Beat the Winter Blues with Ornamental Cabbages and Kale!

Does the winter blues have your garden in its grips? Now that the spectacular colors of fall have faded away into bare winter branches, your garden might need some sprucing up. It’s time to add some color back to your foliage! Yes, we know it sounds a bit crazy. We know there aren’t too many colorful options out there that can withstand the bitter frost. But, we have an option you may not have thought of: Ornamental cabbages and kale.

Very few flowers bloom during the cold winter months. Ornamental cabbage and kale are extremely cold-tolerant and are amazing cool weather bloomers. Plus, they come in a variety of colors, ranging from white to pinks, purples or reds. So, you can customize your garden in an incredible array that will brighten up any winter landscape. These wonderful brassica (technical term, there folks) also pair well with fall flowers like pansies and violas. And ornamental cabbages tend to grown well in flower beds or potted into containers.

If you plan on growing your own ornamental beauties in the great outdoors here are a few tips. First things first, kale seeds require light for germination, so don’t cover them with soil. It is best to sow kale seeds directly into the garden, where they are to grow. The exact timing for sowing and planting will depend on your local conditions, but try to sow your seeds about six to ten weeks before the first anticipated frost.

Although cabbage seeds can be sown indoors at any time of the year, without cool temperatures the plants won’t get much color. For starting seeds indoors, we recommend that they be sown directly into a large 6-8 inch pot. Once the seeds of ornamental cabbage are sown, place the flat or pot in the refrigerator for 3 days to expedite germination. Choosing kale over cabbage? You can skip the refrigeration.

Try out your ornamental cabbages in your winter garden! Let us know how your colorful creations turn out by posting on our website!

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