The timing and methods you use depend on if you are growing plants for baby greens or mature leaves.At this point, healthy plants will have upwards of ten leaves, with small ones in the center and larger ones on the outside.If you’re looking to grow baby kale, plants will be ready to pick and enjoy in 25 to 30 days after they are sown.The harvest period usually occurs once in late spring or early summer, and again in autumn.If you wait too long, however, older leaves may become discolored and eventually fall off the plant.Depending on your growing zone and the time of year, you can gather new greens every one to two weeks.If you see discolored or heavily insect-eaten leaves, make sure to remove these and discard them, or add them to the compost pile.My preferred method is to grab a handful and cut them off one to two inches above the ground, using a knife. .
How to Pick Kale: 10 Steps (with Pictures)
Hold the kale leaf with 1 hand and cut the stem near its base with pruning shears.Then, pat them with a paper towel to absorb some of the water, and leave them to air dry for at least 10 minutes. .
10 Tips for Growing Kale
Start spring seeds indoors approximately six weeks before the last frost to give plants a chance to mature before summer’s worst heat.Plant your crop again in the fall, six to eight weeks before the first expected frost — you can keep harvesting even after snowfall.Kale is buddy-buddy with beets, celery, cucumbers, herbs, onions, spinach, chard, and potatoes.Protect young plants with row covers like this to stave off flea beetles and provide a buffer against any unexpected temperature dips.Picking off unhealthy-looking leaves and keeping your plants well-fed with compost and water will also reduce insect damage in your vegetable garden,.Use straw or grass mulch at the base of your plants to keep the soil cool, conserve moisture, and make it easier for roots to feed.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. .
How to grow kale / RHS Gardening
Kale is usually sown into a seedbed, away from the main vegetable plot, then later transplanted to its final growing position.Sow kale seeds from March to June in sun or light shade.Draw out a shallow drill, 1cm (½in) deep, using a stick or the blade of a trowel, then water along the base.Transplant young kale plants to their final growing position when they have five or six true leaves.Water well the day before moving, lift them carefully, then set them in their new planting hole deep enough so their lowest leaves are at ground level.Birds, especially pigeons, can cause an array of problems including eating seedlings, buds, leaves, fruit and vegetables.Scarecrows and bird-scaring mechanisms work for a while, but the most reliable method of protection is to cover plants with horticultural fleece or mesh.White larvae approximately 5cm (2in) long, feed on the roots just below the soil surface, stunting growth and causing plants to wilt and die.A number of caterpillars will feed on brassicas, but the most common are those of cabbage white butterflies.'Cavolo Nero' A popular Italian variety with dark green puckered leaves.'Redbor' AGM With attractive vibrant purple leaves, it’s a colourful addition to veg plots and borders. .
How to Harvest Kale So It Keeps Growing
So how to harvest kale so it keeps growing?Here’s how to harvest kale so it keeps growing in 12 simple tips.Your kale plant will begin to produce leaves this size about 70 days after planting.Once the leaves are this size, your kale is ready and you should quickly harvest, as they’ll go bitter shortly after this.About 25 days after planting, you’ll reach ‘microgreen’ size.If you cut the stems or root, you’ll damage the plant and either stall or destroy any potential new growth.Instead, cut at the base of the leaves you want to pick in one session and leave everything else alone (new growth, stems, and roots included).It will grow back regardless.Return every 5-7 days to reap your new harvest and be sure to remove fully mature leaves every time.As you’re harvesting your kale plant, be sure to harvest your microgreens — some of us like them even more than fully mature kale leaves (see above).However, be careful not to pick too many.If you’re growing kale in the fall, our favorite pro tip is to wait to harvest until after the first frost!A good frost actually makes your kale taste sweeter.Frost increases the amount of sugar in your kale leaves, making them tenderer and sweeter than a spring harvest.While harvesting, remove yellow or spotted leaves.Extend your kale harvest by simply shielding your plant from the weather.Another option is to cover up and leave it until spring — if you have a cold enough winter, it may survive and begin growing again come warmer weather!Although it won’t technically extend your harvest, storing your kale leaves properly will extend how long you can enjoy your harvest.Storing the leaves while they’re still wet will wilt them and make them slimy. .
