This blog post is on growing and harvesting Kailan. Kailan is also known as Chinese kale, Gai lan ( 芥兰) Kailaan. It is a family of brassica. The taste is similar to broccoli. For me personally, it is different from kale. For one the leaves are much smoother than kale. Also, it is less of a dark green color compared to kale.
While it is possible to buy Kailan from Asian grocers. It isn’t cheap to buy as there isn’t a big demand for it.
Kai lan has got a bit of similarity to pak choi except that the stems are tougher. Leaves are more crunchy. Kai lam is cook the same way as pak choi like in stir-fries, soups and blanch. As the stems and leaves are tougher it needs to be cooked not eaten raw.
Growing and harvesting Kailan
It is relatively easy to grow leafy green. It has fewer diseases compared to growing cabbages. Although slugs and snails love to eat the young and leafy part of Kailan.
I have grown Kailan from seeds that I bought online. Here is where to buy the seeds from (Seekay horticulture). The kailan seeds germinate easily using a propagator. It grows well in the spring and autumn seasons.
Once germinated grow the young seedlings by a sunny spot in well-drained manure compost. Spread them apart as they grow older. Protect them from slugs and aphids.
There are different varieties of Kailan. So don’t be surprised that the ones grown at home don’t look like the ones sold in shops. I was rather confused at first then when it has fully grown it had similarities to the ones in shops. Homegrown Kailan tends to be smaller but much tastier as it is harvested earlier.
Kailan is ready to harvest when the plant matures. This is seen by matured leaves. Kailan also does bolt into flowers and then produces seeds.
Thank you for reading and dropping by do have a look at my other posts on growing vegetables like Pak Choi and sorrel.