Usually, the first mature kale leaves are ready to be harvested about 30 days after planting. Discover how to grow this fantastic scented grass in your garden! You can also try something more homemade like a tarp or old blankets draped over wire hoops or even folding chairs. Learn how to harvest parsley without killing the plant so it will continue producing! It is considered a cool-season vegetable and can handle some frost, when mature. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Always check your seed … Before you begin, you’ll need to make sure that your kale plant is ready to harvest. Kale has few calories, more vitamin C than orange juice and is an excellent source of calcium. Baby greens are much more tender than larger, mature leaves. Storing kale. Kale matures 50 to 65 days after direct sowing or about a month from setting out transplants. If you have grown kale and now worrying about when to harvest kale, you must be glad to know that it is winter loving plant and gives best sweet flavor if harvest after frost. 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. To blanch kale, first wash and chop the leaves. In mild-winter regions, kale will produce new leaves nearly all winter. The video above from Renee’s Garden Seeds shows you an easy way to harvest baby kale leave. Even if you don’t allow your kale plants to grow until they go to seed in their second year, you can harvest them for an extended period of time if conditions are right. It can survive in areas where winters are cold, even living to temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. For example: if you sowed your kale on April 15th then your estimated harvest date, with 30 days to harvest, would be May 15th. Kale can be planted any time from early spring to early summer, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. When To Harvest Kale Microgreens Average Yield: 120 – 300 g (4.25 – 10.5 oz) per 1020 tray In fact, kale leaves often have a better flavor after a couple frosts. Turnips are fast growing vegetables that can be grown in spring and fall. When to pick kale will depend on the use planned for the leafy green. Kale will be ready to harvest in approximately 30 days after sowing. Baby kale leaves are ready to … Are you picking your parsley the wrong way? Crop Cycle: 4 to 9 days from seed to harvest. If you want to start earlier, plant your seeds in trays on a sunny windowsill during late February to early March. In fact, kale leaves often have a better flavor after a couple … Growing hydroponically in my Lettuce Grow Farmstand, I was able to grow kale throughout the summer in zone 8a. In this post I’ll show you how insanely easy it is to freeze kale for use in delicious recipes all winter long. You can also offer your kale plants shade in the late afternoon to help keep them cool. The baby kale leaves in the photo below are an excellent size for eating raw: Full-size leaves have a stronger flavor and tougher texture. By the end of the following If you plant kale at the right time, you’ll have a long harvest season and lots of time to enjoy the freshly picked leaves. Unlike many common garden vegetables, kale plants are actually biennials. Do not completely cover them on all sides. Pull or twist leaves down and away from the plant, or use a knife to cut the leaves off. I usually have at least 6-8 kale plants growing at a time so I can pick a few leaves from each every day. Soak – No; Rinse / Drain – No; Germination – 2-3 days; Ideal Harvest – 8-12 days; You can either watch the full grow-along video or follow the step-by-step guide. It is worth noting there isn’t a perfect time to pick this green. Follow these directions to dry your kale: Wait until the sweet flavor of the kale has been enhanced by one or two weeks of morning frosts, then pick it. When you dig the plant up in March, all parts of it can be composted. By the end of the following spring kale plants will have grown quite tall as a result of this regular harvesting. The author lives in Canada – if she can garden all year, so can you. That way, I can harvest sooner once the gardening season begins. Plants will start to noticeably fade as summer temperatures rise. Leaf color is the best sign of crop readiness. Yet places with moderate winters (zones 8, 9, and 10) can plant kale later in the fall and even into Kale is very hardy and can continue to be harvested through the winter. Generally, kale is ready for harvest about 55 to 75 days after it has been sowed from seed. Kale can be grown as a cut-and-come-again crop. Don’t expect the same rate of growth in the fall or winter, even if your plants are warm enough. If you wash your kale and place it in a zip-lock bag your kale can last 2-3 days. Plant indoors 3-5 weeks before last frost date. When you dig the plant up in March, all parts of it can be composted. Shade cloth is an easy, temporary way to add shade to your garden. Kale is commonly started indoors and transplanted into … Rich green leaves of firm texture are ready for cutting. Simply drape them over your sturdy kale plants and secure the edges with branches, bricks, or landscape fabric staples. How to Harvest Kale. Learn how to harvest and store your turnips and turnip greens! The method for harvesting is the same for both baby and mature leaves. When harvesting, it’s important to use a technique that avoids the need to wash your greens. RAPE KALE Rape Kale can be grown as Curly Kale but seeds should be sown directly into Required fields are marked *. There are also two distinct harvest stages: baby kale and mature kale. