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Taunton Deane perennial kale (rooted cutting)

£8.00

Back in stock spring/summer 2021 – UK SHIPPING ONLY FOR THIS ITEM

Taunton Deane perennial kale – Brassica Oleracea var Acephala. This west country perennial kale is one of the most prolific and best tasting with broad tender green leaves and purple mid-ribs. Each plant can grow more than 2m tall and wide (although it can be pruned to grow in a smaller space). Once mature, leaves can be harvested all year round. Plants can go on producing for 5 – 8 years and are hardy down to about -10c. By taking stem cuttings from mature plants, you can propagate all your future stock yourself. So from this single plant, you can basically produce perennial kale for the rest of your life. Price is for one rooted cutting ready to plant out now with about 15-20 cm of leaf growth. It is rooted in a biodegradable bag, so you can plant it out in its bag.

Out of stock

Taunton Deane perennial kale – Brassica Oleracea var Acephala. This west country perennial kale is one of the most prolific and best tasting with broad tender green leaves and purple mid-ribs. Each plant can grow more than 2m tall and wide (although it can be pruned to grow in a smaller space). Once mature, leaves can be harvested all year round. Plants can go on producing for 5 - 8 years and are hardy down to about -10c. By taking stem cuttings from mature plants, you can propagate all your future stock yourself. So from this single plant, you can basically produce perennial kale for the rest of your life. Price is for one rooted cutting ready to plant out now with about 15-20 cm of leaf growth. It is rooted in a biodegradable bag, so you can plant it out in its bag.

About

Taunton Deane also known as cottager’s kale. The name Cottager’s or Crofter’s Kale is a reference to its everyday use by ordinary folk for centuries. ‘Taunton Deane’ is local to the Somerset area in the UK and has probably been in cultivation by local people there for well over 100yrs. These plants grow huge (up to 2m tall and 2m wide with a woody trunk. They produce the best tasting tender leaves, and once established can be harvested for most of the year. Really productive for the first five years they slow down a little after that but have been known to reach nine or ten years old.

How to grow

When your plant arrives, plant it out in a deep planting hole and firm it down. It does not need a particularly well cultivated bed, just an area free of weeds and grass. We grow some of ours as an edible wind break on the edge of the vegetable garden. Give plants an occasional mulch of compost and prune off any dead branches to keep them thriving. You can prune plants to stop them becoming too large if you have limited space.

Propagating more plants

Known to periodically flower, seed collection is possible, but they will cross with other brassicas. The best way to propagate them to ensure they are true to type is through stem cuttings (a thick side stem with all leaves removed apart from the growing tip), which can either be potted up or popped directly in the soil to root. We recommend taking cuttings once or twice a year so you always have more plants as back up.

Pests & diseases

Taunton Deane does suffer from the same pests as regular brassicas but has far greater resilience to them in our experience. You may need to protect young plants from slugs, cabbage whites and pigeons until they become established.

After a year or two they should be large enough to survive without any protection. We don’t use any crop covers with ours and although Taunton Deane can be attacked by cabbage whites, even the most well nibbled plants bounce back completely by autumn. We have also found that interspersed plantings of perennial kales make great companions – greatly reducing the damage to regular brassica crops by acting as pest beacons, whilst having the innate capacity to survive them.

Harvesting & eating

Let your plant get to the size of a small shrub before you start harvesting. Once mature you can harvest leaves all year round. Use exactly as any other kale. It has the most delicious nutty taste and surprisingly tender considering the size of the plants.

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