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Kale is a plant with a rich history. Many centuries ago, it was taken out of its wild-growing form, after which it was firmly accustomed to the beds as an element of exquisite dishes. In its usefulness and nutritional value, it is much superior to ordinary white cabbage. So, the carotene in it is more than 70 times. In the list of the most vitamin-rich vegetables, it confidently takes the second place after black radish, and gardeners are valued as a medicinal plant.
Biological and other properties
Kale is a herbaceous vegetable up to half a meter high, which in the first year forms an entire rosette of powerful and diverse in structure leaves, starting with curly and flat, and ending with dissected and whole. The color of such a cabbage can be all conceivable shades - from classic green to purple and purple.
Peduncles collected in the brush appear on it in the second year of growth, reaching a height of half a meter with a yellowish tint. Propagated by pods, the seeds of which look like small ovals. Seed germination quality is maintained up to 4 years.
Cabbage boasts the presence of vitamins such as C and B, rich in carotene, iron, vegetable proteins and potassium salts. The leaves of the vegetable contain a lysozyme substance, which is famous for its bactericidal properties, so this cabbage is widely used in folk medicine for all sorts of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, colitis, ulcers).
For food, stewed or cooked young sheets are great. If you grind such a cabbage, then it is able to remain frozen for a long time. Varieties characterized by growth height and flat leaves serve as high-calorie fodder for livestock, and cabbage with beautiful, curly leaves are often used for plant decoration.
Conditions and Landing
This plant is resistant to cold, calmly tolerates frosts up to -16 ° C. Indisputable advantages include the fact that this plant does not fade during severe drought, although the yield is greater in areas fertilized with humus. Its best predecessors are potatoes, tomatoes and beans.
Kale is grown using seedlings. Its seeds should be planted in pots or cassettes ahead of time. It is best to do this 4 weeks before direct landing in open ground. Cabbage is planted in rows (with gaps of more than 50 cm between them and 30 cm - between the plants themselves). In order to ensure the formation of adventitious roots in cabbage, it is necessary to deepen and sprinkle 3 cm of planted seedlings with earth.
Be sure to water the cabbage until it takes root in a new place. It responds well to the addition of various fertilizers to the soil of both mineral and organic origin. Feel free to start the selective cleaning, having waited for the last numbers of June. It is necessary to tear a few leaves from young cabbage at the very base. With the onset of autumn, some of the shoots, extracted with roots, can be grown at home.
Cabbage is unpretentious, but it will not allow a “negligent” attitude to itself. You should figure out how to care for this useful garden crop. The most responsible events:
- Watering. This type of cabbage for full growth requires an abundance of water. The highest irrigation activity should be performed during the formation of the head of cabbage. Moisten the plant either in the evening or in the morning, if you do this in the afternoon, the water will quickly dry out and the cabbage will not be saturated with it.
- Hilling. After landing for the first time, you can start it after a three-week interval. It is advisable to spud every week. Take note that the procedure must be done more often or less, depending on the size of the stump. If it is small - more often, and vice versa.
- Fertilizer. Do this procedure immediately after hilling. Nitrogen fertilizers are great. However, do not overdo it, especially if the soil is initially rich. An alternative could be the use of ammonium nitrate. Be sure to combine top dressing with watering. An ideal option would be additional mulching of the soil, which will save you from weeds and improve the quality of the crop.
If the technique of planting seedlings was not followed, and in addition, with excess moisture on young cabbage leaves, areas with whitish rot may appear. If you notice such lesions, then do not hesitate and sprinkle them with chalk powder or charcoal ash. Do not spare those plants that are most affected - they should be removed.
Of the insects, kale is most threatened by the caterpillar of the whitewash and cabbage scoops, slugs and cruciferous flea. To rid the plant of the threat of snail invasion, pollinate the soil around cabbage bushes with lime or dry mustard. Against a flea, complete pollination of the plant with infusions of red pepper or garlic is perfect. A good solution would be shelter landing non-woven materials. Avoiding caterpillar attacks will help spraying with infusion of potato tops, as well as additional processing with a solution of laundry soap. Avoid using chemicals, they can irreparably harm delicate plants.
Given the many advantages of such a vegetable as kale, growing it involves the choice of varieties, of which there are a huge number. The most popular are Redbor f1 (curly leaves of purple color), Reflex F1 (curly leaves of light green color), as well as Calais green. There are also native decorative varieties (Palmyra or Robin).
This variety has a variegated color of leaves and is often used by gardeners as a beautiful decorative decoration, and not as a food product. Although this is not entirely true in relation to such a healthy vegetable.
A characteristic feature of this species is that this cabbage does not form a head of cabbage. Instead, a half-meter trunk is formed during the growth process. It is on it that the rugged sheets are located. Their surface is smooth and bubbly, they hang down the trunk of the plant. They can focus on the top of the trunk or be located along the entire length of the cabbage. Something Kale resembles a small decorative palm.
The color of the sheets varies from saturated purple to bright shades of green. Planting Kale is no different from that applicable to any other kale. A common mistake of beginning gardeners is to buy seeds of ornamental species instead of typically garden ones, because often negligent sellers do not indicate the varieties of vegetables on the packaging.
Benefits of Calais:
- Very rich in various organic acids. In it there are no less than in meat.
- Low-calorie in content, it is often prescribed for diets that strengthen the body.
- With systematic use, it is able to improve vision, and helps with arthritis.
- It is rich in vegetable proteins.
- It contains many vitamins A and C, so it is a great help for those people who need to maintain their immunity.
- The abundance of calcium will strengthen the teeth and bones.
This variety combines two things that are important for any gardener: firstly, it is dietary and rich in useful substances, and secondly, it can be used to decorate a garden.
Leaf cabbage Reflex f1 has a saturated green color, refers to mid-late hybrids. Not afraid of frost and cold. It rises to a height of 1 m, the texture of the leaves is corrugated. When planting, you must follow the standard instructions for kale. Its weight can reach 1.5 kg. It must be remembered that categorically it is impossible to remove the lower leaves of this species, otherwise it will wither.
For food, sheets are often taken from the center of the outlet. The reflex has excellent taste, green mass is absolutely without bitterness. It is suitable as a pleasant appendage to high-grade meat and fish dishes. When taken regularly, it will bring the following beneficial substances to the body: fiber, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A and C, and useful volatile products. With it, you can lose weight and make your diet more diverse.
A hybrid variety of Redbor cabbage with curly leaves is often used in the decoration of a garden or flower bed. It must be borne in mind that this is a two-year-old plant that bears fruit only in the second year of growth. It has a huge amount of carotene and vitamin C, sugar and protein. It has a pleasant taste.
The appearance of the plant will not leave anyone indifferent. Being a half-meter vegetable, cabbage has a lilac color and resembles a palm tree in shape. It must be remembered that the growth of this cabbage depends on the time of planting. If you need a high trunk Redbor f1, then you need to transfer seeds to the open ground in early spring. After a month, transplant the plant to a permanent "place of residence." Not afraid of frost, nothing will happen to her, even if she is covered with snow. After the first frosts, the leaves will acquire additional juiciness.
If you want the kale on the bed to amaze the imagination with its coloring, then provide it with a sufficient amount of light. Experienced gardeners recommend careful monitoring of soil moisture and prevent over-humidification. This variety is responsive to all kinds of fertilizers, so for a good harvest, do not skimp on humus or mineral powders.
In conclusion, you can see that the implementation of these simple tips can lead to an abundant harvest of this valuable vegetable - kale. Its richness in microelements is striking, and the moment that it can be made into a wonderful decoration also additionally confirms the choice of kale as the plant that you need to see in your garden.