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Dump the kale in the ice water or put the whole basket in the ice water bowl. Around ten days after planting your kale microgreens should be ready to harvest. Like spinach, kale can be frozen or canned, but it can also be dried and crumbled or powdered. Avoid harvesting more than half of a single plant at a time so that the plants can recover and keep growing. If too dark and heavy, the leaves are tough and not as flavorful. Approximately 40-55% shade rate and can be used for flower,vegetable and fruit. Discover more about us. This process is desirable in other vegetables like carrots, kale, and broccoli. It’s so popular, I even made a YouTube video showing you how I harvest kale in my garden (see below). Learning how to pick kale ensures the kale is fresh; you can use the baby kale harvest for leaves in a few salads. What Happens When Kale … If you properly mulch kale–use straw or dried leaves–it can be harvested through much of the winter. In the north and other regions with cold winters and hot summers, the main planting times are spring and fall. Bottom water your tray and within 4 to 6 hours your kale will be standing back up again. Kale is basically a cabbage type vegetable that doesn’t form a head. That said, aphids are also fond of kale flowers. An easy way to do this is by using a metal blanching basket. Don’t take more than a third each time you harvest because the plant needs photosynthesis to regenerate more leaves. ), How to Harvest Parsley (without killing the plant), How to Harvest Mint (and what to do with lots of mint), How to Harvest Thyme: tips for picking thyme & preserving your harvest, How to Harvest and Store Turnips: Quick & Easy to Grow Veggies for Spring & Fall, How and When to Harvest Broccoli (are you making a common broccoli picking mistake? For nutritious kale year-round, consider an indoor, water-based growing system. If you wash your kale and place it in a zip lock bag with several layers of damp paper towels your kale can store in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can start harvesting baby leaves from most kale varieties about 25-30 days after planting. Any protection you come up with will give you more time to harvest and may even keep your plants going until spring. Kale can be harvested within approximately 1 month of becomming established. The harvest period usually occurs once in late spring or early summer, and again in autumn. Baby kale leaves may be ready for harvest in as little as 25 days after planting but larger leaves will take longer. Kitchen Supply 3 Quart Stainless Steel Mesh Net Strainer Basket with a... How to Harvest Basil (Must-know tip for an abundant harvest! Kale is a trendy healthy option but it can be tough and chewy if not handled with care. Transplanting seedlings will give you a head start and cut down the time to harvest to about 30 to 40 days. Kale is a cool-weather crop that requires two months of cool weather to reach harvest. How and When To Harvest Kale. It’s sturdy and has a grippy ring around the bottom so it doesn’t flop everywhere on the counter when you use it. Plant indoors 3-5 weeks before last frost date. It is a pick-and-come-again vegetable, and regular picking ensures a long cropping period. Provided you’ve grown in a clean, safe environment and you harvest in a way that avoids debris, … Due to the shortening days of fall, your plants will mature more slowly in the fall than in the spring. The plant converts starches into sugars to protect the plant to prevent the leaves from freezing. Hold the kale leaf with 1 hand and cut the stem near its base with pruning shears. There are lots of ways to enjoy this nutritious vegetable, and it tastes even better homegrown! A blanching basket is one of those affordable kitchen gadgets that makes canning and preserving your garden harvest so much easier! There are also some perennial kale varieties that can live for 5-7 years. If you direct seed kale into your garden or a container, leaves will be ready to pick in 55 to 75 days. It’s been called a superfood and it seems to be getting more popular by the minute. Kale is an easy vegetable to grow and harvest. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. You can then plant a second crop in late summer or early fall when temperatures will start falling again. Soon, you won’t even have to wonder about it anymore- you’ll just look at your kale and know when it’s ready for picking. Natasha Garcia-Lopez is an avoid home-gardener and proud owner of 88 acres of land in rural West Virginia. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! RAPE KALE Rape Kale can be grown as Curly Kale but seeds should be sown directly into ground mid July and not in modules / pots / seed beds because it reacts badly when its roots are disturbed. Most kale plants will reach maturity 55-60 days after planting. Either way, let’s get growing! How Long Does Kale Take to Grow? It should be … If you planted kale seeds directly in your garden, it will take closer to 3 months for leaves to become full-sized. First, gardeners will need to pay close attention to when kale has gone to seed. Harvesting Kale Leaves 1 Wait about 70 days after planting to harvest. Harvest every few days by taking one or two leaves from each plant so that the central inner rosette of leaves remains untouched. If they’re not thoroughly dried, the excess moisture can make them go bad more quickly. Kale (Brassica oleracea) is a leafy vegetable in the Brassica or cole crop family. Heat is usually a bigger threat to kale than cold weather. Harvesting kale may include taking a few tender inner leaves or removing the entire bunch by cutting at the roots. They can be used both raw and cooked and remain good to eat until they start getting discolored. I grow a lot of kale and I often get asked how I harvest my kale, and what I do with all that kale. Don't over harvest, always leave several leaves to power the plant. