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Russian Hunger Gap Kale

Botanical Name: Brassica napus

$3.95
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# of seeds per packet: 100

Description

An extremely tender kale, Russian Hunger Gap is great for baby-salad-greens and also has delectable mature leaves. It is a Red Russian type of kale known for mild flavor and tenderness. Dazzling blue-green leaves have red-purple veins and moderate frills that are pretty enough for your front yard! Russian kale is desirable in the kitchen, where its tenderness shines in any cooked-kale dish. We obtained seeds from our friends at Adaptive Seeds of Sweet Home, Oregon, who rescued it from the Heritage Seed Library in England. It is named “Hunger Gap” because it can produce kale raab (edible shoots) from overwintered plants in May when there ain’t much local food to eat! We are working on a project to re-select it for cold hardiness survival through our frigid Michigan winters. From a spring planting, Russian Hunger Gap provides a continuous supply of kale until winter. It is one of the best crops for fall baby greens because it is fast growing – try it in a coldframe or low tunnel. About 50 days from planting to maturity. Seeds grown by Adaptive Seeds..

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

 Kale tolerates cold weather so it can be started extra early. Start kale seeds indoors 3/1 at 72-85° (can use a heating mat). Days to germination: 5-8. Transplant outside 3/27, 12” apart. Or, sow kale seeds directly outside anytime 3/27 – 8/1. If sowing seeds outside, plant 3-4 seeds together in a group ¼ ” deep, spaced 10” between groups. Keep seeds evenly moist until germination. Thin to the strongest plant in each group. For baby kale, broadcast sow seeds 2-3” apart. Protect kale plants from deer, groundhogs, and rabbits which will devour them. Kale plants may be eaten by European Cabbageworm (which is the caterpillar of the small white butterfly that flits around the garden). If they cause significant damage, hand remove caterpillars or spray organic BT.

Harvest:

 Baby Leaves, for cut-and-come-again: when leaves are 3-4”, cut entire plant with scissors 2" above soil level so you don’t damage the growing crown. Plants will re-grow so you can return for many harvests. Mature Kale: harvest individual leaves off of mature plants once they are 2 months old. Don’t remove more than 1/3 of the leaves at a time.  

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

 Kale is somewhat difficult to save seed from. Kale plants must overwinter in order to bloom and produce seed. Sometimes kale plants will survive the winter with protection. Kale is in the Brassica family so it is insect pollinated and cross-pollinated. Russo-Siberian kales as in the species Brassica napus. Isolation distance: ½ mile. It can suffer from inbreeding depression if you don’t save seeds from enough plants. Minimum population size: 10-50 plants. To harvest seed, allow plants to flower and collect seed from mature pods.

 

 

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Russian Hunger Gap Kale [[start tab]]

Description

An extremely tender kale, Russian Hunger Gap is great for baby-salad-greens and also has delectable mature leaves. It is a Red Russian type of kale known for mild flavor and tenderness. Dazzling blue-green leaves have red-purple veins and moderate frills that are pretty enough for your front yard! Russian kale is desirable in the kitchen, where its tenderness shines in any cooked-kale dish. We obtained seeds from our friends at Adaptive Seeds of Sweet Home, Oregon, who rescued it from the Heritage Seed Library in England. It is named “Hunger Gap” because it can produce kale raab (edible shoots) from overwintered plants in May when there ain’t much local food to eat! We are working on a project to re-select it for cold hardiness survival through our frigid Michigan winters. From a spring planting, Russian Hunger Gap provides a continuous supply of kale until winter. It is one of the best crops for fall baby greens because it is fast growing – try it in a coldframe or low tunnel. About 50 days from planting to maturity. Seeds grown by Adaptive Seeds..

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Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

 Kale tolerates cold weather so it can be started extra early. Start kale seeds indoors 3/1 at 72-85° (can use a heating mat). Days to germination: 5-8. Transplant outside 3/27, 12” apart. Or, sow kale seeds directly outside anytime 3/27 – 8/1. If sowing seeds outside, plant 3-4 seeds together in a group ¼ ” deep, spaced 10” between groups. Keep seeds evenly moist until germination. Thin to the strongest plant in each group. For baby kale, broadcast sow seeds 2-3” apart. Protect kale plants from deer, groundhogs, and rabbits which will devour them. Kale plants may be eaten by European Cabbageworm (which is the caterpillar of the small white butterfly that flits around the garden). If they cause significant damage, hand remove caterpillars or spray organic BT.

Harvest:

 Baby Leaves, for cut-and-come-again: when leaves are 3-4”, cut entire plant with scissors 2" above soil level so you don’t damage the growing crown. Plants will re-grow so you can return for many harvests. Mature Kale: harvest individual leaves off of mature plants once they are 2 months old. Don’t remove more than 1/3 of the leaves at a time.  

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

 Kale is somewhat difficult to save seed from. Kale plants must overwinter in order to bloom and produce seed. Sometimes kale plants will survive the winter with protection. Kale is in the Brassica family so it is insect pollinated and cross-pollinated. Russo-Siberian kales as in the species Brassica napus. Isolation distance: ½ mile. It can suffer from inbreeding depression if you don’t save seeds from enough plants. Minimum population size: 10-50 plants. To harvest seed, allow plants to flower and collect seed from mature pods.

 

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