Appalachia Gardening

Kale Report

My Sow True Seed Kale is continuing to grow like crazy! I planted Red Russian, Dwarf Siberian, Vates, Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch, and Lacinato. Hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to I’d go with Lacinato. I like the taste and I like how it looks-very pretty.

We’ve been eating from my kale beds, Miss Cindy has been eating from our kale beds, and I’ve even fed our hens from our kale beds. We still have plenty! The beds have been such a huge success that I’m positive I’ll be planting Kale as part of my fall garden for years to come.

Even with all the eating, I’ve still been able to put some in the freezer. I’m hoping the kale beds continue through the winter-at least through part of it. I’ve read about people growing kale farther north who simply dig it out from under the snow to harvest. Surely mine will do pretty good this far south.

Below are 2 recent reports I received from Sow True Seed Deputized Kale Reporters @ Large.

“I’ve attached pictures of the four rows of Kale I planted. I’ve numbered the varieties to make it easy to track them. The full view of my garden has Swiss Chard on the right, and kales 1 thru 4 from it to the left.

I haven’t tried them yet, but hope to start eating tomorrow. I’ll mail the info forms off next week and then give you updates once a month as the plants progress.”

Report from Steven – October 10 (Steven grew  Lacinato, Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch, Red Ursa, and White Russian)



“I am wishing I had amended my raised beds just like my Master Gardener son had told me too. The plants in the raised bed didn’t fair well. It is so so very important to make sure the soil you use is ready to nourish the seeds. These seeds performed great and any loss is my fault. I ended up making a compost tea to try to save them. Don’t ever make compost tea if you can’t stand the stench from the bowels of hell. It worked tho.

The Kale I planted in the pots thrived. They look beautiful and really took off after I thinned them. I used miracle grow potting soil. The pots set on the porch rail are the thinnings from the pots.(Lacinato). I hate seeing things die so I pulled out all the stops on what to plant them in ha ha.

Thank you for letting me participate.”

Report from Lorraine October 13 (Lorraine planted White Russian, Dwarf Siberian, Red Russian, and Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch)


“My squash did great but the kale was a flop. First died from the heat. We had an unusual hot spell. Then the next time I planted, it came up quick and the bugs ate it to the ground. Now the ground is starting to freeze so no kale til Spring.”

Report from Barbara – November 2


I hope you enjoyed the Kale Reports. Lorraine’s comment about the compost tea made me smile-been there done that! Drop back by to see how I’ve been freezing my Kale…its really a difficult process (not).



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  • Reply
    Edwin Ammons
    November 5, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Tell b. it’s not so much which bugs are hiding in the corners and crevices but who were the immigrant farm workers who were a long way from the port-a-john when the urge hit. Tell her I overestimated my appetite the other day and scarfed it all up last night. Tell her to let me know when she is coming over and I will buy a whole bushel of kale. Maybe I can scrape together the $2.38.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 5, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Tell Ed…we’ll be there to “hep” him eat the rest of his Kale, that is if he will make a skillet of cornbread!
    PS….When I get the curly-edged kale, I too wash the daylights out of it with a bit of salt in the water. Even though, it is late in the year for many small bugs, the curls and frilly lacey edges just seem to be a perfect place for a bugs hidin’ place! ha

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    As I said the other day, you have me hooked on Kale. But I have to buy it and I know that ain’t the best. I do pick through all the store has displayed to find the best I can. A couple of days ago I was at Food Lion and saw some kale that looked prettier than what I usually see. It wasn’t real dark green, the stems were smaller and the leaves were curlier on the edges. Plus there was three times as much inside the red rubber band than the other bundles. The bundle was so big it was hard to get it in the plastic bag. It was $1.19! For a half a bushel of kale!
    When I got it home I washed it good (real good) and fried (more like steamed, with the lid on, on low heat) it in a little bacon grease with some sweet onion. When it was done I sprinkled a little grated Parmesan cheese on it and when on to heaven. I knew the onion would be sweet but so was the kale. Not a bit bitter! Not a bite in the bunch bit back!
    PS: No, I didn’t eat it all. I still have enough left for two more messes.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    November 4, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I know I shoudn’t be, but seeing all those things growing in your Fall Garden makes me a bit jealous. And I enjoyed reading the reports of Steven and
    Barbara, made me wish I had the energy to plant something. All this reminds
    me of my crippled mama who’d say “you just wait’ll next year.” …Ken

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    November 4, 2015 at 11:07 am

    That’s some good-looking kale. It’s wonderful that such a nutritious vegetable is now popular. Back in the day when I put in a big garden I often had to explain what kale was. The old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” could be just as well applied to any member of the cabbage family – kale, collard, brussels sprout, broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I love the pictures! Kale is such a beautiful plant, and I have only seen two varieties before now, so this is very inspiring for next year. Last year I had plenty of Lacinato to share with the hens and the goats. Not enough to freeze, but come winter I sure wished I had! Good for you, Tipper 🙂

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 4, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Your kale should go through the winter fine. As best I recall, it got down to 18 F here last winter and the kale showed no effects at all. You will, however, need to pull it up in the spring for the planting room and that is kind of hard to do. I have the same problem with spinach. It will be at its best just before it bolts and just when I need to be planting.
    By the way, I know you grow some herbs but is it a major interest ? I grow about 10 to 12 different ones. I like the fact that a small area supplies all one needs. And several are handsome plants year-round. My rosemary often blooms in April then again in November. I would use it and sage as foundation plantings but it is too shady around the house.
    I dry some of them to give away. My daughter got me a dehydrator several years ago and I have fun with it. Have not tried fruits or vegetables yet or made potato chips.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    November 4, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Enjoyed the reports although I didn’t grow any!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 8:17 am

    I never tried to plant kale. From reading this post, I think it is something worth a try. Great pics!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 4, 2015 at 4:34 am

    All hale the kale!….I wish ours would have grown better…Well, the deer liked it so well and also like the raised bed patch…Maybe next year we can get it in earlier.
    My brother-in-law has provided us with a lot of greens…and those white turnips, which I just love!
    I sure was looking forward to making a batch of those kale chips….
    All the pictures look great..
    Thanks for this post Tipper,

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