Kale is, undoubtedly, one of the “it” super foods of the 21st Century, and for good reason too. Whether curly or flat leaf, or any of the many types of kale, this dark green veggie is renowned for packing an incredibly healthy punch- with the nourishing veggie rich in vitamins C, A, folate, as well as numerous minerals including calcium, copper, manganese, iron, magnesium, potassium, and more. In addition, kale also contains a decent amount of protein and fiber- all wrapped up in package weighing in at a little over 33 calories per cup.
However, kale is outstanding nutritionally with its abundant heaping of vitamin K (derived from the German term for coagulation). This little appreciated vitamin plays a vital role in the clotting of blood and goes a long way in warding off coronary heart disease and osteoporosis. It is thus little wonder that kale is today so widely available in major grocery stores- with sales reportedly increasing by an impressive 400% since 2008.
Growing kale at home
Growing kale indoors is not as difficult as it may appear and in fact, one does not need a lot of gardening experience to pull it off. Moreover, little investment in supplies is required. Therefore, if you are tired of buying veggies that are sprayed with pesticides from your local grocery store, then it is time to learn how to grow your own kale indoors. Below, we take a look at 7 steps towards realizing this as follows:
1. Purchasing seeds
Before you get things underway, you require some seeds, and preferably those of high quality that came from organic kale. You should be able to source these from the internet as you are unlikely to find them in most stores.
2. Obtain medium-sized pots
It is advisable to grow the kale in medium-sized pots. This is because even though the sprouts may not require much room, medium-sized pots ensure that you will not have to transfer the veggies to another pot later. Ensure that you obtain enough pots to hold all the kale that you intend to grow.
3. Purchase potting soil
Head to your local gardening store and pick up potting soil necessary to grow your kale in. While the highest quality of soil is recommended, a good grade should suffice for quality yields.
4. Obtain a mineral mix
Most plant nutrition content emanates from nutrient-rich soil. And since it is difficult to mimic real soil, using a mineral mix addresses the deficiencies. Therefore, make it a point to purchase some mineral mix for your soil either from the internet or from your local grocery store.
5. Purchase a light source (preferably LED)
Throughout the growing process, you need to supply direct light to your kale. And while you may be able to use natural sunlight for this, it may not be good enough during the winter months. It is thus advisable to invest in artificial light with LED lighting being the most energy efficient.
6. Setting up a timer
Plants are quite sensitive during the growing process hence the reason why you need to set up a timer for your kale. Too little light is no good while too much is no good either. The goal is to mimic natural sunlight by providing the kale with at least 12 hours of lighting.
7. Watering the kale
You can water your growing kale in a variety of ways- the easiest being the old fashioned way with no fancy setup required. Simply use a bottle and pour water in the pots ensuring that you keep the soil moist, but being careful not to over-do it. It is also advisable to allow the soil to dry every so often.
Once you’ve harvested your first batch of kale, you can use it to cook one of the many easy kale recipes for a healthy snack or meal.