Dwarf Essex Kale

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    Michael
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    growing kale in the high tunnel

    Multiple Benefits of Kale
    We put kale in everything, from salads to crock pot veggie stews. A different view of the benefits of kale is that: not only is it good for our bodies but also for helping to suppress soil borne diseases and infestations by pests like nematodes, which can devastate crops we grow such as potatoes and tomatoes. Rapeseed kale like ‘Dwarf Essex’ contain sulfur containing chemicals (glucosinolates) that break down in decomposing into compounds that are toxic to nematodes. These natural compounds are released from the roots of living plants or by plants incorporated into the soil as green manure. (See Alabama Cooperative Extension, Hagan, Gazaway, and Sikora for a more in-depth view into plants explored for this property.) Thus, growing this kale in rotation helps us with pest control naturally and produces healthier soils.

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