Kale is grown extensively near Norfolk, Va., and to some extent on Long Island. Market gardeners occasionally grow small quantities, and sometimes it is seen in home gardens. It is a member of the cabbage family, used mainly in fall and spring as greens. The low, curled varieties are highly ornamental and are valued for garnishing and bedding.
Varieties differ greatly in form, size of plants and in character of foliage. The low sorts are hardier than the tall kinds, although all varieties winter without difficulty in southern sections and sometimes in the milder parts of the North. The most prominent varieties are Imperial Long Standing, Dwarf German, Dwarf Curled Scotch and Fall Green Curled Scotch.
Stable manures are most valuable for this crop, but high-grade fertilizers are also employed to advantage. Nitrate of soda is especially effective in encouraging a rapid, vigorous growth. It requires the same general treatment as cabbage.
Sowings should be made early enough in the summer for the plants to attain full size before cold weather. In the Norfolk region the plantings are made from the latter part of June until the middle of July. Northward, May is not too soon. Kale seed is imported from England and Holland. It is sown in rows spaced to permit horse tillage. The plants are thinned to stand 8 to 15 inches apart according to variety. The seed need not be covered with more than an inch of moist soil.
The tender leaves, which are improved by freezing, may be gathered at intervals, or the entire crop cut at one time. They are shipped in light, ventilated barrels or in hampers. Prices vary from 75 cents to $2 a barrel. Kale is a profitable crop in the Norfolk district.