Vegetables

Growing Kale in Pots and Containers: Too Easy & So Smart!

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Do you ever run out of garden space and realize you still had a dozen or so plants you wanted to grow? Yeah, me too. I often resort to growing kale in pots – as one example – when this happens.

Growing kale in pots is a low maintenance and pretty efficient way to maximize your garden space!

Let’s dig into growing kale in pots – a smart way to protect your plants and maximize gardening space.

Growing Kale in Containers is easy! Bright green kale leaves
Growing Kale in Containers is easy!

Can you grow kale in a pot?

Yes, you can grow kale in a pot. It is easy to plant kale seeds in containers or to simply transplant kale into a flower pot or other container. Given the right amount of space and proper care, you can enjoy a cut-and-come-again kale harvest all season.

What size container for kale?

Kale will usually grow nicely in a container that is at least 3 gallons or even 5 gallons in size. You can also try fabric grow bags for convenience and flexibility.

Benefits of Growing Kale in Containers

With all the garden pests plaguing our plants, like the dreaded cabbage moth (white butterfly), I find container gardening to be a great saving grace.

Space Saving

Growing kale in containers saves space in the garden, big time! A single container or two of kale will give you salad and smoothies throughout the summer, almost on demand.

Plant Protection

Growing veggies in containers gives you more control over their protection. Of course, you may also limit a plant’s yield potential, depending on the size of the pot. But in my book, as my grandmother would say, beggars can’t be choosers.

Since I have young kids, I generally try to avoid chemicals as best I can in the garden. Especially on our leafy greens.

Attractive Aesthetics

Less important but still worthwhile, growing kale in a container offers an appealing and aesthetically pleasing display.

Easy Companions

Try pairing up kale in containers with beets, onions, or even potatoes. Growing kale in a pot lends itself nicely to adding a planting companion or two to use up the space. Of course, there’s lots of other benefits to be had with a plant buddy system beyond kale in containers.

Green Kale Plant for Sale at a Garden Center
Kale for sale at Glick’s Greenhouse

How to Grow Kale in Pots: Transplanting Kale Starts

Planting kale in pots is an easy way to stretch the space you have for a garden. You can grow kale from seed in pots or start with nursery starter kale plants.

When transplanting kale plants to containers outdoors, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a container for kale and fill it with loose soil mix. Aim for a 3 to 5-gallon pot or grow bag.
  2. Make a small well in the center of the pot, pushing the soil aside. It should be close to the size of the kale plant’s root ball.
  3. Remove the kale plant from its starter pot.
  4. Place the young kale plant in the planting hole.
  5. Replace the soil around it and pat it firmly.
  6. Water the plant at the base and check it regularly for continued watering needs.
Kale Nursery Starts
Kale Nursery Starts at Glick’s Greenhouse

More Tips on Growing Kale in Pots

Keep these tips in mind to get the most out of your kale plant!

  • Hardening Off – Be sure to harden off kale plants before transplanting.
  • Protecting Plants – Cover potted kale plants with insect netting to prevent cabbage white butterfly damage and cabbage worm infestation.
  • Watering – Remember that container plants often dry out quicker than those in the ground. Check your kale regularly for moisture needs and water adequately (about 1.5 inches per week, but watch when it gets really hot out).

Do you have any questions or additional tips about growing kale in containers? Please feel free to share in the comments below. We always love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

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