Growing Tips: Kale

Quick Reference:

Plant seed 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep spaced 1 to 2 inches apart. Germination: 5 to 14 days. Space between plants in the garden, 10 to 12 inches. Shallow planting provides warmer soil but soil MUST be kept moist at all times until seedlings emerge.

When and where to grow:

Kale grows well in Alaska's cool weather, is very frost tolerant and can be planted soon as the soil can be prepared and has warmed in the spring. Seed is usually planted directly in the garden but can be started indoors 4 to 5 weeks before the last frost. Choose a sunny location, cultivate soil, enrich with plant food, smooth the soil surface, plant seed, firm soil over seed and keep moist until seedlings emerge.


Water as the soil starts to dry out, keep weed free and fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks to promote fast, mild, tender growth. Thin plants so they are 10 to 12 inches apart.


Pick the youngest leaves to use fresh in salads and sandwiches. When plants are young cook the entire leafy portion, as the plant gets older, harvest the inner young tender leaves.