Brassica oleracea 'SimplySalad® Kale Storm Mix'
A mix of purple, green and blue kale containing a beautiful blend of salad greens. Harvest every three weeks by cutting back to 2" and allowing greens to regrow for fresh salad. Wonderful for creating a delightful, colorful salad.
Not hardy, grow as an annual
12-16" (31-41 cm) apart in rows 8-24" (20-61 cm) apart.
Tips and Uses
Moist, well-drained soil; check often as establishing
Sun or partial sun.
Culinary Uses, Abundant Harvest
› General Plant Info
- Vegetables include a wide range of plants that are grown for their edible fruits, seeds, stems, leaves or roots.
- Culinary herbs may be one-season plants or permanent additions to your garden, depending on the type.
- Benefits to home-grown vegetables and herbs include:
- Fresh and seasonal produce at your fingertips.
- The ability to control the use of chemicals.
- Selection, so you can grow your favorites and try something new.
- A way to teach children where food comes from (often encourages a new appreciation at the dinner table!)
- Lower grocery bills.
- Grow what you like to eat.
- Consider how much space you want to devote to the vegetable garden. Some crops, such as corn, take up a lot of room relative to the size of the harvest. Others, such as cherry tomatoes or zucchini, provide a great abundance from a single plant.
- Maturity tells you how quickly to expect your first harvest from the time you transplant young plants. This information is found on your plant tags.
- Consider how you want to use the produce (eating fresh, enough to can, dry or freeze, etc.) and plant accordingly.
- A 20x25’ plot is usually sufficient to feed a family of four, depending on your variety choices.
- Small space gardening is big! Many modern hybrids have been developed for hanging baskets and patio planters, or to grow bushy and compact instead of climbing or sprawling.
- Herbs can be grown in a section of your vegetable garden or in a separate space, ideally just outside the kitchen door or near your grilling area so you can grab a sprig while cooking.
- Light - Vegetables and herbs need lots of sunlight to ripen and produce well. Choose a location with 6 or more hours of direct sunlight. Some plants, such as lettuce, may tolerate lower light.
- Spacing - Follow the recommendations for plant and row spacing on your plant’s tag. Some vegetables, such as pumpkins and cucumbers are planted in hills to give them room to spread.
- Watering - Sometimes nature needs some help, and you’ll get bigger and better vegetables if the plants get all the water they need. Make sure your garden location has easy access to supplemental water.
› Water Tips
- New transplants will take a few weeks to establish as their roots grow out into their new soil. Initially, you’ll need to frequently check the soil at the plant’s base, and water if it feels dry to the touch. Observe plants closely, looking for signs of flagging, and make sure to water before plants wilt.
- In the garden:
- As plants become established, they will need less water, depending on rainfall. A rain gauge is a helpful tool to understand how much water plants receive, and determine any additional irrigation needed.
- Conditions that increase water needs:
- Dry, windy weather
- Periods of drought
- Sandy, light soils that do not hold moisture well
- Containers in hot, sunny spaces
- For new transplants, make sure the water soaks the original root ball as well as the surrounding soil.
- Slow, deep watering is most effective; frequent, shallow watering encourages shallow root systems that are less drought tolerant.
- Apply water at the base of the plants to minimize evaporation and keep foliage dry, which also helps prevent disease.
- When overhead sprinklers are used, water early in the day; morning is best. Foliage will dry quickly as the day warms.
- If plants are wilted, water right away.
- Check daily, and water thoroughly when soil feels dry an inch below the surface.
- If plants appear to be wilting, check soil to make sure it is dry — extreme overwatering can also cause wilting.
- Drip irrigation or soaker hoses can be put on a timer and help make vacation watering a breeze.
› Planting Tips
- Most soils benefit from the addition of organic matter such as compost, peat or composted manure. This helps poor, sandy soils to better retain moisture, and breaks up heavy clay soil to help air, water, and plant roots move more freely.
- For new planting beds, prepare the soil by tilling and work in organic matter following product recommendations.
