Fully grown plants have attractive dark green, deeply savoyed, strap-like leaves. Excellent winter hardiness makes kale a useful winter to spring vegetable. Kale Nero di Toscana can also be used as a baby salad leaf adding texture and a peppery taste to mixed salads.
Sow thinly outdoors from March to June (or until August for summer salad leaves). Prepare seed bed by raking to a fine tilth, sow 12mm (½in) deep, in drills 23cm (9in) apart. Plants can be thinned to 15cm (6in) apart for salad leaves all year round. Harvest 30 days from sowing in summer, 60 days in winter.
Transplant seedlings for mature plants when they are large enough to handle, about 5 weeks after sowing, to 45cm (18in) between plants. Plant firmly and keep well watered until established. Protect from caterpillar and aphid as necessary with fleece, and use net against pigeons during the winter. Mature plants are winter hardy and can be harvested from September to February.