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When Should Kale, Collards & Brussels Be Planted?

brusselsI live in North VA and buy mostly all of my vegetable plants from Garden Harvest Supply. I’d like to know when would be the best time of the year for me to plant Kale, Collards, and Brussel Sprouts? Thank you.

Answer:  The best time for planting these items is in the early spring. Kale, collards, cabbages, Brussels sprouts and lettuces are considered “cool-season crops,” meaning they need the cool soil and air temperatures to germinate and develop. Generally they are shallow-rooted and thus require constant, even moisture. Once the temperatures start to rise their development will start to decline, so you want to get them into the ground once the threat of hard frost has passed. Some varieties can tolerate light frosts so you would need to check each variety to be sure. If you are purchasing plant starts from Garden Harvest Supply, they will be shipped to you at the proper planting time. If you are starting from seed indoors, check the germination time on the package and count backwards from the last frost date of your area to know when to start the seed. The nice thing about the cool-season crops is you can have a second season in the fall. Determine what the first hard frost date is for your area and based on the “days to maturation” listing for each crop, count backwards and set out a second round of crops in the fall.

Have a great harvest!
Karen

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