Red Russian

499 in stock

    • 45 $


Quick Overview

KALE, Red Russian – Brassica oleracea var. acephala

FULL SUN Native to Europe and parts of Asia, kale is believed to be one of the oldest descendants of the original wild cabbage. It has been cultivated for millennia. Red Russian, AKA Ragged Jack, is the most cold hardy of the Kale varieties. It was brought to Canada by Russian traders and then made its way into the US in the late 1800s. The 2-3 ft. plants produce beautiful gray-green, oak leaf-shaped leaves with purple veins and stems. In cold weather, the leaves turn entirely reddish purple. Kale thrives in cool weather. It can be sown in mid-summer and harvested throughout the fall and early winter. Soil should be deeply spaded before planting. Rows should be 24 in. apart. When seedlings are 2 in. high, thin, leaving 12-15 in. between plants. Adding lime to the soil before planting will sweeten kale. Exposure to frosts sweetens kale. For best flavor harvest after several frosts.

Type Spacing Planting Depth Days to Germination Maturity
Kale 12-15 in. 1 in. 10-14 55

Red Russian

Kale and Collards are probably the earliest cultivated variations of the European wild cabbage. Kale is known to have been widely grown by both the Greeks and the Romans. From a scientific classification point of view, kale and collards are considered to be the same plant – just two different varieties. Sometimes collards are described as a kind of kale. However, diehard Southerners will tell you that collards are collards and kale is kale and they are very different. Kale, also known as Borecole, and collards are non-heading, leafy greens that are among the most cold-hardy vegetables grown. Kale is definitely a cool season crop whose sweet flavor is substantially enhanced when the plant is exposed to several hard frosts. Collards, on the other hand, thrive in the heat but can withstand temperatures down to 10 degrees Farenheit. Both collards and kale are extraordinarily nutritious vegetables. The leaves contain lots of calcium and potassium and are rich in the Vitamins A and C. Both kale and collards are usually grown as cool weather, fall or winter crops. If mulched, both collards and kale will last into the winter, except in the harshest northern climates. If the plants survive until the spring, they will then go to seed as they are both biennials.

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