Friday, May 23, 2014

How long will Ornamental Kale last in my garden?

Ornamental Kale Oskaka Red.  Click on the image to see a slide show of this week's Ornamental spec. load

Our Ornamental Kale are reaching their peak colour and I was asked this week, "How long will they last?"  How long is a piece of string? The days are short and it will get wintery cold sooner or later so I think they should hold their colour and not set flowers until August/September. As Spring heralds warmer weather and longer days Kale and other Brassica vegetables get amorous and decide to show off by flowering. Of course it is possible that between now and Spring they will use all the fertilizer in their small pots and decide that it's now or never and send up flowers anyway.  So here's my tip, get them potted into well prepared soil or fresh potting mix to prevent a stress response.

Kale Ornamental Osaka White.

The other regular question over Ornamental Kale is is it edible?  The answer is yes, definitely.  The foliage is a little leathery but otherwise perfectly cabbagy.  The leatheryness of their leaves is the reason that all kales make such great garden plants, they tend to be more resistant to bugs, grubs and diseases.

Finally we grew colours from two series this season: Osaka and Pigeon.  Our understanding was that Osaka would have a more "wavy" leaf margin than the Pigeon series which is more rounded. Our experience having grown both series this year is there is little obvious difference but I do think the Osaka series has stronger, bolder colours. Let me know what you think, the Pigeon Victoria may not be so bold, but something about it works.

Ornamental Kale Osaka Victoria

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