Lynda Heavrin is the manager of landscape and horticulture at the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation in Fort Wayne. She can be reached at


‘Redbor’ Kale
by Lynda Heavrin - posted 03/30/12

The “grow your own food” movement is still going strong in Indiana. Community gardens are the hot topic and finding a way to make the gardens attractive as well as practical helps make working in the garden fun for everyone. Although there are many plants that fit the “attractive and edible” category, one of the best is ‘Redbor’ kale.

You will usually see ‘Redbor’ kale in fall plantings at commercial properties but it is easily planted in the spring and grown throughout the summer. Since it will not bolt this plant makes an attractive focal-point plant in a container or beautiful backdrop to other bedding and vegetable garden plants. The leaves of ‘Redbor’ kale are edible and can be used cooked, made into kale “chips” or raw as a beautiful garnish.

Common Name: ‘Redbor’ Kale
Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea ‘Redbor’
Color: Purple/Red ruffled leaf
Blooming Period: No blooms
Type: Annual, extremely cold-tolerant late in season
Size: Upright, 2 to 3 feet tall, depending on growing conditions
Exposure: Full sun
When to Plant: Plant outside after danger of frost
How to Plant: In a vegetable or annual flower garden space 3 feet apart
Soil: Plant in good garden soil with lots of organic matter
Watering: Keep soil evenly moist during the growing season
Fertilizer: Fertilize every two weeks with a mild, liquid fertilizer or use a time-released fertilizer according to directions
When to Prune: No pruning needed
Landscape Uses: Containers, annual flower beds and vegetable gardens


(From Indiana Gardening Volume I Issue IV. Photography By Lynda Heavrin.)


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