One of the trendiest superfoods of the last decade just got a whole lot cooler. If you enjoy growing your own food but secretly wish it didn’t take so much work, consider adding kale to your garden.
In a viral Instagram Reel, gardener and sustainable living enthusiast Amy Chapman (@inthecottagegarden) shares some important tips on growing perennial kale and why it’s the perfect plant for “lazy gardeners.”
To grow your own kale, you can either plant seeds or use cuttings (four to five inch stems, roots, or branches from an established plant). Most gardeners prefer to plant kale from cuttings because the new plant will mature faster than one grown from seeds, per a Purdue University publication about home gardening.
Simply trim any stems off the side shoot and place them into a pot of soil or directly into the ground, making sure two-thirds of the stem is beneath the surface. The kale should develop roots within a few weeks to a month, according to the gardening blog Steve’s Seaside Life.
“This zero effort plant gives you [a] nonstop harvest for years,” Amy explains in the Reel.
Perennial kale plants live for at least two years, so you don’t have to worry about planting new seeds each year. Plus, since they have more time to establish a root system, they’re not as vulnerable to pests and can absorb more nutrients from the soil.
According to Amy, perennial kale can even have a “higher nutritional value than their annual counterparts.”
How it’s helping
As Amy says in the Reel, growing perennial kale in your garden can save you time and money since just one plant can produce a bountiful harvest for years. That’s one less vegetable you’ll have to buy at the grocery store, which amounts to a lot of savings over time.
Not only can gardening keep more money in your pocket, but it’s also a fun hobby that can improve your mental health and give you a great workout. Studies show that people who grow their own food usually eat more fiber, have lower stress and anxiety levels, and get more exercise.
Plus, gardening benefits the planet in several ways, such as reducing your pollution footprint since you won’t have to rely as much on store-bought produce, which often comes from farms thousands of miles away.
Growing perennial kale can also help you cut down on plastic waste and keep harmful pesticides out of the environment, as it’s much easier to substitute healthy alternatives in small-scale farming.
What everyone’s saying
Many people in the comments were excited to plant the nutritious, hardy plant in their gardens.
“We’ve just got our first plot and starting completely from scratch, this sounds perfect,” one Instagrammer said.
“Here for lazy gardening,” a fellow gardener joked in the comments.
Amy gave an encouraging update in the comments section for anyone interested in harvesting perennial kale in their garden. “Honestly might be my favorite plant in the veggie garden, it just produces non stop and is pretty indestructible!” she boasted.
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