Kale

I was down at the local K-Mart (Atlanta 7b) and they had 9 packs of Kale. (I struck out last fall growing from seed)
I found that a bit strange, but took it home.
Is it crazy to put this in this time of year? Will I get a harvest, or will it live to thrive in cooler weather in autumn? What about care?
My Swiss Chard, which did nothing when I put it in last fall, is starting to take off.
Gardening, what a mystery!
Jeff
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Jeff Thies wrote:

Hard to say as I don't know where you are or what season it is there. Kale may grow in hot and cold conditions if you can keep the water up to it and the cabbage moth grubs at bay when it is hot. My idea of cold is -5C and no snow. If you have -30C and heavy snow I don't know. I have also noticed some variation between cultivars in dealing with the heat and grubs.
David
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Here in region 9, kale and Swiss chard are almost impossible to kill.
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Billy wrote:

Summer or winter?
How should I water the Kale, can I drip it like everything else, or should I get some of those spray emitters? If so, I won't plant it with the cucurbits.
Jeff
Jeff
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I can't think of anything in a vegetable garden that would benefit from overhead watering, and quite a few that would suffer. Go drip (irrigation, that is).
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Billy wrote:

Thanks. I had wondered about carrots and wasn't sure about greens.
Jeff
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Carrots, beans, onions, garlic, potatoes, greens, lettuce, and maybe peppers, probably wouldn't be hurt, but there wouldn't be any benefit from overhead watering. Cucurbits, melons (including cucumbers),and tomatoes, you may as well dance on them, as water their leaves. In the fall, the mold will go why-ild. Drip is convenient,and thrifty. I turn mine on when I get the morning paper. When I'm done with coffee and paper, I turn it off, and I'm watering on parts of 3 lots. On the week-end, though, I do enjoy watering by hand. I have the cane (wand) to a long necked hand sprinkler attached to a spray gun so that I can put the water at ground level without splattering on the leaves.
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Billy wrote:

So, I've noticed! Rain makes wet leaves inevitable. Have I got this right that the mold comes from the soil. I've got a light layer of cedar blend mulch, I've heard of the newspaper mulches. Does mulching help with the leaf problem?
In the

There is something satisfying about hand watering.
I've been hand watering my baby cucumbers until I rewire the lines, being careful to avoid the early leaves. I have missed a bit, and it's surprising to see that even a few drops affect the leaves adversely. My veggie hating girlfriend loves cucurbits, so I'm working on it!
Thanks, Jeff
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I'm not sure how it works. I suspect that the spores are on the wind, and that they are in a dormant stage until the plant gets wet and weak from the cold, or they get strong from dampness and heat. Empirically speaking, the plants appear to hold out longer, if their foliage isn't periodically damp. There have been times when I've ignored this on occasion, when I've found a plant water stressed from the heat. Above 100F, about all a plant can do is to pump water for evaporative cooling, somewhere above that, 104F (?) it is overwhelmed. If there is no other immediate relief, I'll hose it down. Best avoided, if possible.
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Jeff Thies wrote:

It is nominally a biennial whether it goes for the full two years will depend on your conditions. As Billy says it is very hardy.
David
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Our experience has been that kale that germinates in the late fall and overwinters will bolt the following growing season.
In our climate it seems that winter sets the biological clock to year 2.
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phorbin wrote:

Thanks. If it grows, I'll put a new crop in next year. I think I should have had it in weeks ago...
Jeff
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Oh... and we're zone 5 London Ontario... Our climate may be significantly different from yours.
...and you can still harvest for awhile from the overwintered plants.
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My wife let the kale overwinter here in Maryland and it survived quite well, even with four feet of snow in one week. I have a picture of the kale plant sticking up through the snow at
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2025981&id=1426884715&l=cd281053e5
The snow kale not only survived but was highly edible. So did a couple heads of cabbage.
Paul
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