Sea Kale is a favorite vegetable in European gardens, but here, as yet, almost unknown. Anticipating that at no distant day it may bo as generally cultivated as it deserves to be, I briefly describe the mode of culture. The seeds of Sea Kale should be sown in the greenhouse, or in a slight hot-bed in February or March, and when the plants are an inch or two in hight, they should be potted into two or three-inch pots and placed in a cold frame to harden, until sufficiently strong to be planted in the open ground. It should then be set out in rows three feet apart, with two feet between the plants, on land enriched as for any ordinary cabbage crop. If the plants and the soil in which they have been planted are both good, and cultivation has been properly attended to, by keeping the plants well hoed during the summer, it will have "crowns" strong enough to give a crop the next season. In the northern states it will be necessary to cover the rows with three or four inches of leaves, to protect the plants from frost. Sea Kale is only fit for use when " blanched," and to effect this, on the approach of spring the "crowns" should be covered with some light material, such as sand or leaf-mold, to the depth of twelve or fifteen inches, so that the young shoot being thus excluded from the light, will become blanched in growing through this covering. Sometimes cans made for the purpose, or large flower-pots, or even wooden boxes, are inverted over the plants, the object in each case being to exclude the light. If it is desired to force Sea Kale, or forward it earlier, the materials used to make hot-beds, leaves or stable manure are heaped over the pots or cans in a sufficient quantity to generate the proper heat to forward or force on the growth of the plants. The young shoots are cut from the plant before the leaves are developed, and when cooked, have a flavor something between asparagus and cauliflower, but by most persons much preferred to either. The engraving shows a young shoot when ready for the table.
Fig. 95. - Sea Kale.