Westlandse Herfst is an organically grown, tall kale that can be harvested from September and can withstand very light frosts, but must be taken off the land before it really freezes. The light green, finely curled leaves have a delicious taste and a fine structure.
Kale is a very versatile and healthy vegetable. Kale contains: vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B11, E and K and a very large amount of vitamin C. And the minerals: calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, sodium and zinc. Kale also contains a lot of dietary fibre, antioxidants, healthy fats and few calories. You can boil, steam, stir fry, cook in the oven, stew and eat it raw in salads and vegetable shakes. Kale is of course often used in stews, but also in oven dishes, salads, soups and as a stand-alone vegetable. Kale is very tasty in combination with: pork, smoked sausage, bacon, beef, minced meat, fish, potatoes, cheese, mustard, cream, milk, butter, pasta and fish. You can also combine kale with other vegetables such as: sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, courgette, spinach and fennel. Kale can also be frozen very well. Semi-hardy annual.
Brassica oleracea convar. acephalavar. laciniata
Outdoor sowing: end of April - end of July
Germination: 5 - 14 days
Germination temp.: 10 -16 °C
Sowing depth: ½ -1 cm
Plant distance: 60 - 75 cm
Sowing in rows: 50 cm
Plant position: sunny - half shade
Harvest period: September - February
Sow, from the end of April, as soon as there is no more chance of night frost, in a well worked and fertilised seedbed in rows 50 cm apart and cover the seeds with a layer of soil. Kale is a greedy plant, but doesn't need as much fertiliser as all other types of kale. But it needs a lot of nutrition, especially in the beginning. Before sowing, start to fertilise the soil with a large amount of compost, possibly enriched with cow manure pellets or other nitrogenous fertiliser. Keep well moist and weed-free during germination and afterwards.
Transplant the seedlings 5 - 6 weeks after hatching in a sunny spot with some shade. Keep the plants 60 - 75 cm apart. Keep the soil moist and weed free.
Make sure that the kale is sufficiently fertilised for the leaves to grow well. Nitrogen mainly promotes leaf growth. Kale, like almost all types of cabbages, needs rest immediately after transplanting of the seedlings. Kale does well in many types of soil, but sandy soil and well drained soil is preferred. In addition to nitrogen and potassium, give in the spring some Blood and Bone meal.
Protect kale against birds, snails and other pests. Don't sow or plant cabbages in soil that was also used for cabbages in the previous year. Keep a croprotation of 4 years and if there are diseases or other problems a croprotation of 7 years. Harvest the kale from September onwards. Cut off the necessary leaves from the bottom to the top or harvest the whole cabbage with a fork. The harvested cabbage can be washed and chopped. Blanch the cabbage shortly before freezing it or use it as soon as possible after harvesting. Kale can be stored for 2 - 4 days in the vegetable compartment of the fridge. Make sure you have harvested all the kale until February. If there is still kale in the field, you should harvest it all at once. Kale becomes more tender and sweeter after it has been exposed to frost.