The Best Way to Harvest Kale In the Garden

The Best Way to Harvest Kale In the Garden

Rich in minerals and vitamins, kale (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala) is a versatile and beneficial member of the cabbage family. Simple to grow kale, together with collards, is the hardiest of all members of the Brassica family, according to Floridata — it can be harvested on a continual basis. The crucial thing is to harvest it correctly lest it stop generating.

Growing Conditions

An abundant harvest begins with a healthy head of kale, and that is obtained by providing optimum conditions for growth. Kale is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10, in which it will continue to create leaves all winter long. Most home gardeners, however, grow kale as an annual in a vegetable garden. Kale thrives in full sun but can benefit from afternoon shade in the hottest climates, and it grows best in rich, well-drained soil. For your best-tasting leaves, provide consistent moisture. Although the plants can tolerate drought, the leaves will suffer because of it.

Harvest Period

Kale can be planted anytime from early spring to early summer, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Usually, the first leaves are ready to be harvested about 30 days after planting. Kale is prepared for the first harvest when person leaves are about as big as your hands. Harvesting can continue as long as the plant keeps putting out leaves — including into the winter. Frost really sweetens the flavor of kale, but a couple of hard frosts in a row may kill the plant and blacken the leaves.

Harvesting Tips

Leaves should be chosen from the ground up. In reality, mature spinach plants frequently look like little palm trees, with leaves sprouting from the top. They grow in a way very similar to palm trees too, with new leaves sprouting from a terminal bud on very top. Should you cut off the top — combined with the terminal marijuana — of a kale plant, then it will stop generating leaves. Begin with the smallest leaves. Any leaves that are yellow should be discarded — this means they are old and weren’t chosen in time. Pluck or cut them off the plant in which the leaf petiolestem, meets the main stem. A fistful of leaves is a normal harvest, but should you want more than you could technically remove all but the top four leaves.

Maintaining and Using

Rinse the leaves off and use them fresh in salads, or keep them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Large leaves with hard ribs can be cut into pieces with the ribs removed. You can also steam them and season them with a little salt, vinegar or pepper. The longer you cook kale, the longer its nutrients are ruined, so to get the absolute most from your own greens, warm them up as little as possible.

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