Container Gardening Tips for Growing Cool-Weather Kale 

Container Gardening

Today’s episode is all about growing cool-weather kale (if you’re experiencing cooler temps this time of year) and how to decide if growing kale is right for you. You’ll hear one of the biggest mistakes I made when I got started (and how to avoid it so you don’t waste time, energy, or money).

Let’s dive in! So, how do you know if growing kale is right for you? 

Imagine, you’re sitting down to dinner and you see kale on your plate… how does it make you feel? If it takes you back to being 7 years old when mom or dad put something funky on your plate and you’re face said, nope. Follow your intuition. If you can’t stand it… don’t grow it. 

But, if you love adding kale to salads, veggie bowls, and more… it’s right for you. 

One of the biggest mistakes I made was trying to grow a bunch a veggies I knew I wouldn’t ever eat. Beets? Nope. Someone gave me the seeds and I planted them. I wasted a lot of time, energy, and money on veggies I didn’t love. 

So to save yourself some time, energy, and money… grow what you love eating. 

If kale speaks to you… you’re in luck. I’m going to share the 5 steps to container gardening with cool-weather kale.

5 Steps to Container Gardening with Cool-Weather Kale


  • Plant: Russian Kale (sweet, mild taste) Grayish green color: cold weather turns the stems and veins a beautiful purple … makes them taste even sweeter
  • Space & Light: Place your plant in Full sun/partial shade
  • Container: Get a large container (30 qt/20-28 liters) with drainage holes at the bottom (depth min 8in/20cm)
  • Soil: Choose a nutrient-rich, well-draining mix for container gardening
  • Fertilizer: we want good foliage (leaves) so get an organic fish fertilizer or a fertilizer high in nitrogen is what you’re looking for 
  • Watering Can: Get a 3 gal/11 liter for containers


  • Fill the container with soil (right below the rim of the container)
  • Dig hole deep enough to cover the entire root ball (rootball: root area)
  • Gently remove plant from the pot
  • Use both hands to place the plant in the soil
  • Use one hand to hold the plant in place, other hand to cover the entire root ball with soil
  • Water gently and evenly after planting


  • Water: Before watering, touch the soil to be sure it’s not moist. Water regularly when needed: container plants need more frequent watering
  • Fertilize: For the first few weeks, apply an organic fertilizer every week, then every 2 weeks 


  • Usually low maintenance 
  • Pests (slugs/snails in the Spring) (aphids in the Summer) – Get a nontoxic insecticide from your local garden center to help you get rid of unwanted pests
  • Preventing Pests- companion planting with herbs can prevent pests from chomping on your veggies 
  • Ex- Cilantro and marigolds-attract beneficial insects like hoverflies that prey on common pests like aphids) 
  • Ex-Catnip is a useful companion plant that can aid a variety of vegetables and flowers by repelling pests and attracting beneficial insect predators
  • Simply drop a few seeds in the soil with your kale and water gently


  • Approx 40 Days to harvest from plants (total of 50 days from seed)
  • Feel free to pick when young
  • You can pick from the outer leaves (just enough for tonight’s dinner)
  • Pro-tip: Pick from the inner leaves of kale and your plant will form new branches

If you love Kale and want to create mouthwatering recipes like baked kale chips, kale & parmesan salad, kale & lentil soup, or kale & scallion quiche… download the 5 steps for growing cool-weather kale with step-by-step directions right here.

Grab your free copy of the container gardening made easy toolkit: