Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale


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Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale


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Brassica oleracea – Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale

60 days. Dark green heirloom kale from Tuscany that dates back to the 1700s. Sometimes called “dinosaur kale,” Italians call it “cavolo lacinato,” or curly kale. It is sweet and delicious and so hardy it can be harvested under a foot of snow.

How to Grow: Kale is an easy-to-grow, nutritious brassica (cabbage-family) leafy green rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron and magnesium. This frost-hardy traditional crop can, with protection, provide winter greens even in the north. Flavor is best and disease problems are few when grown in cool weather. Plant in early spring for early greens, or in late summer for fall & winter harvest. Flavor of summer-sown kale improves after the first fall frost. Kale prefers full sun and fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Germination: 6-10 days. For spring sowings, start indoors 4 weeks before last frost or direct sow 1-2 weeks before last frost. For a fall/winter crop, sow 10 weeks before first hard frost. Sow 1/4” deep. Thin to 8-12” apart in rows 16-30” part. Use thick mulch & irrigate to maintain moisture during hot weather.

Pests: Kale has fewer pests than other brassicas. Use floating row cover to reduce insect damage to young plants. Practice a four-year rotation for all brassica crops to reduce disease and pests.

Harvest: Collect young leaves anytime. Clip oldest leaves when less than 12” long for tender leaves and best flavor.

Seed Savers: Brassica napus crosses with rutabaga and some rapeseed (canola). Brassica oleracea crosses with broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, and kohlrabi.

Packet: 2 g (about 625 seeds) sows 55 ft. direct seeded or 230 ft. as transplants.

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