My Tuscan kale (Brassica oleracea) just keeps growing, and growing!
For years I have simply kept adding compost and mulch around it, and harvesting its lower leaves. It is healthy, thriving and a source of abundant greens for so many dishes. I also take cuttings and make new plants super easily (see pics below).
I eat Tuscan kale in just about everything - curries, soups, pasta sauces, salads, 'eggy-bakes', omelettes. It is more tender and tasty than curly kale. It also makes wonderful kale chips. I made a little film about how to do this:
When you are choosing where to plant it, it's a good idea to keep in mind that Tuscan Kale grows to about 60-90 cms, and to consider it more a perennial plant than an annual. Because it goes up, I often have other things planted under and around it to utilise this niche.
Tuscan Kale is also known as Dinosaur kale. My 4yo son loves this name! But this popular Italian plant has many other names too - Lacinato kale, cavolo nero, black cabbage, Tuscan cabbage, Italian kale, black kale, flat back cabbage and palm tree kale.
So, to keep your Tuscan kale growing for the longest time ....
harvest the lower leaves regularly, not the growing tip.
keep adding compost
keep adding mulch
carefully snip off the new shoots from the 'trunk' and plant directly into the garden
Here's how to do it....
Look along the trunk of the kale to see if any new shoots have formed. Here on my kale you can see many significant sizes shoots forming around the base.
Carefully slice of one of the shoots close to the trunk, without disturbing the trunk.
Plant directly into well prepared soil in the garden or pot. Voila - a new Tuscan Kale plant ready for many more years of harvest!
Kale is such an amazing plant. Before it became the popular 'superfood' I loved it for how easy it is to grow, how hardy it is and how much food I am able to harvest. It's great for veggie gardens and verges, backyards and balconies, school gardens and allotments.
Happy gardening. Feel free to share this post.
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