The popularity of kale has exploded in recent years and for good reason. Kale’s anti-oxidant qualities are thought to ward off against cancer and also lower cholesterol. Kale is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K. Beyond antioxidants, kale’s fiber binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when eaten raw. |
You can make a kale smoothie, juice it, put it in a salad, or even bake it into chips, among other preparations.
Though generally best grown outdoors in cold weather (kale tastes sweeter after a light frosting), it is a tough enough vegetable that you can grow kale during any season, except, generally in excessive heat.
That said, growing kale can indoors can be a fun gardening project in the colder months.
Here the steps to take to successfully grow kale indoors...
Select a Cool Location: Kale generally like cool air, and it can become bitter in heat. Ideally, locate it in any room that you know stays cool.
Lighting: Kale, like many other vegetables, grows better under full spectrum lighting. While you can purchase special grow lights, fluorescent light (full spectrum) will generally suffice. Don’t place the lights too high, however. You do not want the plants too far from the energy source. If using more than one pot, try to keep them at the approximate same height so that the light is the same distance from all of the plants.
Potting Soil: You will want a high quality potting soil. Thoroughly irrigate the potting soil with water to get it moist throughout. Fill the soil to the top edge of the pots.
Planting Seeds Plant the seed deep into the soil; about ¼ inch deep is ideal. Don’t try and fit too many seeds into the same pot. If you do end up with too many seedlings, you can thin them out after they reach approximately 1 to 2 inches high.
Drip Line: The preferred method for keeping the seeds moist is to use a gravity-fed drip line designed for indoor plants. While generally inexpensive, a drip-line will keep the soil consistently moist.
Harvesting: You can start harvesting once the leaves reach 7 to ten inches tall. Pull leaves off from the outside of the plant, as you would with lettuce. By harvesting kale carefully, you will keep your plant producing prodigiously for several months.
At this point, all you have to do is decide which great way to enjoy your kale! The choices are endless.
For more information about growing kale and the different varieties of this healthy vegetable, be sure to visit us at KaleGuide.com
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