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A picture of a Kales


Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group) 'Kales'

Also known as

Borecole, Colewort, Cole, Collards

Boerenkool by Rasbak (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Kales

A close up of a green Brassica oleracea var. sabellica plant

Kales Overview

Kale is a highly nutritious, fast-growing winter crop that produces leaves that can be large and flat or with tightly curled or fringed edges. This species is known scientifically as Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group) and commonly as Kale, Borecole and Collards. The leaves can be green or purple depending on the variety. Tronchuda is a loose-leaf kale cultivar with a good flavour. The name means without head which is why you don't get a head of Kale.

Common problems with Kales

Kales Companion Plants

How to harvest Kales

Kale leaves can be harvested throughout the growing period once the plant is fully developed, usually within 2 months of planting. Mulch in summer to prevent leaves from becoming bitter.

How to propagate Kales


Sow 3-4 seeds 5 mm deep in each spot you want a plant to grow. Thin to the strongest plant. Space 45-60 cm apart in rows 75-90 cm apart. Germination takes 7-12 days.

Special features of Kales

Crop rotation

Medium feeder. Prevent disease with a strict 4-year crop rotation, avoiding planting Brassicas in the same spot more than once every four years.

Other uses of Kales


Fresh, cooked or juiced or even popular as crisps!

Vegetables to Grow Through Winter

These crops will keep growing throughout the winter if provided with some protection from the worst of the winter weather.

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Edibles to Sow Outdoors in June

Now the soil has warmed up, sow direct into prepared beds.

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