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RE: I'm back.... (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: diggerdee on 01.26.2007 at 09:25 am in Winter Sowing Forum

Okay, as I was typing the above post, I remembered that I got a separate instruction sheet with my pack of White Crane seeds from Park's last year. I dug it out, and I just noticed that these instructions are also good for Sunset. (Hmm, the sheet instructions differ from the packet instructions somewhat...) Still doesn't give much help with actual sowing, but has some good after-germination info. Okay, here goes:

"Cultural Info:

Seed should be sown in July, 2 to 3 weeks earlier than bedding plant flowering kale. In cooler areas, seed can be sown in June.

Cover seed to a depth of 1/4 to 1/3 inch and germinate at 70-75* (20-25*C).

Transplant seedlings at the 2 to 3 true-leaf stage. Spacing should be 5 to 6 inches. At the time of transplanting, be careful to set plants so that they will grow straight up. If plants fall over they will produce a curved stem making them unsuitable for cutflower use. Also, if plants are spaced more than 6 inches, they will produce heads that are too large for cutflower use.

When plants are about 6 inches tall, the lower leaves should be removed. This should be repeated 3 or 4 times as the plants grow taller.

When plants are about 10 inches tall, support should be used to prevent plants from falling over as they will become top heavy.

Give plants adequate fertilizer during young growing stage. When plants begin to color, do not use any fertilizer.

From a July sowing, plants should begin to color about mid-October. Plants should be ready to harvest about mid-November.

Good quality cutflower kale should have a 2-foot stem with a six-inch head with good coloring."

Hmm, I guess that's not as much help as I thought it would be. I still think I will try wintersowing them, and just take better care of them. Maybe if I had actually followed some of the directions above after germination, I would have had more success.

I do think I will have to sacrifice some color quality to get earlier "blooms". As I said, despite my neglect, my bug-eaten, floppy plants had beautiful color in late fall, nicer than my early fall cuts. But I don't have much choice in my situation - either I use them with less color, and still get my bouquets noticed for the unusual, or I just don't use them.

I guess it will take some more experimentation - and more attention, lol, on my part!

Hope this long (sorry!) post was of some help!

:)
Dee

NOTES:

Will Sow some July 20 followed by a 20th of August sowing and compare results. July-mid August can be 90+ causing plants to grow too fast; possibly resulting in exteme elongation of the flowering stem.
clipped on: 01.26.2007 at 10:42 am    last updated on: 01.26.2007 at 11:10 am