|Gardening Tips: |
A Boost For Brassicas
Kale and other leafy brassica crops such as cabbage, broccoli, arugula and tatsoi all benefit from an extra dose of nitrogen. Forgo the chemical sources and look for what nature has put together for you. Aflalfa meal, blood meal, crab meal, soybean meal and cottonseed meal - these are all great nitrogen sources. The best time to give the crops their dose of "Vitamin N" is in early spring, at planting time. Follow the directions on the bag for the correct amount and work the product into the top 3" to 4" of soil. Then, put in your transplants or seeds and water thoroughly. Healthy, dark green leaves will be your report card and your reward.
Hail to the Hardy Greens
Most garden greens can hardly wait for cool weather to come. They perk up and sweeten up as the mugginess of August fades away. Crops such as spinach, arugula, claytonia and mache, if protected by a cold frame or simple unheated greenhouse, survive the winter in cold climates, to be cut and re-cut for a continuous harvest. Sow them in September in the north, October in warmer parts of the country. They do best hunkering down, close to the earth. Lettuce and endive over-winter best when cut at baby leaf size rather than full-sized heads.
Kale, collards and Brussels sprouts fare better if grown to
full size and left outdoors to soldier on as long as they can, since they do not re-grow if cut back in winter. We can often harvest them for our Christmas table, even in snowy Maine.
Ancient Egyptians believed that kale had magical properties, not the least of which was a cure for hangovers. We can’t guarantee this remedy, but we do know that kale is easily grown by even the most black-thumbed gardener. Direct-sow or raise transplants in late summer for fall and winter harvest since kale becomes sweet and tender after being hit by a couple of frosts. This nutrient-packed vegetable grows quickly and is ideal for baby greens, trimmed when young to toss into salads. Or, harvest larger leaves a few at a time; the plant will keep producing, over-wintering reliably in many regions.
Average seed life: 3 years
#2440 Red Ursa Kale: 55 days|
A broad-beamed, frilly oak-leaf of a kale, Red Ursa was bred for great
flavor and tenderness by our friend Frank Morton. It is a bicolor: as a
baby leaf, it is green with a hazy purple stem that blushes deeper purple
kissed by frost. It matures to mahogany-garnet with pale taupe stems. Baby
Red Ursa is terrific fresh in salad, and mature leaves are perfect for
slow-cooked comfort recipes. Extremely cold hardy, Red Ursa is one of our
top picks for early spring or fall harvest. Height: 18" to 24".(OP.)
Packet of 220 Seeds / $3.35
#2410 Winter Red (Red Russian) Kale: 50-60 days|
Our selections of Russian Kale include Winter Red Kale and White Russian Kale. Excellent for novice gardeners, these rugged varieties thrive in most soil conditions and make a splendid addition to brilliant fall garden displays. Featuring wonderfully frilled bicolor leaves, they grow to a mature height of 24” to 36”. Almost temperature tolerant, they may be sown directly into your garden from spring through early fall. Exceedingly quick growth makes them ideal for baby greens. (OP.)
Packet of 220 Seeds / $3.35
#2420 Tuscan Lacinato (Nero di Toscana) Kale: 60 days|
The rustic, pebbled kitchen gardens of Tuscany gave birth to this unique heirloom kale, prized for its phenomenal color, size and leaf texture. There is something primeval about Lacinato’s statuesque plants: huge, strapping leaves atop tall, sturdy stalks that can reach as high as 3’. This dramatic kale is prized by Italian cooks, possibly because the heavily savoyed, crinkled leaves grow as long as 18”. The leaf color is practically indescribable, but deep grey/blue/green with a silvery sheen comes close. The flavor of Lacinato is tangy and sweet. (OP.)
Packet of 220 Seeds / $3.25
#7870 Redbor Ornamental Kale|
Stately Redbor is a tall, frost-resistant variety with
striking, dark wine-red leaves that darken in color as fall
temperatures drop. Height: 14” to 18”.
Packet of 75 Seeds / $4.35
#2400 Winterbor Kale: 55-65 days|
An outstanding Dutch hybrid, Winterbor’s finely-curled, blue-green leaves grow lushly on plants growing to 2’. It is suitable for sowing in early spring or late summer for winter harvest. Tolerant of frost and snow, Winterbor lends itself to successive cuttings. Dutch folks take this vegetable seriously since kale is served in many a hearty winter meal. Often, it will be boiled, chopped finely and spooned onto a bed of mashed potatoes. The traditional accompaniment is rookwurst, a savory smoked sausage and gravy. (F1.)
So sorry unavailable due to a crop failure! Try Red Ursa Kale a great alternative!
Packet of 75 Seeds / $3.95
We're sorry, this item is currently sold out.