Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea Alboglabra Cultivar Group
This vegetable is also known by the names Gai-Lan, Kailaan, Kailan Kichi, Hong Kong Broccoli, Chinese Broccoli and Chinese Kale.
Kai-Lan is a traditional open-pollinated vegetable that has been grown throughout central and south-east Asia for many generations, the area where it was first grown is unknown.
Kai-Lan Stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible and tender, pick before flower buds get too big and start opening for best flavour. A favourite way of mine to eat this is to simply stir fry it whole in a soy, ginger and garlic sauce. Kai-Lan is a good source of Vitamin C, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Can be eaten when fully grown or when young as baby kai lan.
Kai-Lan is very easy to grow, keep well watered and fertilise occasionally with an organic fertiliser and it should produce well. Cut stems off no shorter than 8cm from the base of plant and Kai Lan will reshoot and provide additional harvests. Keep an eye out for caterpillars and remove them before they become a problems, if you have chickens they'll enjoy the caterpillars.
When To Sow:
For best results in the tropics sow Kai-Lan from April to August, in the subtropics from March to September, in temperate regions all year round and in cold areas from September to March.
How To Sow:
Sow Kai-Lan seeds about 6mm deep spacing plants about 20cm apart, Kai-Lan is quite happy growing close together. Choose a planting site in full sun or light shade for fastest growth.
Time To Germination:
Kai-Lan seeds take between 5 and 10 days from sowing to germinate.
Time To Harvest:
Kai-Lan plants take 9 to 11 weeks to reach full size but can also be harvested when younger.