How to grow kale

These past few years I have been growing my own leafy greens at home.  Sometimes I grow them in pots on the window sill and other times outdoors. If you’ve not grown kale before, or, if you’ve not yet tried growing plants in general, I would really recommend giving it a try one weekend.  It’s not too tricky and the rewards are great.  Organically grown veg is lovely and healthy. And, spending time in the company of plants makes you prone to inner peace. 

What I use:

•Kale seeds (I like the cavalo nero style of kale.  You can buy seeds online, and at many garden centres or super markets)

•1  x Little 10 cm pot to start the seeds in.

•2 x larger pots to move them into when they get bigger

•1 bag of multi purpose soil.

•Gardening gloves

•Water spritzer, and watering can

What happens next

  1. I fill a little 10cm pot with multi purpose soil
  2. I sow two of the little seeds, 2cm deep in the pot, equal distance apart, and then I sprinkle a little bit of soil over the top so they are gently covered.
  3. I water them a little bit each day. They don’t like to be too dry or too soggy.  I use one of those little facial mist spritz bottles filled with water, to water them when they are seeds as using  a watering can seems to wash the seed around in the soil to much. Once the plants are bigger, I water them with a watering can.
  4. Soon enough, 2 little kale sprouts come out, and continue to slowly grow into bigger kale plants.
  5. When each plant (assuming both seeds decided to come out) reaches about 20cm in height, I transfer them to their own larger pot, which will accommodate them as they grow into bigger kale plants. Plant the cavalo nero about 50cm between apart, as they can grow upwards of a metre tall (watch this for help transplanting)
  6. you can pick off the leaves as you go, adding them to your salad. Some people like to pick the leaves once they reach 15 cm long, and others like to pick the leaves when they are still small, so that you get a kind of micro kale. Whatever you do, make sure you wash them properly. Also, try not to pick all the leaves at once.

Voila! You can grow your own kale leaves, on your window sill or in a small garden.

You can adapt this idea to suit your living setup of course.

Here is a picture of my Mediterranean  lunch bowl, the recipe is taken from my book Inhale. Exhale. Repeat, and some of the leaves came from the cavalo nero kale plant!

(P.S If you like growing kale, you might also like growing Nasturtiums. )


A post shared by Emma Mills London (@emmamillslondon) on

inhale exhale repeat medeterainian lunch bowl