Growing kale indoors is totally possible and can be totally easy. You just have to make sure the baby kale plants get what they need. Luckily kale is one of the easiest vegetables to grow at home!
Types of Kale to Grow
There are endless varieties of kale to choose from. Here are two of my favourites for the garden:
- Tuscan Kale – Lacinato: A dark, narrow leaf variety with a dimpled surface. Also referred to as “Dinosaur Kale”, this plant makes a lovely ornamental plant, and is the best salad kale. The smoother texture, delicate flavour, and dark green colour make this kale delicious fresh, all by itself. It is also lovely in soups. Lacinato Kale Seeds can be found online.
- Scotch Kale – Dwarf Blue Curled: A frilly-leaved dark variety most similar in appearance to average grocery store baby kale. Curly kale is the best type for making kale chips, and is also a favourite for adding to smoothies. The compact size makes these plants well-suited to urban gardening. Scotch Kale Seeds can be found online.
I grow both Tuscan and Scotch Kale each year. I freeze big batches of both types for later use in soups and smoothies. The photo below shows the three kinds of kale I grew last year: Russian Kale, Lacinato Kale, and Dwarf Scotch Blue Curled Kale.
Where to Plant Kale
Place your kale plant containers in an area which receives around 6 hours of sunlight per day. Morning sun is preferable to afternoon sun, as the hot afternoon sun can scorch the plants on a hot day (although it has to be pretty sunny to scotch a kale plant through a window!).
Supplies for Growing Kale Indoors
You only need a few things for growing organic kale indoors:
- Kale Seeds – your favourite variety (I like Lacinato)
- Small Cup
- Filtered Water
- Plant Container with Drainage Hole(s)
- Good-Quality Potting Soil (I like mixes that include perlite)
- Sunny Windowsill (or dedicated LED plant light)
- Garden Trowel
- Indoor Watering Can or Cup
How to Grow Kale Indoors
- Decide how many kale plants you would like to grow.
- Count out two seeds for every kale plant you’d like to grow (just in case!).
- Place the seeds in the cup and soak them in filtered water of 4-8 hours.
- Place the potting soil in the container and moisten the soil.
- Sow seeds ½ inch deep, about 6 inches apart.
- Water the kale each time the soil dries out. Keeping the soil moist is especially important when the plants are still quite young. The moisture will help the seeds germinate and become established.
- Harvest mature leaves starting with those at the base or bottom of the plant. Full size leaves may be as big as your hand. Baby leaves from the inside of the plant can be harvested for a special treat.
Once established, kale will also benefit from a thin dressing of worm castings. The nutrients will seep down to the roots and enhance the health of your plants.
For a continuous supply of the cutest tiny baby kale, try growing kale micro greens.
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