Kale Farming – Introduction
Green leafy vegetables are very good for health. The leafy vegetables contain many nutrients which are needed by the body. There are many green leafy vegetables cultivated. They should be included in the daily diet. Among leafy vegetables, kale is one such leafy vegetable.
The kale belongs to the cabbage family. The leaves or greens are eaten. The leaves can be green or purple. The kale has been cultivated and consumed for centuries. It formed a main part of the diet. Kale was also used for medicinal purposes too. Kale has many nutritional values. Due to this, it is eaten by people all over the world. The kale is very commonly used in salads. It is also eaten cooked. The kale herbs can tolerate extreme climatic conditions. It is a hardy plant. That is why it was so commonly cultivated in earlier times. It is because it can be grown under almost any conditions. In some areas, kale can also be grown as an ornamental plant. The kale plant bears beautiful flowers. Therefore, it can be used for ornamental purposes too. So, cultivation of kale can be profitable.
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Scientific Name of Kale: Brassica oleracea var. sabellica
Top Countries Producing Kale In The World
The kale is popularly cultivated and consumed in America, in Brazil. It is also eaten in Europe and Africa. In Asia, the main countries cultivating kale are China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea etc.
Common Name Of Kale In Other Languages
|Language||Ways to say kale|
|Chinese Simplified||羽衣甘蓝(yǔyī gānlán)|
|Chinese Traditional||羽衣甘藍(yǔyī gānlán)|
Different Varieties Of Kale Cultivated In The World
Vates Blue Dwarf
This variety of kale can be harvested after 56 days. The baby kale can be harvested at 30 days. It is a very commonly cultivated variety of kale. It is usually planted in the spring or the autumn season. The leaves of this variety are very attractive. They are blue-green in color. They are dense in nature and are finely curled. The frilly leaves are also very compact. The plant is erect in nature and grows up to be 12-16 inches tall in height. This variety can resistant to extreme heat and cold. The yield is very good and the plant is also very hardy. The leaves are eaten both fresh and cooked. It can be cultivated in winter too.
This variety of kale takes 60 days to mature. It is a hardy variety which can be grown in extreme cold. The kale is also very easy to cultivate. It gives a very good yield too. The leaves are moderately frilly in nature. This texture of the leaves is very good for putting in salads or in cooking. This is because of the soft texture of the leaves.
The red Ursa kale variety takes 60-65 days. The leaves are broad and have frills. The leaves also have a very rich color. The young leaves are best eaten in salads. This variety has purple colored stems. The stems are good for eating as stir-fries. This variety can also tolerate cold.
This variety takes 58-63 days to reach maturity. It might also mature late in summer. The leaves of this variety are fleshy and full of water. The leaves are round and flat in structure. The white colored midribs extend all the way to the outside of the leaf. The leaves also have a good taste. They taste sweet. The stalk is firm and strong. This variety can tolerate extreme heat and cold conditions well.
The maturity time for this kale variety is 60 days. The baby kale takes 30 days to mature. The plant is medium long in length. The leaves are dark blue and very much curly in nature. Leaves have a sweet and a tangy taste. The leaves are frilly and can reach a length of 90cm. This variety can be cultivated in autumn and winter. It is also a hardy variety. They can be harvested for the baby leaves or the mature leaves. Because of its colorful nature, it can also be used as an ornamental plant. It is best eaten steamed because of its delicious taste.
The maturity time for the kale variety is 65 days. The baby kale can be harvested at 30 days. The color of the leaves is deep blue-green in color. The shape of the leaves is like a lance. The leaves can grow up to a foot in length. This traditional variety of kale is popularly used in soups. It is also used to make vegetable smoothies. The nutrition content of the kale is very high. The leaves are also very sturdy. This kale variety can be grown in extreme heat and cold weather.
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This is a type of heirloom variety of kale. It matures in 55 days. The leaves are heavily frilled and have purple colored veins. The leaves also have deep lobes. The texture and taste of the leaves are mild, tender and sweet. This variety can be harvested repeatedly.
This variety matures in 60 days. The name is due to the red colored veins in the dark green leaves. The leaves are very much curled in nature. The leaves are an excellent choice for making salads. The mature plant leaves are extremely resistant to the cold. This kale variety can be planted with another crop as well.
This variety of kale takes 60-65 days to mature. The leaves are very attractive in appearance and have a good flavor. The kale leaves are green in color and have purple stems. The leaves are also shaped uniquely. They are flat and broad and are curled at the ends.
Cultivation Of Kale
The kale can be cultivated very easily. It can tolerate extreme conditions. In fact, the cold weather
improves the texture and quality of kale leaves. The kale is also a very hardy plant. So, the cultivation process is simple. But, to get high yields and good quality of kale, advanced methods must be used.
