In order to keep growing the Kale for the entire season, you need to know how to harvest kale. The harvesting technique decides the time of the next harvest. To increase kale production, you don’t need to plant a large number of plants. Just follow the good care guide and perfect harvesting kale technique.
In this post, you will learn how to harvest kale and what are health benefit of eating Kale?
There are many recipes that use kale as the main ingredient. For the best health benefits eat it like salad or add it in sandwiches.
If you start from seeds then the kale leaves will be getting ready for the harvest in 60 to 76 days. For an early harvest, you have to start planting the seedlings instead of seeds. By planting seedlings, you can cut the harvesting time to 30 to 40 days.
If you like to eat baby kale leaves then you only have to wait for just 20 to 22 days after planting. The baby leaves will be ready for the harvest within this time frame.
I know some people talk about kale microgreens. Yes, they are easy to grow and care But they are not tasty to eat. For a proper sweet taste, you need to grow big size Kale. And wait for the harvest up to 60 days after planting the seeds.
It does not matter which variety of kale you are growing. The harvesting time and techniques are the same for all kale varieties.
Siberian Kale, black magic kale, red Russian kale are the few most commonly grown varieties all over the globe. Their taste makes them better than other kale types.
When to harvest kale?
Kale has a very long harvesting season because it can tolerate the frost. And after each harvest, it grows again at a faster rate. It grows again every time you harvest it until the environmental conditions become opposite it.
To harvest baby kale leaves just wait for 20 days after the direct seed planting. But for mature long size leaves you have to wait for 40 to 70 days. In this time frame, you can harvest medium size leaves or leaves about the size of your hand.
Start planting it in spring and harvest it throughout the winter. The real sweet taste of Klae develops when the kale is hit by the frost. It can tolerate the temperature to -10 Degrees C. Due to its availability in winter people often call it winter kale.
In the summertime, the kale does not develop taste like it develop in the winter season. This is the reason many people avoid it in summer. Hot temperature reduces the production of juicy leaves. Dry kale is common on hot days and is not tasty like winter kale.
How to harvest Kale?
To harvest kale, you need a sharp knife that you will use to cut the leaves without damaging the plant. Always cut the long size outer leaves. Do not remove central tiny leaves and buds. Because if you remove them your plant will not produce more leaves.
By harvesting it or by removing yellow or dead leaves. you encourage the plant to produce more mature leaves. Within few days you will see the baby leaves grow big in size. And the plant produces more baby leaves at the center of the plant.
For long harvesting season and for the continuous supply of fresh kale leaves. keep the harvesting in the same manner.
No particular garden tools are required for harvesting kale. Most growers use their hands to cut the stem. But I prefer to use Normal Scissors to cut the leaves.
How to store Kale?
It does not matter you want to store freshly picked leaves or chopped leaves. You need to put them in the resealable plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator.
First of all, wash the freshly picked leaves and dry them with a cotton cloth. Now put them in the plastic resealable bag and store them in the refrigerator. Your harvested kale will stay fresh for 15 days.
Health benefits of eating kale
Kale is well known for improving digestion. Kale contains high fiber content. We all know a high fiber diet is required to keep the intestine healthy. Also, the stem contains prebiotics. This is the best food for the microbes that we have in the stomach and intestine. Add few drops of Olive oil with black salt and your healthy Kale salad is ready
Source of Natural Antioxidants
Kale is a good source of high-quality antioxidants. They are required to kill the free radicals that cause cancer and other skin problems. They also protect our skin cell damaging. But the problem with antioxidants is they are heat sensitive. This means the level of antioxidants reduces as the temperature goes up. So, eat kale as a salad to get the full benefits of antioxidants. Do not give it heat treatment or add it to hot foods.
High in Vitamin C
The deficiency of Vitamin C causes many serious skin and other problems. No doubt oranges are the best source of vitamin C. But if you don’t have oranges you can eat kale. It also has other vitamins like K, A, Iron, and Calcium.
Detoxify your Body
Kale is a rich source of fiber and Sulfur. Both these items are required to boost the natural detoxifying systems of our body. This helps our body to activate the detoxification process and maintain the good health of the liver.
There are only a few plants that clean our bloodstream and remove toxins from the liver. Most of them are costly and you cannot grow them at home. But kale is the cheapest and easy to grow food at home that has all these benefits.
Start growing kale in your garden or plant the seeds in the containers. The full sun or partial sun will work great to develop plants from kale seeds.
From now start eating kale leaves and those are already a fan of it start eating it as a salad.