Caring for Kale.. Indoor or Out?
I was at a local grocery store one day last week, and a shopping cart full of Kale plants with red 99 cent stickers attached greeted me at the door. I thought this very odd but pretty neat considering I'd never seen such a thing at a grocery store in my city--and it was super cheap, so why not take the plunge? Albeit blindly, I bought one of these treasures and carried it home to my tiny but sunny little kitchen. What to do now is all I'm worried about. The variety I bought seems to fall under 'ornamental' kale (which is a little upsetting, I think.. doesn't that mean it's not edible?) but other than that I don't know much about it. It says plant outside in sun or part sun, 'best color in cool weather'... but the growing season is pretty well over here and I'm afraid if I put it in the garden it'll just wither and die and not come back.
Any ideas? I was hoping to keep it inside.. and I was also hoping to eat it, but now I'm not sure I can do either (it seemed so promising a purchase at the time, I swear!). It's called a Nagoya Red Flowering Kale. Help! I hope the grocery store hasn't proved me a chump by selling me an inedible annual at the end of its lifetime!
I don't know where you live, but it is my understanding that kale is a winter crop and even tastes better (sweeter) after a frost--I've even read putting whole leaves in the freezer briefly will improve their flavor. Here in Las Vegas (not a cold climate, I know), we grow kale in our garden throughout the winter from seed (and it does ocassionally drop below freezing). Ornamental kale is grown everywhere here in the winter: from family gardens to casino landscaping and is a beautiful plant and is also edible. We can harvest our kale from late November-March, though it may work better in early winter or early spring in colder climates (I've lived here my whole life and don't really know about anything except desert gardening). I'm not sure if it would do well indoors. Try googling "ornamental kale" or even your specific variety and see what info you can get. For 99 cents, if you blow it--no big deal, right? Good luck.
LOL, I just read your profile and realized you are from Newfoundland, Canada--can't get much different from Las Vegas desert weather. Honestly, I have no idea how to grow anything in a climate so different from my own. For all I know your kale would be better indoors even though it is a cool-season crop. Well, take anything I just said with a grain of salt, except that ornamental kale, if you can grow it, is edible. :)