How to Harvest Kale So It Keeps Growing

Kale is one of those leafy greens that, if harvested correctly, continues growing up until frost strikes – here’s how to harvest it properly.

Beginning at the base of each plant, start harvesting by selecting only the largest and oldest leaves at first harvest. Harvest approximately fistfuls of leaves per harvest session while avoiding taking away from terminal buds at top center as this allows kale plants to continue producing new leaves.

Wait for the leaves to be at least palm-sized.

Kale plants tend to be resilient, and can usually be harvested over extended periods. However, picking too soon could stunt their development or turn its leaves bitter; to ensure optimal harvest results and to minimize hand scalding while harvesting your kale! It’s best to wait until leaves reach at least the size of your hand before picking. Doing this will allow the plant to continue producing leaves post harvest while protecting you from being burned!

Once the kale is ready to harvest, begin by taking steps to remove any older leaves that have begun turning yellow and falling off of its plant. Doing this early rather than later can ensure faster regrowth rates for more healthy and vibrant kale plants. Make a point of harvesting some leaves from each plant on a weekly basis in order to encourage new growth while keeping your crop looking its best!

As you harvest kale, take care not to damage its central bud at the top of the plant. This area contains new buds which emerge, so any damage caused to it could stop producing as quickly. Instead, simply pick some outer leaves regularly and continue harvesting regularly from there.

Once you’ve harvested the desired number of kale leaves, make sure to wash them carefully to rid them of any dirt or debris that has collected on them. After washing them thoroughly, place the kale into a bowl filled with cold water in order to quickly chill it down.

If you intend on eating your kale soon, store it in a plastic bag or airtight container in the fridge to prolong its life and ensure a longer shelf life; just remember that its lifespan will still shorten quickly and it should be consumed within two weeks of cutting from its plant.

Pick the outer leaves first.

As long as you avoid picking central buds or cutting the stem, the plant will continue producing new leaves. To harvest kale safely and sustainably, remove outer leaves first – these are typically older and larger and usually closest to the ground – using either gripping a leaf by its base and twisting gently or pruning shears snip them away – much safer than cutting all at once as they will not accidentally stunt or even damage its development.

Once the outermost leaves have been collected, harvesting can progress more gradually inward. It’s best to wait until each leaf reaches palm-size or larger before selecting them so as to enable further plant development and maturity.

As over-harvesting of kale can have adverse consequences for both its plants and flavor, over-harvesting should be avoided in order to promote healthy leaf production and preserve flavor. Overharvesting will also leave more bitter and tough leaves on the stalk than is optimal.

Harvesting kale requires taking steps to quickly identify and remove yellow or spotted leaves as soon as they appear, in order to limit pests and diseases from spreading from one plant to the next. Doing this will prevent spread.

Additionally, after harvesting and removing dead or diseased leaves from your refrigerator garden, it’s crucial to wash them well and dry them completely prior to storing. This will extend their shelf life and preserve their crispiness.

As with all vegetables, kale can be susceptible to various pests and diseases. One way to combat this problem is to grow it in healthy soil that’s well fertilized, free of weeds, with ample water, sunlight and light organic fertilizer as needed to support healthy growth. Furthermore, you should monitor regularly for signs of pests or disease so as to catch it early if any emerge.

Don’t pick the central bud.

Harvest kale when its leaves have reached palm-size and the plant will continue producing leafy greens throughout the season. Just be wary when harvesting that you don’t pick off its terminal bud (the center leafy stem), as that bud produces seeds upon being cut; otherwise your kale plant could start flowering and bolting as soon as you pick off its terminal bud!

Keep in mind that kale leaves become bitter when exposed to intense heat during summer, making harvesting during spring and fall optimal. Also, frost adds sweetness that enhances their flavour – so try and harvest before an impending frost occurs if possible!

To harvest kale, simply remove its outer leaves by cutting them at their bases – being sure to leave enough leaves on the plant in order for it to stay healthy – making clean cuts with sharp garden shears or knife so as to avoid any cuts which might lead to disease and wash them under cold running water afterwards to ensure they won’t wilt quickly.

Kale should always be harvested before it goes to seed as this can result in bitter or yellow leaves. If your kale starts going to seed early or is beginning to wilt prematurely, this could be caused by insect infestation, insufficient nutrition, overwatering or temperature extremes. Most problems can be easily remedied if caught early and addressed promptly, for instance if your kale is being attacked by insects consider natural pesticides or employing different gardening tactics as solutions. Additionally, you can extend your harvest by covering the kale with a row cover or hoop house to protect it from harsher elements as the temperatures turn colder and winter approaches – this way it should stay sweet and delicious even through snowfall!

Don’t pick the leaves from the inside out.

When harvesting kale, always select the oldest leaves from outside of the plant to encourage new growth and ensure it produces new leaves throughout the season. Be careful not to pick off its central bud as that would prevent new growth altogether and may even result in its death.

Harvesting kale regularly during its growing season is essential to ensuring fresh greens from your plants. Aiming for daily harvesting should allow you to keep overgrowth at bay while encouraging new growth while simultaneously protecting its freshness and yield potential.

To prolong your kale harvest, be sure to store it correctly. Wash and let the leaves air-dry completely, before grouping together in groups wrapped with paper towels before placing them into a resealable plastic bag for storage in the refrigerator – this will reduce moisture in the bag which could otherwise lead to mold growth or decay.

Kale can be easy to cultivate, but there are a few key points you need to get right to enjoy a bumper harvest of healthy-boosting leaves all season long. First and foremost, well-draining soil and full sun will produce optimal kale plants; sandy or clay-based soil should be amended by adding plenty of compost prior to planting.

Kale is an annual plant, so harvesting it during its second year before it goes to seed is key for keeping it edible and usable. Therefore, the ideal time and season to harvest kale are spring/early summer before the weather becomes too warm, then again later when temperatures have started to decrease again in autumn.

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