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how to grow kale in containers & small spaces

How to Grow Kale in Containers

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Here’s why you should learn how to grow kale in containers: kale has been gaining popularity in recent years for its high nutrient content, making it a great addition to a healthy diet. It is a rich source of vitamins A, C, K, B6, folate and manganese, in addition to being a minor source of many other important vitamins and minerals.


How to grow kale in containers for your small space garden

Kale is a member of the cabbage family, of the species Brassica, of which broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are also a part of. Unlike cabbage, kale does not form a head at the center of the plant. Depending on the variety, kale can be an annual or a biennial, growing over one year or two.

There are many variations between different varieties of kale, with color ranging from dark green, to light green, to purple and even violet-brown, and leaf textures from flat to bumpy to curly.

To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each.

Starting a container garden? Grab my free guide on choosing the best sized pots for each veggie, fruit, and herb in your container garden – Veggie Garden Potting Guide


Planting Kale


Grow kale in a large pot, sowing a few seeds and covering with 1/2 cm (1/4″) of soil. Seedlings should sprout in 7-10 days. Once plants are established, keep only the strongest one, snipping the others just above the soil.

Grow one kale plant per 12″ pot, as they get quite large, or space plants at least 12″ apart in larger containers.

Mix granulated fertilizer into the soil upon planting, as kale are heavy feeders.


Watering Kale


Keep consistently watered. Water when the top 1″ of soil is dry to the touch.


Where Can I Grow It?

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Grow kale outdoors in a bright sunny spot. Kale is a cool weather vegetable and may bolt if temperatures are too warm.


Kale Growing Tips


Kale can be harvested two ways: as a “cut and come again” crop, by cutting when plants are 5-8 cm (2-3″) tall. Plants will grow back. Alternatively, pick leaves from the bottom up on mature plants as needed.

If well established, kale is cold hardy and will produce leaves through the winter. The sweetness of kale increases if it has been subjected to a frost.

Avoid picking the terminal bud (at the top center of the plant) to help to keep the plant productive.


Companion Planting


Kale does well when grown alongside the following: beets, cucumbersmint, nasturtium, green onions, potatoes, rosemaryspinach, sage, dill, garlic, lettuce, and Swiss chard.

Hi - I'm Brie! I’m a plant enthusiast here to help you keep your plants alive and thriving with beginner-friendly plant care advice and tutorials.

I’ve been growing all sorts of plants for years in my tiny apartment, both indoors and on small balconies & outdoor spaces. Let’s create your jungle!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. My dad, who loves planting, will surely love this. He has flowering plants and fruit bearing plants. I’m sure he will love it more if he can grow his own crops, for a change.

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