Lacinato Kale (Brassica oleracea)
Known as Dinosaur or Black Tuscan Kale, Lacinato is an old Italian heirloom that produces large, highly savoyed blue-green leaves 3” wide and 10-18” long. Flavor is best after a frost or two. Pick early for tender leaves.
- 100 seeds minimum
- Germination: 5-8 days
- Maturity: 60-65 days
- Sow ¼” deep in direct sun as soon as soil can be worked in early spring.
- Space plants 12-24” apart in rows 18-36” apart.
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Lacinato is my fav. In the 2014 season, I planted out this kale variety in May and harvested from the three-foot palm trees through late December under a row cover! They were not stressed out by summer heat and survived through the bitterest cold. They're the best for bringing to a market stand or for making kale chips, for sure.
I experienced some variance in genetics, though, which were expressed though minor differences in growth habit. Many were just the perfection you would expect, but some plants were very bushy with small leaves, and some produced thin, stemmy leaves—which was fine (and even fun!) for home cooking, but a hassle for taking uniform bunches to market.
Surprisingly, this kale was also the favorite among cabbage loopers in my plot, despite there being much more tender kales right nearby.
We have grown this kale for two years now and are quite happy with it. Our children love to make kale chips and these hold up well for the cooking. The plants are beautiful to look at and I enjoy the easy harvest to table aspect.
Especially good kale chips!