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Anyone grow Winterbor Kale in Zone 5?

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Anyone grow Winterbor Kale in Zone 5?

Post  Ginger Blue on 8/21/2016, 1:21 pm

If you grow Winterbor kale, when do you start and plant out your spring crop?  Does it work well for succession plantings during the summer?

I tried a different variety this year, following the directions on the package.  The seeds germinated, but never really grew. I'd like to try Winterbor, but would like to time it according to zone specific experience, if possible.

Thanks!

GB
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Ginger Blue

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Re: Anyone grow Winterbor Kale in Zone 5?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/21/2016, 1:40 pm

Not in zone 5 but I plant Winterbor, and all my other kales, in the spring and eat from them until mid winter. They come back the following spring , are great for eating for a while , and then bolt and go to seed. The Winterbor I have growing this year are different. I'm hoping they will come up again in the next spring. We'll have to wait and see because the seeds were collected and the plants are a hybrid, whereas I normally plant nursery bought starts.

Did I even answer your question?
thinking
CC
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CapeCoddess

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Re: Anyone grow Winterbor Kale in Zone 5?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 8/21/2016, 2:48 pm

@Ginger Blue wrote:If you grow Winterbor kale, when do you start and plant out your spring crop?  Does it work well for succession plantings during the summer?

I tried a different variety this year, following the directions on the package.  The seeds germinated, but never really grew. I'd like to try Winterbor, but would like to time it according to zone specific experience, if possible.

Thanks!

GB
I might be slightly warmer than you - I'm somewhere between 5b and 6a. I've been using May 11 and October 11 as my last and first frost dates. I was about to say I haven't grown Winterbor, but looking at pictures maybe I have.

Last year I planted purchased kale transplants on 5/20. They weren't labeled, but one of them was uber-curly like Winterbor. I also direct sowed Siberian kale mid-June (I didn't get started until rather late in the season.) The kale that survived the winter, unprotected, were the ones that were planted earlier -- but were also in the old-style SFG (amended soil/not raised bed) rather than the new. And one of them was that really curly kale. At the time I disliked it because it was hard to search for caterpillars, but since I'm trying to move the kales to hoops houses, maybe I should reconsider.

This year I started Siberian and Russian Kales 3/14 inside, started hardening off 4/18, and transplanted 4/24.  I started more kale (some combination of the above two types, and/or Dino/Tuscan) 4/25, 6/6, and 7/27.  The 3/14 and 4/25 kale are fairly similar in amount of growth. The 6/6 kale isn't very big yet (probably somewhat stunted from the heat), and I haven't transplanted the 7/27 kale yet (maybe this afternoon.) I plan to over-winter all of them. Some will definitely be under cover, others... we'll see what I actual get around to.

Vs not growing, I started my first round of collards 3/14 (same harden-off and transplant scheme as the kale) and a second round 5/10. The first set are awesome plants, possibly the happiest in the garden... and second set basically did nothing, probably due to the heat. By nothing I mean, I went to reuse the square expecting to harvest collard greens as part of the process and had to triple check that I wasn't looking at one of my fall broccoli seedlings that I'd put out a few weeks ago.
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BeetlesPerSqFt

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Re: Anyone grow Winterbor Kale in Zone 5?

Post  Ginger Blue on 8/22/2016, 10:31 am

CC,
Not directly answered Wink , but I value your thoughts and appreciate the reply. Do you start your kale indoors, or direct sow, and what dates do you apply to those activities?  And, how do you overwinter your crop?

Beetles,
Thanks for the info; the dates are helping me better define my planting window.  When you say some will be over-wintered "under cover," what will that look like (covered hoops, cold frame, greenhouse, etc.)?

thanks
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Ginger Blue

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Re: Anyone grow Winterbor Kale in Zone 5?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/22/2016, 11:15 am

@Ginger Blue wrote: Do you start your kale indoors, or direct sow, and what dates do you apply to those activities?  And, how do you overwinter your crop?


It's kind of a bit different every year. So many factors to take into consideration, particularly weather. You just have to feel your way.

I just looked thru the New England January 2016 thread and it looks like I started the kale on Jan 28th inside. I just checked the New England March 2016 thread and it looks like I planted them out on March 9th. Once planted out I cover the SFG box with windows when needed to protect them.

The only thing I do to winter over my greens is transplant them, probably in late Nov depending on the weather, from the SFG to my kitchen garden, which is closer and protected from high, cold winds. Most come back in spring, some don't.

CC
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CapeCoddess

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Re: Anyone grow Winterbor Kale in Zone 5?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 8/23/2016, 6:59 am

@Ginger Blue wrote:Beetles,
Thanks for the info; the dates are helping me better define my planting window.  When you say some will be over-wintered "under cover," what will that look like (covered hoops, cold frame, greenhouse, etc.)?

thanks
By undercover I mean covered wagon hoop houses (p76 of the ANSFG book, not the crossed PVCs like p73.) I have two 4x4s with covers (one ANSFG that's extra high, one old-style-SFG but with a grid.) Kale is too tall (at least all the varieties I've seen) for the average/old-fashioned 8-12" high cold frame. The straw bale style frame might work, but then you have to make sure you aren't getting contaminated straw.

My hoop hice currently have Agribon-15 on them. I have a love-hate relationship with it. It kept the cabbage butterflies out (except one) -- but nothing else: It's not wide enough to weigh down the edges with bricks, and clips don't give a bug-tight seal. Also, if you don't pull it taut between the clips, you'll have gaps... and if you do it rips. Un-doing and re-doing the covers in even a slight breeze, and the increased heat and humidity inside when the days have already been too much of that = me, cranky. quickly. If I had to do it again, I'd probably go with tulle since I can't deploy the Agribon properly to actually keep out the flea beetles and root maggot flies anyhow. Plus the increased humidity from the Agribon is overly appreciated by the slugs and sowbugs...

But enough ranting on this thread! This winter I'll be switching the hoop houses to an Agribon-30 cover, a thicker, hopefully sturdier product, more intended for weather protection. I may add plastic over the top of that on the coldest days. Agribon is a cloth-like product that breathes (I think the remay(sp?) at a fabric store is similar.) Plastic doesn't breathe: catches more wind, requires more attention to not cook your plants, need to pay a little more attention to watering, and plants can't touch the sides. If you do either style of of hoop house, stick your kale in the center four squares so it's not pushing on the sides ... nor throwing leaves in your face every time you open the ends.

The other kale plants I was thinking of doing something more individualized, like a tomato cage wrapped with the Agribon-30. But I've got so much to do, and kale is so hardy anyhow, that it's a low priority.
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