- Plan out your vegetable plantings in rows or hills, spaced as recommended on the plant tags for each variety. It is often best to grow similar items together for ease of harvest and pollination (except for sweet corn, where varieties should be separated). Rearrange your plan each year so that the same types of plants are not in the same space. This crop rotation helps to prevent disease and insect problems.
- Some herbs, such as mint and oregano, are permanent, perennial additions to the garden and can be vigorous spreaders. It is best to plant these in containers, which may be sunk into the ground to contain their spread.
- Gently remove plant from its container, taking care not to pull on the main stem as this can cause damage by breaking away roots.
- Using a trowel, make an opening in the prepared soil and insert plant at the same depth as it was in its container. For larger plants, make a low ring of soil around the plants, just wider than the root ball. This will help funnel the water to the plant’s roots during the establishment period.
- For peat pots, break away the lip of the container so that it is just lower than the soil, then plant as above. For other plant-in-the-pot products, follow package directions.
- Water carefully with a gentle sprinkle, soaking the prepared soil and the transplants.
- Mulch may be applied between the plants, and thickly between rows, keeping a few inches away from the plant stems. This will help prevent weeds and retain moisture.
- Large planters and hanging baskets are ready to use; simply place and enjoy.
- If you’re putting together your own combinations or containers using smaller plants:
- Choose a container with drainage holes. There is no need to add pot shards or stones to the bottom of the pot.
- Plants have more room to grow and are less likely to dry out in larger containers.
- Use a lightweight professional potting mix for best results. Do not use garden soil as it will not drain well and plants usually fail to thrive.
- Remove plants from the nursery pots.
- Loosen roots gently if they are packed tightly into the shape of the container.
- Plant into potting mix at the same depth as the root ball.
- Water thoroughly with a gentle spray.
- Vegetables are typically heavy feeders, not surprising since we want them to grow large and lush, and provide a bountiful harvest.
- A fertile plot whose soil is replenished annually with compost should not need fertilization.
- Sites with poor or lean, sandy soil may need some help. Choose a product formulated for vegetables and follow package instructions carefully.
- If you are uncertain about your soil fertility, your local extension service can usually recommend testing services.
- Many of the most popular culinary herbs originated from the Mediterranean region, and thrive best in lean soil. Plants grown in the ground generally will not need supplemental fertilization.
- Plants in containers perform best with regular fertilization. High quality potting soil promotes free drainage and healthy roots, but cannot provide nutrients for plant growth.
- If you choose a soil with fertilizer mixed in, apply supplemental fertilizer only as recommended for that product.
- Time-release products can be used as a soil dressing, and are applied only a few times during the growing season, depending on the product. Each time the plant is watered, a small amount of fertilizer is released.
- Water-soluble fertilizers can be applied with a hose end sprayer or mixed in a watering can or bucket. Use a product formulated for the type of plants you are growing, and apply according to package instructions.
- If your plants are dry and wilting, water immediately with clear water. Fertilizing at this time will cause leaf burn. Wait until plants have perked back up before feeding.
› Pruning Tips
- Most herbs have the best, most uniform flavor if they are pinched back regularly to prevent plants from forming buds and flowers. This is most easily accomplished with frequent harvest for use in the kitchen.
- Research all herbs before use, to ensure that you are harvesting only edible portions, and at the optimal times.
- Vegetable maintenance:
- Vegetables such as tomatoes, pole beans and peas can grow tall or climb. These plants grow best if given some support. A cage, trellis or stakes will hold up the stems and keep fruit off the ground and away from pests. This also makes for easy harvest.
- Keep garden plots and containers weed-free to prevent competition and reduce pest and disease problems.
- Harvest mature fruit regularly. This is especially important with productive plants such as zucchini, to ensure many young, tender fruits rather than fewer, oversized, less desirable ones.
- Take notice of any signs of disease or insect damage so that you can take prompt preventive action. Use only products recommended for use on food plants.