Soil Conditions For The Kale Farming
Kale can grow in almost any type of soil. But, for commercial cultivation, the good soil must be used. Very heavy and clay soils are bad for the growth of kale plants. Light soils must not be used. Kale grows very well in loamy soils. The fertility of the soil must be moderate. The ideal ph of the soil is 6.2-6.8. If the soil is too acidic, liming must be done. Soils of extreme ph must not be used for cultivation of kale. The soil must be rich in moisture but not too moist. Well-drained and well-aerated soils are good for growing kale.
Climatic Conditions For Kale Farming
The kale grows best in winter. The leaves develop a good flavor only in the season. There are many varieties which can tolerate extreme heat and cold. In winter, the kale must get lots of sunshine. In summer, they must be provided shade. Moderate temperature and average rainfall are good for growing kale.
Land Preparation For Kale Farming
A proper site must be selected for kale cultivation. The land must be ploughed several times. This must be done so that the soil is fine textured for the cultivation of kale. Proper decomposed amount of farmyard manure must be mixed with the soil. Drainage channels must be constructed in the land.
Propagation Methods For Kale Farming
The kale is propagated through seeds. Only healthy seeds must be selected for sowing. The seeds must be pre-treated before sowing. Healthy seeds will germinate into healthy plants.
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Planting Method For Kale Farming
The seeds can be sown directly into the soil. While sowing they must be put half inches deep inside the soil. The seedlings can also be transplanted from the nursery. The seedlings which have 3-4 leaves must be transplanted to the main field. They must be planted in previously dug pits and soil mixed with fertilizers. After planting, a light irrigation must be given.
Spacing And Season Of Planting For Kale Farming
The kale can be planted in spring season or in winter. A minimum spacing of 18-24 inches must be provided.
Fertiliser And Manure Application For Kale Farming
The fertilizer must be applied in proper doses. The kale plants do not require much nitrogen fertilizers. The potassium and phosphorus must be applied in proper quantities. Farmyard manure must be applied at the time of ploughing in the field. A soil test must be done before fertilizer application.
Irrigation Methods For Kale Farming
The watering is a very important activity in kale crop. The kale plants require lots of water to grow properly. Also, the leaves develop a good texture when there is enough moisture in the soil. The soil must remain moist at all times. During excess rains, the water must be drained out of the field.
Intercultural Operations For Kale Farming
The weeds must be removed from the soil at regular intervals. Spraying and application of pesticides might also help to a great extent. Manual method or chemical methods may be applied for weed control in the field.
The kale plants can be planted with potato, beet, celery, onion crops. Beans, strawberries or tomatoes are not good for cultivating with kale.
Pest And Disease Control Method For Kale Farming
The kale plants are resistant to most of the diseases. Proper crop management can give good results and also protect the plants from pest attack. In case of such attacks, proper pesticides can be applied. Sometimes, the natural method also helps. Seed treatment with proper chemicals also helps to control many diseases. The most common diseases and pest of kale crop are cabbage worms, loopers, and cutworms.
Yield Of Kale
About 8-10 tonnes of leaves per acre of land can be obtained by kale cultivation. the yield depends on the variety as well.
The maturity time for kale is about 60-90 days. When the leaves have become mature, they must be harvested. The baby kale can be harvested much earlier. The leaves can be cut individually from the plants. Delay must not be done for harvesting the leaves.
Post-Harvest Management And Marketing Of The Kale Leaves
After harvest, the leaves must be washed and cleaned. They can be stored in cold storage for a week approximately. It is better if it is sold fresh. The leaves must be packed carefully for selling. Only the healthy and fresh leaves must be sold in the market. The damaged leaves must be discarded immediately.
Benefits Of Kale
- Kale is very rich in iron. Iron can help treat anemia and other blood diseases. It keeps the body healthy.
- Kale has high quantities of Vitamin-K. This vitamin can help to prevent certain cancers. It is also helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
- The kale is anti-inflammatory in nature. It prevents inflammation and also provides immunity against many diseases.
- Kale can help to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood. It is good for people who have high cholesterol level in their blood.
- Kale is loaded with Vitamin-A. It is good for the eyes and helps to prevent eye diseases.
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Kale Farming – Conclusion
Kale is an important leafy vegetable. So, the cultivation must be done properly. The plant can also be easily grown. To get a good profit, proper farming methods and implements must be used. If a good crop of kale can be grown, the profits will automatically increase. There is a very good demand for kale in the market. It is eaten in large quantities all over the world. So, kale cultivation can be very profitable.