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Red Russian Kale, Heart of Plant

Red Russian Kale

Brassica napus
Ragged Jack is rugged: reliable, delicious, and hardy, a sweet treat into the fall.

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Among kales, Red Russian shines: its tender leaves are bluish-green framed by pinkish-red veins. It's as at home in a decorative border as it is in a productive row. Because its leaves are flat and thin, it wilts very quickly; if cooking with thicker, curlier kale varieties, toss it in later to keep it from overcooking.
Number of Seeds 100 seeds
Spacing in Row 18 inches
Spacing Between Rows 12 inches
Planting Depth 1/2 inch
Days to Germination 5-10 days
Days to Maturity 65 days
Height at Maturity 18-36 inches
Width at Maturity 18 inches

Nearly everyone has come to love kale, the sweet, super-nutritious king of leafy greens. And what's not to love? Sown in early March and transplanted in mid-April, you can begin harvesting delicate frilly leaves in late May. Sow again in late June or early July for a fall crop, which will provide leaves that turn ambrosial when sauteed with garlic and doused lightly with apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Kale likes to be transplanted--even the summer sowing--and it wastes less garden space to do so. It also gives the seedlings a head start against the flea beetles, which will happily munch on kale seedlings if eggplants and mustards are unavailable. Give the plants highly fertile soil and a spacing of twelve to eighteen inches depending on variety.

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