Quick Reference

Harvest Type:  Continuous harvest over the growing season.

Transplant/Direct Sow:  Direct sow or transplant

When to Plant:  Direct sow 2-3 weeks before the last average frost date.

Indoors 6-8 weeks before the last average frost date.

Days to Germinate:  5-8 days

Days to Maturity:  30-40 days

Planting Depth:  ¼ - ½” deep

Germination Temp:  45-85°F

Seed Spacing:  3” apart.  Thin to 1’ apart when the plants are 4-6” tall

Light:  Full sun

Soil pH:  5.5-6.8 pH

Water:  1-1 ½” of water per week

Soil Temperature:  45-85°F

Fertilizer:  12-10-10 N-P-K ratio

Rotation:  Annually


Harvest Type

Kale is a continuous crop that lasts throughout the growing season.

 Transplant / Direct Sow

You can direct sow or transplant kale.

TIP: Kale likes cool weather, so a cold frame can help kale seeds germinate.

When to Plant:

Plant kale seeds or seedlings when the ground temperature is above 45°F. It will grow well in soil up to 85°F, but tends to bolt if the weather is too hot.

Days to germinate

It takes kale seeds 5-8 days to germinate.

Days to maturity

It takes about 30-40 days, depending on the variety.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds at 1/4 - 1/2" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Kale will germinate with soil temperatures as low as 45°F and as high as 85°F, but do best when the soil is around 60°F.

Spacing Between Plants

Plant kale seeds 1-2 inches apart and then thin to 12-inches when they are 4-6 inches tall.

Growing conditions

Kale loves the cool weather. It grows well in fertile soil with plenty of nitrogen. The growing temperatures are 45-85°F, making this a wonderful spring and fall garden plant. Water with 1-1 1/2" of water per week, keeping the roots moist. Mulch can be beneficial.

Companion Plants

Beets, celery, onions, garlic, peas, potatoes, and leafy greens such as lettuce, chard, and spinach are excellent companion plants for kale.


Rotate kale crops each year and supplement the soil with quality fertilizer or compost.

Anticipated yields

Plan your garden yield at 5-8 kale plants per person. Plan on 4-8 pounds of kale per 10-foot row. For canning soups or greens, plant 10-16 plants per person.

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