Our experiences with growing Kale in DWC Hydroponics.

27.06.18 07:37 AM Comment(s) By Admin

Kale in DWC. Simple, straightforward, and doable.

Kale is a minor crop that belongs to the family of cabbage and cauliflower. It is a leafy green that doesn't form a head. Its leaves are green or purple and consumed raw or cooked.

We sowed the seeds for this exotic variant sometime in April 2018. It was simple to take care of this plant. Very soon, we will harvest it and use it in our in-house yummy salad. Kale chips are another option we may think of experimenting with.

Our experience with growing kale

In our Research Centre, we transplanted the Kale in DWC medium as well as in a cocopeat bed. We prepared the nutrient solution by adding 2 ml of CityGreen's Balanced NPK solution per liter of water. Initially, we felt that the growth is not very fast. But we realize that kale is a winter-happy crop. It loves cold climates and, in fact, tastes sweet after a real heavy frost! Alas, we are in Bangalore of today, or I am sure the kale would have grown much more happily in a Bangalore climate 10-15 year prior when cold seemed to be the year-round theme in Bangalore.

We aerate the plants every alternate day and keep a close watch to confirming pests are at bay. The kind of pests that take an absolute liking to a crop like kale are

Considering the varying climates and temperatures that the kale faced, we'd say it has been a success for us to be able to see it grow and increase mass.

In the Indian context, it would be ideal for making a kale paneer dish as its nutrient content and properties seem to outnumber spinach. The nutrients in kale can help boost wellbeing and prevent a range of health problems. It contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin K, among others. An excellent source of vitamin C and iron; its one of the must-haves and must grow in your kitchen garden.

How to grow Kale?

Start by sowing the seeds. Ensure that the cocopeat is moist, and the seeds kept in a warm and dark place to promote germination. It will be good to keep an eye and check, periodically, if the cocopeat is moist enough and not dried out. After 7-8 days, the first signs of visible life will appear, which is an experience worth undergoing. Any form of life brings an enthrallment like no other.

Do ensure to provide a good supply of Nutrient solution dose from the time of transplant till harvest. In our case, to start with at the time of transplanting, we used CityGreens NPK solution @ 2 ml/ liter of water. At the end of a month, the plant looked ready and stable and healthy enough with a good root structure such that it will survive in a transplanted environment. So, then the DWC rack was made ready for the kale, and the kale was transplanted.

Notice the clean and healthy roots of kale being grown in our Research Centre

The water was well-aerated, and the kale took shape and form. Day by day, we kept a close watch to monitor and record the pH and EC levels of the water to note for any variances or fluctuations that, in effect, may bother the plant growth. Our nutrient solution already being pH balanced didn't pose any significant perils.

It's now two months past, and one of these days, we will harvest this fibrous multipurpose ingredient that fits well in exotic kitchens as well as in our Indian garnishing effortlessly. No waiting people. Get to work. Its time to get the kales out.

Happy Gardening!


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