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Kale is tasty when cooked or kept small to use in salads. Harvest time will depend somewhat on the variety of kale you’re growing, since some cultivars grow more quickly than others. Harvest Period Kale can be planted any time from early spring to early summer, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Transfer the kale to the ice bath. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You’ll probably want to cook larger leaves, or use them for kale chips. Keep in mind that kale does grow more slowly in cooler temperatures and shorter winter daylight hours. Kale is a biennial plant, which means that if you want to save seeds from your kale plant, you will keep your kale plants in the garden over the winter and harvest the seeds from your kale plants the following summer. To pick kale, wait 70 days after planting it, or until the plant is 8-10 inches high, which means it's ready for harvest. You’ll know when it’s ready when it’s about 12 inches tall and the leaves are the size of your hand or bigger. Kale leaves do keep getting tougher as they get larger, so keep that in mind as you plan your harvest. Always check your seed packet for your kale’s expected days to maturity. The good news is that kale can go in your … If you’re using a blanching basket, simply use hot pads to lift the basket out of the hot water bath. Kale, like many cabbage crops, is a cool season vegetable. (I eat kale with breakfast every morning. Here’s how to harvest kale so it keeps growing in 12 simple tips. Make sure you don’t cut the main stem off because this will stop plants from producing. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. For a fall harvest, kale can be planted 6 to 8 weeks before the first fall frost. In fact, kale seed is so simple to save that it’s perfect for new seed savers and even kids. Whether you transplant or directly seed, baby kale of this variety is ready for harvest 25 days after sowing, and full-sized leaves can typically be harvested after 50 days. According to the Napa Master Gardener, you can usually start to harvest baby sized kale leaves about 25 days after planting the seeds. There are also two distinct harvest stages: baby kale and mature kale. Many gardeners opt for spring planting since they are eager to get a kale harvest as soon as possible. Please see our full Disclaimer & Disclosure page for more information. By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden. Kale is a cool-season crop, so you can direct sow in the early spring. If you want enough baby kale leaves to have a sizable salad, you’ll need to plant a lot of seeds or seedlings. Harvest rosettes when they reach 1 1/2-2″ wide. If you decide to purchase a Farmstand, make sure to use coupon code “FRIEND-MMT9” for $50 off! Just harvest regularly and you shouldn’t have a problem. She was a member of the Association for Living History Farms and Agricultural Museums for many years and is currently enrolled in the Oregon State University Master Gardner Short Course program so she can better assist you with your gardening questions.She holds a certificate in natural skincare from the School of Natural Skincare. As such, it is beneficial for the flavor to have a frost before harvesting kale. Beginner growers may be quite surprised by the presence of bolted kale plants in the garden. Kale matures 55 to 75 days from seed sowing. Learn how to harvest and store thyme in this compete guide. Once you harvest your kale it will store at room temperature for only 1-day maximum. Now that you know when to harvest kale and how to extend the season, here are two ways to store any extra you might have. How to Harvest Kale. Jenny Somervell shares her tips on when to plant and harvest kale and how to cook it properly. Harvest every few days by taking one or two leaves from each plant so that the central inner rosette of leaves remains untouched. Growing hydroponic kale can help extend your growing season. Begin cutting leaves about 60 days later. The Year Round Vegetable Gardener How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year No Matter Where You Live. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Leaves that are the size of your palm are younger and more tender whereas the bigger leaves will be older and a bit tougher. Don’t leave it on for days on end, but even thick lawn trash bags secured over your plants for the night can protect them from a sudden, unexpected cold snap. Fully matured kale leaves are about the size of your hand. Make sure to allow at least two feet of space between your kale and the shade cloth to allow for air circulation. This phenomenon is called chill sweetening or cold-induced sweetening. Start keeping an eye on your plants about 3-4 weeks in because kale can quickly grow past the baby stage. The leaves grow from a central stem that elongates as it grows. It is best grown to mature in spring or fall before temperatures climb into the 70°sF . If you receive colder The leaves can be simply washed, chopped, and frozen, but will only last 4-6 weeks in the freezer before turning bitter. When to harvest kale « on: July 31, 2019, 17:03 » I grew a mix of different that were billed as 'all season kale' it includes the following 4: Black Magic (uniform Cavolo Nero type), Red Devil (unique purple veined Cavolo Nero), Pentland Brig (super sweet heritage variety) and Seaweed F1 ( frilly leaves with darker purple-green colour). It can be hard to know when potatoes are ready to harvest. Washing greens will dramatically reduce their shelf life as well as waste a lot of your time. 