Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Don't miss your chance to win a complete prize pack valued at nearly $200!
Community gardens aren’t just allotments — they’re urban farms, great places to share gardening skills and crops.
Keep all of your tools performing at their best.
In reality, kale is easy to prepare in anything from baby greens salads to tasty sautés and much more. Plus, delicious, nutritious kale is an easy-to-grow and very generous garden crop. Just a few plants will supplement a household diet for months on end. And, they’re quite beautiful integrated into mixed borders filled with flowers or other foliage plants.
Begin by selecting a variety of kale that grows well in your area and that has a form and color complimenting your garden. Red Winter kale, a deeply lobed, grey-green leaf with red-purple margins, is a fantastic variety that is both slow to bolt and can withstand several days of freezing temperatures. Perhaps one of the most flavorful selections is Lacinato or Dinosaur kale, which grows tall with rounded, crinkled, dark grey-green leaves. Although tough in winter, it isn’t quite as cold hardy as the Red Winter selection. And, these aren’t the only choices available. Deep purple leaves, traditional ruffled green and others are available from seed and start vendors.
Keep in mind that kale is a known as a cool season crop. This means it is seeded in mid-to-late winter and planted into the garden after the last hard frost, or it is seeded in summer to plant into the garden before the first fall frosts.
If you choose to grow kale from seed, be patient with its long germination period. In colder climates, start your seeds indoors under lights as early as February. Once the seedlings emerge and form true leaves, which follow the first pair of leaves you see on emerging plants, you will be ready to divide crowded seedlings into slightly larger pots. Continue to grow the plants in a protected spot, fertilizing as needed. Before you move the plants into the garden beds, be sure to harden them off slowly to prepare them for the harsher outdoor environment.
When your kale is ready to go into the garden, plant individual starts at least 18”-24” apart. Although your seedlings are small, these plants grow quite large during their long growing season. Covering the young plants with row cover (aka horticultural fleece) at this stage will help protect plants from any heavy rain or hail storms. Too, it will help hold in heat, which encourages plant growth. Plus, flying pests like cabbage butterfly won’t be able to get to your plants, which is their hungry caterpillar babies’ preferred food. Flea beetle and other pests that like kale and other brassica crops may require other treatment. Watch your crops carefully in order to manage any pest or disease problem right away.
Once your kale has grown in the ground for a few weeks, you should be able to begin enjoying meals from it. Tender leaves on young plants and softer leaves in mild, summer temperatures are fantastic torn up into salads. Once leaves become tougher as plants age and temperatures become harsher, cooking is the way bring out kale’s sweetness.
To harvest kale and keep the crop producing for months on end, use a sharp tool like the knife edge on the Fiskars Softgrip Garden Multi-snip to cut away a few of the lower leaves on each plant. Always remove no more than about a quarter of the leaves from each plant at each harvest. And, always remove bottom leaves, not top leaves. New growth emerges from the top, so leaving that intact and leaving several leaves on the plant will allow it to keep growing. If a flower bud forms at the top of the plant, pinch that bud out. This will encourage the plant to produce more leaves and no seeds. If you choose to let the plant bloom, know that the leaves will become bitter. However, bees will readily flock to the flowers. And, once the bees pollinate the flowers, seeds will form for you to plant in the years ahead.
This simple, flavorful, vitamin-rich sauté makes for a quick side dish that goes great with anything from mac ‘n cheese to steak and potatoes. And, if tomatoes are out of season, just omit them.
1 bunch fresh kale (10-18 leaves)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
_ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1 Tablespoon water*
1-2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tomato, cut into wedges (optional)
Remove the tough midrib of each kale leaf by tearing the leaf upwards from the base of the midrib. (I find this much easier than using a knife.) Tear each leaf piece into pieces about 3” square. Wash and spin in salad spinner. Set aside.
In large sauté pan or wok, heat olive oil. Add minced garlic and chili flakes. Sauté briefly until garlic loses sharpness.
Add kale by fistfuls and toss to coat and wilt. Continue adding torn leaves and tossing over medium heat until kale begins to wilt to desired texture. Ideally, the kale will be slightly chewy and still brightly colored.
*If kale is very tough, you may wish to add 1 Tablespoon of water. Then cover pan briefly to steam and wilt kale. Once wilted, remove lid.
Sprinkle on just enough soy sauce to taste. Toss.
Add in tomatoes. Toss to warm.
Serves two as side dish.