Kale is grown extensively near Norfolk, Va., and to some extent on Long Island. Market gardeners occasionally grow small quantities, and sometimes it is seen in home gardens. It is a member of the cabbage family, used mainly in fall and spring as greens. The low, curled varieties are highly ornamental and are valued for garnishing and bedding.
Varieties differ greatly in form, size of plants and in character of foliage. The low sorts are hardier than the tall kinds, although all varieties winter without difficulty in southern sections and sometimes in the milder parts of the North. The most prominent varieties are Imperial Long Standing, Dwarf German, Dwarf Curled Scotch and Fall Green Curled Scotch.
Any soil well adapted to cabbage will, with proper management, produce good kale.
Stable manures are most valuable for this crop, but high-grade fertilizers are also employed to advantage. Nitrate of soda is especially effective in encouraging a rapid, vigorous growth. It requires the same general treatment as cabbage.
Sowings should be made early enough in the summer for the plants to attain full size before cold weather. In the Norfolk region the plantings are made from the latter part of June until the middle of July. Northward, May is not too soon. Kale seed is imported from England and Holland. It is sown in rows spaced to permit horse tillage. The plants are thinned to stand 8 to 15 inches apart according to variety. The seed need not be covered with more than an inch of moist soil.
The tender leaves, which are improved by freezing, may be gathered at intervals, or the entire crop cut at one time. They are shipped in light, ventilated barrels or in hampers. Prices vary from 75 cents to $2 a barrel. Kale is a profitable crop in the Norfolk district.
This vegetable is often called the Turnip-Rooted cabbage. It is closely related to the cabbage and just as easily grown. The stem, which is the edible part, is greatly enlarged immediately above ground. It is not as generally known nor as popular as it should be. When cooked before the flesh becomes woody, it is superior to the turnip in edibility. The early crop is especially delicious.
Green Vienna, Earliest Erfurt, White Vienna and Purple Vienna are the leading varieties.
The early varieties are often forced in cold frames and a much earlier crop may be procured in the open by starting the plants under glass, and transplanting 1« inches apart each way before setting in the field. Some growers prefer to sow in hotbeds or cold frames, transplanting in the field where the crop is to mature. The plants require the same general treatment as cabbage.
It is customary to space about 8 inches apart in the row and to allow sufficient space between rows for cultivating with either hand wheel hoes or horse cultivators.
Fifteen inches between rows is about as close as plants can be set to permit satisfactory tillage. The seed resembles cabbage seed and should be sown at the same depth. Thorough and frequent tillage are important.
It is important to market the crop before the enlargements become woody. The plants may be tied together in bunches like early beets or sold in bulk. Koh!-rabi is a profitable crop whenever a market can be found. This vegetable may be stored in the same manner as root crops.
This member of the onion family produces a sheaf of leaves (Figure 83) rather than a bulb. The sheaf is made up of the lower parts of the flat leaves, is solid and, when well blanched, milder and more tender than the onion. Leeks are generally eaten raw, but are also cooked and used for flavoring. This vegetable is much more popular in some foreign countries, as France, England, Scotland and in southern Europe, than in America, where it is grown mainly for the foreign population.
Soil and cultural conditions required for onions are equally well adapted to leeks. Rotten stable manures are of great value. The usual plan is to sow in the spring as soon as the ground can be prepared. In June or more often in July the seedlings are transplanted in moist, well-prepared soil. It is an advantage to clip the tops severely at transplanting. The plants may be set 4 to 6 inches apart, with not less than 12 inches between rows. As the long, white sheaves are the most tender and salable, it is customary to plant the seedlings 4 or 5 inches deep in trenches which are gradually filled as the plants grow, or to set them slightly deeper than they stood in the seed bed and hill as the season advances in order to blanch the sheaves. They are also sold green to some extent. Leeks are readily stored like celery in trenches, cold frames, pits and cool cellars.
Fig. 83. Leek.