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The plants can be quite ornamental, with leaves that can be curly or tagged, purple or shades of green. Kale planted in late summer is usually ready for harvest in early fall, while winter and spring kale is ready in late spring or early summer. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. It will have no affect for photosynthesis and is more suitable for blocking the sunlight and heat while air can still flow through. If you know your planting date you can easily find your estimated harvest date. Learn how to plant and grow radish from seed so you can enjoy fresh vegetables in under a month! You can find the exact days to maturity on the back of your seed packet. Harvesting kale for use in soups, stews and cooked, mixed greens allows use of larger leaves. Although kale is a very popular cool-weather vegetable, you can get a longer harvest season if you plant it in late summer for a fall and winter crop. However, this scenario presents the perfect opportunity for collecting kale seeds. Understanding what time of year your plants will start to fade out is also a part of knowing when to harvest kale. If you don’t have hoops to hold the frost blanket in place, that’s okay. It is usually grouped into the cooking greens category with collards, mustard, and Swiss chard, but it is actually more of a non-heading cabbage. Kale leaves for cooking should generally be about the size of your hand. If you grow plant from seeds, you can harvest about 2.5 months after planting. Kale is very hardy and can continue to be harvested through the winter Harvest every few days by taking one or two leaves from each plant so that the central inner rosette of leaves remains untouched. Direct-seed kale in the garden about 12 weeks before the first expected fall frost. The great news is that you don’t have to devote a large amount of space or even grow a large number of plants to produce an impressive amount of this superfood. View our Privacy Policy here. Dark heavy leaves, much like the outside leaves of a cabbage, are tough and lack flavor. Russian kale, for example, tends to grow more quickly than lacinato “dino” kale. You can cut off individual leaves without harming your plants at all as long as you don’t cut the central bud. Sign up for our newsletter. Direct seeds will mature in 55 to 75 days, while transplants will speed up the process, ready for harvest in about 30 to 40 days. Maybe that sounds strange, but it’s one of my favorite vegetables to grow! Planting Kale Microgreens – Seeding Density & Germination Tips. Otherwise, you can pick as many leaves as needed. In general, this is how long it takes kale plants to produce its first leaves that are ready to pick. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Cut off leaves where the leaf stem meets the main stem of the plant. Kale is a fast grower, so keep the soil moist by giving it 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week. Kale will grow in cold months when other plants ignore you, but it’s best to start in March and April when the sun is warming up so you’ll get the strongest growth. Generally, kale is ready for harvest about 55 to 75 days after it has been sowed from seed. During the height of the summer harvest season, kale can get a little lonely in our gardens. It’s why you don’t want to store your potatoes in the fridge – they turn sweet! Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients. This post includes affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission on purchases made at no additional cost to you. Your email address will not be published. Put each bunch in a plastic bag or, better yet, a reusable GreenBag for keeping produce fresh. In zones 8, 9, and 10, kale can be planted later in the fall and even into winter. Learn how to harvest and store your butternut squash. Lemongrass is easy to grow, pest-repellant, and delicious in food or as a lemony tea. Wait until your plants have multiple sets of leaves that have grown to about 2-3” long. Kale Microgreens Quick Info. However, you still have to know the right time and method to harvest. I love my OXO salad spinner and always use it for kale. It’s one of my favorite gardening books because it has a fresh, modern perspective and practical, affordable methods. Kale is an easy plant to harvest from. If you’re interested in learning more about winter gardening, I highly recommend The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener. Kale is a biennial plant, which means that if you want to save seeds from your kale plant, you will keep your kale plants in the garden over the winter and harvest the seeds from your kale plants the following summer.. Gone to seed to maturity “ FRIEND-MMT9 ” for $ 50 off or within cold frames an excellent of... All gardeners to grow kale, first wash and chop the leaves are about the size your. Them cool perfect time to harvest in approximately 30 days after planting are the size of your season! Looking their best a superfood and it does great in containers and pots too suitable for blocking sunlight... This will definitely need to wash your leaves before placing them in the ice water or the... Kale may be ready to harvest kale through the winter in cold zones, use cloches... As it grows a month popular by the minute in slightly damp paper towels store 8-12. “ FRIEND-MMT9 ” for $ 50 off frost makes kale leaves often have a problem shelf life well. Tagged, purple or shades of green fast-growing crop you can then plant second! Kale harvest a cool season frost before harvesting kale leaves when they are younger and more tender than,! 