced raw kale contains the highest amount of sulforaphane, the compound thought to have powerful cancer-fighting properties. Boiling kale loses much of this property, while steaming and microwaving have less impact.

Matures in 60 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)

Quick Facts:

  • Nearly as red as Redbor
  • Open pollinated
  • Highly curled leaves
  • Great as baby greens
  • Matures in 60 days

How To Grow

Kale contains higher levels of beta-carotene than any other green vegetable, and is also high in vitamin C and calcium. Collards are not far behind. All are easy to grow, vigorous, nutritious, resistant to cold, and easy to harvest and prepare. And the greens even get sweeter after frost.  Follow along with this handy How to Grow Kale and Collards from Seeds Guide and grow healthy food! Perfect for juicing and long lasting green that stores well, delicious in crunchy salads.

Latin

Brassica oleracea var. acephala
Family: Brassicaceae

Difficulty

Easy 

We Recommend: Lacinato (KL425). This is a summertime favourite. While Lacinato is less cold hardy than many of its cousins, it forms tall, almost architectural rosettes of substantial leaves. Packed with flavour and nutrients, it’s a great variety for the beginner kale farmer.

For Urban Gardeners: Dwarf Green Curled (KL423) stays smaller and more compact, and grows perfectly well in containers or raised beds. It’s also cold hardy, so well suited to winter harvesting.

Season & Zone

Season: Cool season
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: Winter hardy to Zone 6.

Timing

Direct sow March to mid-July for summer to winter harvests. Optimal soil temperature: 10-30°C (50-85°F). Seeds should germinate in 7-10 days.

Starting

Sow 3-4 seeds 5mm (¼”) deep in each spot you want a plant to grow.. Thin to the strongest plant. Space 45-60cm (18-24″) apart in rows 75-90cm (30-36″) apart.

Growing

Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. Add lime to the bed 3 weeks prior to sowing. Kale likes well-drained, fertile soil high in organic matter. This plant prefers plentiful, consistent moisture. Drought is tolerable, but quality and flavor of leaves can suffer. Mix ¼ cup of complete organic fertilizer into the soil beneath each transplant, or use 1 cup beneath every 3m (10′) of seed furrow.

Harvest

Kale and collards can both be grown as a cut and come again crop for salad mixes by direct-seeding and cutting when plants are 5-8cm (2-3″) tall. They will re-grow. Or pick leaves from the bottom up on mature plants as you need them. In spring, the surviving plants start to flower, so eat the delicious flowering steps and buds.

Diseases & Pests

Protect from cabbage moths and other insect pests with floating row cover. Prevent disease with a strict 4-year crop rotation, avoiding planting Brassicas in the same spot more than once every four years.

Companion Planting

All Brassicas benefit from chamomile, dill, mint, rosemary, and sage. Avoid planting near eggplants, peppers, potatoes, or tomatoes. Plant collards near tomatoes, which repel the flea beetles that so often look for collard leaves to eat.