A Users Guide to Kale Growing
Simply cover the kale seeds with half an inch of soil and keep it moist to germinate; they do best this way.Hot weather can turn it bitter, so you may want to mulch the ground to protect the weeds from too much heat.If it happens to be late summer or even early fall, you can direct seed kale plants outdoors.Keep the ground well watered and as your kale grows, cultivate the soil shallowly around the plants so as not to destroy any roots.When it comes to picking kale, simply harvest the young leaves from the bottom of the plant up.Being able to pick kale all season long is definitely a plus to growing this hardy vegetable. .
Lacinato Kale: Learn How to Grow This Delicious Heirloom Kale
If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.The plants form beautiful rosettes of blue-green leaves that are perfect for the vegetable or flower garden.The leaves are thinner and more tender than other types of kale making this an excellent choice for both raw and cooked dishes.Plus, it’s quick and easy to grow with a baby crop ready to harvest a month from seeding and mature leaves just four weeks later.The plants can grow up to three feet tall and when mature look a bit like miniature palm trees with a rosette of narrow leaves held atop straight stems.This unique kale is tolerant of both hot and cold weather, but is less winter hardy than varieties like Winterbor and Red Russian.When sowing seed in mid to late summer for a fall or winter harvest, I like to float a length of row cover or shadecloth over top the bed on hoops for the first week after planting.The summer weather is often hot and dry and providing a bit of shade helps reduce water evaporation from the soil and encourage good germination.Kale grows best when planted in a site that offers eight to ten hours of sunshine each day.Kale likes well-draining, fertile soil so amend the bed with compost or aged manure before planting.Lacinato kale can be direct seeded in the spring garden or started indoors and transplanted outside once the seedlings are a few inches tall.Once the seedlings are a couple of inches tall, feed them with a diluted liquid organic fertilizer at half the recommended rate.This is a quick way to grow greens with the leaves ready to pick just four to five weeks from seeding.I water the plants deeply once a week if there has been no rain from late spring though early autumn.You can also add a slow release organic granular fertilizer to the growing medium to promote steady growth all season long.As the plants grow continue to water regularly and keep an eye out for pests like cabbage worms.I find hand-picking early in the season is a great way to put a dent in the overall slug population.Hand pick eggs and caterpillars from the tops and bottoms of the leaves a few times a week.Lacinato kale is a quick growing green and impatient gardeners won’t have to wait too long for that first harvest.They grow about a foot long and make high quality kale chips, as well as add a nutritional punch to soups, salads and pastas.The plants grow two and a half to three feet tall, but can also be sowed densely for baby salad leaves.The plants grow two and a half to three feet tall, but can also be sowed densely for baby salad leaves.– Black Magic is an improved variety with vigorous, uniform growth and better cold tolerance and bolt resistance.Rainbow Lacinato – I love this gorgeous variety by famed breeder Frank Morton. .
When to Harvest Kale – Garden Tips 2021
When to harvest kale?For those who like smaller leaves with a milder flavor, baby kale is ready for picking 25 to 30 days after planting.If you prefer larger greens, wait until it matures and is in its right size.How to Harvest Kale?Some home gardeners prefer baby kale when making salads because it is more tender than mature ones.Hence, cutting the stems a few inches above the growth point ensures that the kale plant grows new leaves.As mentioned, you don’t just grab a leaf and break it from its stem.Harvesting it the right way allows the kale plant to grow and produce new leaves longer.Kale grows leaves from the top of the stem and matures as days pass, producing more greens.Hence, always gather the largest and oldest leaves first, which you’ll find on the outermost part of the kale plant closest to the base.Apart from leaving the central part of the plant, only pick around two-thirds of the greens to keep it productive.You must wash your harvest thoroughly to remove all the accumulated dirt from your garden.Step 2: Transfer the kale to a colander using a slotted spoon to ensure all the dirt stays in the water.Step 5: Lastly, dry the kale thoroughly using a salad spinner.You can also eat larger kale leaves uncooked, but they tend to have a tougher texture and are better eaten when cooked.Removing the Stems from Curly Kale Leaves.Removing the Stems from Flat Kale Leaves.Not all kale plants have curly leaves.Instead, lay the flat kale leaf on your chopping board and run the edges of a paring knife between the stem and the leaf.Fortunately, you can remove some of that bitter taste if you prepare it the right way.Cutting the leafy greens before you wash them helps remove some of their bitterness. .