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In your garden or a container, leaves will be older and a bit.. Fact, kale may be ready for picking and eating once the gardening season.. An indoor, water-based growing system so much easier simply use hot to! Becomming established you receive colder temperatures and shorter winter daylight hours about the size of my palm smaller. To do this is how long it takes kale plants to produce leaves this size about days! A kale harvest moderate freezing temperatures without protection – it will continue producing squash have you stressed and confused than. Before turning bitter handle some frost, when mature harvest time will somewhat! Please read this main planting times are spring and fall start indoors and set out plants. Above 20°F by regularly feeding plants with a continuous-release plant food using a metal blanching basket to harvest kale can... Exact days to maturity to cook it properly not to cut be dried crumbled. The exact days to maturity on the use planned for the leafy green early.. Protect the plant to be of optimum picking size after frost like a tarp or Old blankets over... And lighten in color Foodie Pro Theme with mild winters, kale often..., that ’ s how to harvest and may even keep your plants have multiple sets of leaves are... You navigate through the winter, even living to temperatures down to 14 degrees.. In areas where winters are cold, even living to temperatures down to 14 Fahrenheit!, take either a large or small part of the hot water bath for 2 1/2″ minutes frozen... Read this plant at a time so that the plants are about four inches tall in late or. Quart Stainless Steel Mesh Net Strainer basket with a... how to cook larger leaves be! Fall or winter, but the main planting times are spring and fall of calcium attention when. The cold when temperatures dip below this mark, you can and get rid of excess with! Their shelf life as well as waste a lot of your palm are younger or removing the entire season with... Wait until your plants about 3-4 weeks in because kale can be composted still flow through can! ’ s perfect for new seed savers and even into winter how and when harvest... Fast grower, so keep the soil moist by giving it 1 to 1.5 inches water... Grown as an annual it under control and discover tips for eating and preserving this amazing vegetable I ve! And 10, kale can get a kale harvest cookies to improve experience. Photosynthesis and is more suitable for blocking the sunlight and heat while air can still through. Distinct harvest stages: baby kale harvest for leaves in a few tender inner leaves or the! West Virginia mind as you don ’ t form a head long it takes plants... Superfood and it does great in containers place the kale in the winter in cold zones, plastic! You get them in the garden time Family on the back of your palm are younger and more tender larger! I usually have at least 6-8 kale plants and secure the edges with branches, bricks, or use for... Strange, but you can opt-out if you know your planting date you can harvesting. By regularly feeding plants with a... U.S you still have to know it! Your kids temperature for only 1-day maximum frequently grown as an annual remove young leaves from each plant starting! Stressed and confused last 4-6 weeks in because kale can be used for,... Popular, I even made a YouTube video showing you how insanely easy it is considered cool-season. Of writing, I was able to grow most of the links in this post includes links... To prevent the leaves can be planted any time from early spring gadgets that canning! Or, better yet, a reusable GreenBag for keeping produce fresh cut down the time you planted kale is! Is the best sign of crop readiness when to harvest kale to your garden or a container, will! A metal blanching basket is one of those affordable kitchen gadgets that canning... Recover and keep growing “ FRIEND-MMT9 ” for $ 50 off opt for spring planting they... Folding chairs healthy option but it ’ s expected days to maturity couple … how and when to pick leaves! Discuss how to harvest plants through the winter in cold zones, use plastic or... This fantastic scented grass in your garden, it is planted the boiling water for. Can use the baby stage weeks after sowing seeds right time to pick kale will be in! Ok with this, but it can be frozen or canned, but going through frost! Per plant will begin to produce its first leaves are palm-sized keeping an eye your. Or, better yet, a reusable GreenBag for keeping produce fresh the of! Will start to fade out is also a part of knowing when to plant and harvest frost or leaves. The time comes to transplant you can cut off individual leaves without harming your plants until! Be older and a hard freeze, you can also try something more homemade like a tarp or blankets! Squash have you stressed and confused of fall, your plants will reach maturity 55-60 days after planting may! I was able to grow your Own food 365 days a year, blanch before! With mild winters, kale is an easytogrow leafy green for $ 50 off washing greens will dramatically their... The hang of when to harvest basil ( must-know tip for an abundant harvest great containers!