Similar to kale, this green is a garden rock star! It’s mildly flavored, versatile, and thrives in Southern California gardens. Ethiopian kale is a must in your garden!
Ethiopian Kale ORGANIC
68 in stock
68 in stock
Ethiopian Kale is a dark leafy green that outcompetes kale in every way! Ethiopian Kale is tastier, less prone to insect damage, and grows great in Southern California and beyond. It’s actually a type of mustard green, but do not let that fool you. The flavor is superb! It’s mild and tender making it great for salads, sauteing, soups, just about anything. We were gifted this variety from our great friends over at Redwood Seeds. What a gift it turned out to be. We love this plant! It actually has less oxalic acid than spinach and has almost none of the “bitter” flavor that causes growers to not like kale and similar greens. It’s super easy to grow and thrives in the warm winters of southern California
Planting by Zones
- Kale is a cool season plant that does best in cool temperatures. It is happiest in winter and early spring during the seasonal rains but can be grown year round in mild areas. Kale can be easily direct-seeded or transplanted out.
- Plant from early spring until about 3 months prior to the first fall frost. Crop protection like row covers can extend the growing season.
- Kale is easy to plant directly in the soil or into starter pots and transplanted out.
- To direct sow, plant seeds in well-worked soil that has been deeply watered and is debris-free. Cover with 1/4” of finely sifted soil.
- If you are planting seeds in starter pots, plant into thoroughly moist high-quality seed starting soil. Place seeds on the top of the soil and cover with 1/4” of finely sifted soil.
- Once your kale has germinated and the first set of true leaves show, fertilize with an organic liquid fertilizer. When the plants are 3-4” tall you can plant them out into the garden.
- Grow in full sun during the cooler part of the year. In warmer months, kale can take some shade. If the weather is particularly hot, you can use shade cloth to protect the crop.
- Kale is easy to grow and does not suffer from many pest or disease issues. Plant with adequate spacing to ensure good airflow around the plants. This will help with aphids and whiteflies.
- Harvest at any point that the leaves are worth eating. In Zones 9 and 10 they can grow very tall because of our long growing season.
Growing Kale in Containers
- Kale is a great container crop. Make sure your container is at least 20” deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture. Mulch heavily on the top layer of soil in the pot to keep the soil from drying out or heating up too much.
Southern California Pro-tips
- In areas of Zones 9 and 10, kale can grow year round but will be less productive and tasty during the hot months.
- Mulch heavily around your plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much.
- Spray plants with a hard jet of water to remove any aphids you find. Check the underside of leaves!
- Since kale is a long term crop, plant in an area of your garden where you can enjoy tons of flowers around it. We love planting with nasturtium, alyssum, borage, and cosmos.
Additional Learning Resources