Are you planning on growing kale in your garden but unsure of how much space to give it? Proper spacing is essential for healthy growth and high yields. In this article, we’ll break down the spacing requirements for different varieties of kale and provide tips for maximizing your growing space.
Let’s get started!
How Much Space Does Kale Need to Grow?
When it comes to growing kale, it’s important to give your plants enough space to grow and thrive.
While the exact spacing requirements may vary depending on the variety of kale you’re growing and your preferred harvesting methods, as a general rule of thumb, it’s best to space kale plants at least 18-24 inches apart. This will allow for proper growth and air circulation, while also helping to prevent overcrowding and disease.
However, if you plan to harvest your kale leaves when they’re young and tender, you can space your plants closer together.
Ultimately, the amount of space your kale plants need will depend on your growing goals and conditions, so be sure to adjust spacing as needed based on your plants’ growth and health.
What Happens if You Plant Kale Too Close Together?
If you plant kale too close together, it can result in several negative consequences. For one, overcrowding can lead to stunted growth and lower yields, as plants compete for nutrients and water.
Additionally, planting kale too close together can increase the risk of disease and pest infestations, as it makes it easier for them to spread from one plant to another.
The lack of airflow can also cause moisture buildup and increase the risk of fungal diseases. In some cases, overcrowded kale plants may also bolt (i.e., produce flowers and seeds prematurely), which can affect the taste and quality of the leaves.
So it’s important to give your kale plants enough space to grow and thrive!
What Happens if You Plant Kale Too Far Apart?
Planting kale too far apart can also have negative consequences. While kale plants can benefit from having plenty of room to grow, spacing them too far apart can lead to inefficient use of garden space and lower yields.
When kale plants are spaced too far apart, they may produce fewer leaves and take longer to mature, resulting in less harvestable product. Additionally, wider spacing can lead to increased weed growth, as there may be more bare soil between plants for weeds to take hold. This can increase the time and effort required for maintenance and weed control.
Ultimately, it’s important to strike a balance when spacing your kale plants, to ensure they have enough room to grow without wasting valuable garden space.
How to Figure Out Spacing Requirement of Different Kale Varieties
Figuring out the spacing requirements of different kale varieties can seem overwhelming, but with a few simple steps, it’s easy to get a rough idea of how much space your plants will need. Here are a few things to consider:
- Read the seed packet: Most seed packets will include recommended spacing guidelines for the specific variety of kale you’re growing. This can be a great starting point for planning your garden layout.
- Determine your harvesting goals: Do you plan to harvest your kale leaves when they’re young and tender, or do you prefer to wait until they’re fully mature? Young kale plants can be spaced closer together, while mature plants will need more room to spread out.
- Consider your garden layout: How much space do you have available for growing kale? Take into account any other plants or structures that may be in the area, as well as the amount of sunlight and water your kale plants will need.
- Plan for air circulation: Proper air circulation is essential for healthy kale plants. Be sure to leave enough space between plants to allow for good airflow and prevent moisture buildup.
- Adjust as needed: Keep an eye on your plants as they grow and adjust spacing as necessary. If your plants seem crowded or are showing signs of disease, it may be time to thin them out or adjust their spacing.
By taking these factors into consideration, you can determine the best spacing requirements for your kale plants and help them grow strong and healthy!
Examples of Spacing Requirements for Different Kale Varieties
Here are some examples of spacing requirements for different kale varieties, based on their growth habits and harvesting needs:
- Curly kale: This popular kale variety has tightly curled leaves and can grow quite tall. When planting curly kale, space your plants at least 18-24 inches apart to allow for proper growth and air circulation.
- Red Russian kale: This heirloom variety has purple-veined leaves and a milder flavor than some other kale varieties. Red Russian kale can be spaced closer together, with a distance of 12-18 inches between plants recommended.
- Lacinato kale: Also known as “dinosaur kale,” this variety has long, narrow leaves that are often used in soups and stews. Lacinato kale plants should be spaced 18-24 inches apart to allow room for growth and to prevent overcrowding.
- Dwarf Blue Curled kale: This compact variety of kale grows to about 12 inches tall and is perfect for container gardening. When planting Dwarf Blue Curled kale, space your plants 6-12 inches apart to maximize your growing space.
Remember, these are just general guidelines, and the exact spacing requirements for your kale plants will depend on a variety of factors. Be sure to adjust spacing as needed based on your plants’ growth and health.
Always check your individual seed packets and consider your local growing conditions to figure out spacing.
What to Avoid Planting Near Kale
When planning your garden layout, it’s important to consider what plants to avoid planting near your kale. Certain plants can attract pests or compete with kale for nutrients, while others can release substances that inhibit kale growth. Here are a few plants to avoid planting near kale:
- Brassicas: While kale is part of the Brassica family, planting it near other members of the family (such as broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage) can increase the risk of disease and pest problems.
- Nightshades: Plants in the nightshade family (such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants) can release a substance called solanine, which can inhibit kale growth and reduce yields.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are known to attract slugs and snails, which can also feed on kale leaves and damage your plants.
- Beans: Beans are nitrogen-fixing plants, meaning they draw nitrogen from the air and store it in their roots. While this can be beneficial for other plants, it can lead to excess nitrogen in the soil and inhibit kale growth.
By avoiding these plants near your kale, you can help ensure healthy growth and protect your plants from pests and disease.
Helpful Video on Kale Spacing
To get an in-depth look on kale spacing and growing kale properly check out this video below…
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.