Mildew resistant kale varieties for PNW?
This year I grew kale, a LOT of kale. I moved into a house and did not have time to plant summer crops, so I planted a huge 150 sq ft section of my raised bed area with just kale. I have two varieties- the "Smooth leaf kale" variety found on burpee seed racks in every supermarket, and "dinosaur" aka "Italian" kale.
THe smooth leaf kale is an incredibly fast grower and heavy producer. It's very tasty too, with large leaves that are like a more tender version of collards. The problem is, mildew is getting all over them now. I just picked them down a lot and threw out at least a few pounds worth of heavily infested leaves, then sprayed organic fungicide on the remaining leavs, but I sort of think it's useless to fight the fungus like this. There is something about this variety that makes it very susceptible to mildew, maybe just the broad shape and the tenderness of the leaves. The dinosaur kale and the smooth-leaf kale are planted amongst one another, but the dinosaur kale seems to be barely affected.
Rather than just growing all dinosaur kale (it is nice, but not as impressive a producer), I was wondering if someone can recommend a variety of tender kale that is resistant to fungus. I have heard about Sutherland kale being very hardy, but it looks kind of small and low the ground, so I worry that it also will have fungus issues.
This is the second year in a row that this smooth-leaf kale has had this issue for me- It just explodes all through late summer then gets coated in downy or powdery mildew when the climate gets cooler and wetter. It is of fun to go to your garden every three days or so and take out about $50 (Whole Foods price) worth of fresh kale, but I've learned my lesson about this stuff... it just doesn't seem to be adapted to this area.