Kalettes (Kale Sprouts)

If you enjoy the flavors of both kale and Brussels sprouts, you're in for a treat with kalettes (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera). Kalettes, also known as kale sprouts or flower sprouts, are a unique vegetable that combines the best qualities of these two favorites. With their vibrant colors and delightful taste, kalettes are a fantastic addition to your garden. In this article, we will guide you through the process of growing kalettes in your garden, from planting to harvesting, so you can enjoy the delightful fusion of flavors that these mini cabbages offer.

How To Grow

Choosing the Right Location: Kalettes thrive in full sun, so select a location in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. They prefer well-drained soil rich in organic matter. If your soil is heavy or clayey, consider amending it with compost to improve drainage and fertility. Starting from Seeds: Kalettes are typically grown from seeds, which can be purchased from garden centers or online suppliers. Start seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Sow the seeds in seed trays, covering them lightly with soil. Keep the trays in a warm and bright location, and ensure the soil remains consistently moist. Once the seedlings have developed their second set of leaves, they can be transplanted outdoors. Planting and Spacing: Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. Dig holes or furrows that are approximately 12-18 inches apart, as kalette plants tend to spread. Plant the seedlings at the same depth they were growing in their containers and gently firm the soil around the roots. Watering and Maintenance: Water kalette plants regularly to keep the soil consistently moist, especially during dry spells. Avoid overwatering, as kalettes do not tolerate waterlogged soil. Applying a layer of mulch around the plants can help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth. Monitor the plants for pests, such as aphids or cabbage worms, and take necessary measures, such as using organic insecticides or employing companion planting with beneficial flowers, to control infestations

How/When To Harvesting

Kalettes are ready to be harvested when the small heads are firm and have reached a desirable size, usually about 2-3 inches in diameter. The color of the heads will vary depending on the variety, ranging from deep purple to green. Harvesting can be done gradually, allowing the remaining kalettes to continue growing for future harvests. Harvesting Method: To harvest kalettes, snap or cut off the entire head just above the stem where it meets the main stalk. Kalettes grow in a spiral pattern along the stalk, so remove the lower heads first and work your way up the plant. Avoid damaging the plant while harvesting to encourage continuous growth and production. Culinary Uses: Kalettes can be prepared and cooked in various ways, similar to kale or Brussels sprouts. Steam, roast, sauté, or stir-fry them to retain their delicious flavor and texture. They can be used as a side dish, added to salads, incorporated into stir-fries, or even roasted as a healthy snack. Experiment with different cooking methods and recipes to discover your favorite way to enjoy these flavorful mini cabbages.

Planting Schedules for Location: Leesburg, Virginia

Sow Direct

Sow Direct

Sow Indoors / Plant Out

Sow Indoors
Plant Out
  • Sow Depth: 1 cm
  • Spacing Between Rows: 75 cm
  • Spacing Along Row: 60 cm
  • Number plants per Square Foot: 1