Kale is one of the most popular leafy greens in the United States. It has a mild, sweet flavor and is high in vitamins A and K. Kale can be eaten raw or cooked, with or without its stem.
Kale is also a superfood that has been around for centuries. If you’re looking to add some kale to your diet, this article will teach you how to harvest kale so that you can enjoy the freshness of this amazing vegetable for as long as possible.
Before you learn how to harvest kale, learn more about this superfood!
Growing kale can give you so many benefits. And just like any plant, you might want to learn more about this superfood before growing and learning how to harvest kale.
Take a look at these brief yet interesting facts about kale.
- Kale is a leafy green vegetable that originated in the Mediterranean region.
- It’s often used as a garnish or added to salads, but it can also be cooked and used like spinach in many dishes.
- Kale is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium and fiber.
- It also contains lutein, an antioxidant that may help prevent certain types of cancer.
- Kale has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation.
Kale comes in wide different varieties, including curly kale and dinosaur kale.
- The most common variety is green kale, with smooth leaves that are dark green on their top side, but paler on the underside.
- Red Russian kale is a variety of green kale that has red stems.
- Lacinato kale (also called dinosaur or Tuscan kale) has long, dark blue-green leaves with deep purple veins running through them.
When should you pick kale?
You can pick kale approximately one month or 6o days after you plant the seeds. If your kale reached one month, it should have ten leaves outside facing upward and small leaves located in the center or inside.
Meanwhile, if you have a baby kale, you can pick and consume them after 25 to 30 days of sowing.
You should also remember that the harvest period typically happens once and it is during early summer, late spring, and again in autumn.
If you want to consume smaller leaves, you can pick them earlier while they’re still younger, But if you prefer larger leaves, then wait until they mature and sizes up.
Just make sure that you don’t wait for too long since there’s a possibility that the leaves will show discoloration. If you have discolored leave, you can just discard them and resume harvesting.
You can harvest your kale again after one to two weeks of your first harvest.
How to harvest kale, the larger type?
Regardless of your variety, the process of harvesting kale is the same.
Here’s what you need to do.
- Hold the stems of the large outer leaf just at the base of its main stalk.
- Make sure you have a tight grasp, and then pull it down, going away from the center.
- After a few pull-down-out processes, you should remove the mature kale from its stalk.
- Repeat it until you have finished collecting the amount of kale you desire.
Important note to remember.
Leave at least five large leaves on your kale plant so it can resume the photosynthesis process and continue growing.
Do not ever get the innermost part of the smallest leaves in the middle because this is where new growth comes from.
If you think you have soft soil, you can use scissors or a knife to harvest kale. This is acceptable, so you won’t have to pull the whole kale plant out of the soil.
Discard leaves with traces of insect bites and discoloration. Add these discarded leaves to your compost.
How to harvest kale, the baby type?
Baby kales are great for salad, and as I said earlier, you can pick them up after 25 to 30 days of sowing. So, how do you harvest baby kale?
- Use your fingers to remove the leaves one by one.
- Just pinch the leaves at the base of the stem.
- If you don’t want to use your fingers, you can also use a knife or scissors.
- If you think individual leaves are consuming, you can also grab a handful and cut them all at once.
Important note to remember.
Make sure to cut the leaves above the growth point so they can continue growing.
Tips for an enjoyable kale
Kale can also be tough to prepare correctly if you don’t know what to do with it. Preparing kale can be kind of miserable. So here are five tips for getting the most out of your kale!
1. Rinse it thoroughly.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable, which means that there are all kinds of dirt particles on it that you don’t want going into your body when you eat it. So always rinse your kale very well before eating it raw or cooking it.
2. Remove the stems.
The stems of kale leaves tend to be tough and chewy, so it’s best to remove them before eating or cooking with the leaves themselves. You can either throw them away or use them in another dish, for example, by chopping them up finely and adding them to the soup.
3. Don’t overdo it.
If you do cook kale, use olive oil instead of butter or other animal products, and don’t overcook it! Kale’s best when it’s still slightly crispy after cooking.
4. Eat it raw!
The vitamin C in kale helps you absorb iron, so if you’re eating iron-rich foods at the same time (like beans), you’ll get even more benefit from kale’s nutrients by eating them together in their raw state.
5. Use it in smoothies.
Kale is one of the best greens for smoothies. It adds tons of flavor and texture without feeling too weird!
Harvest kale for your family!
Harvesting kale is a great way to provide your family with a nutritious, tasty snack that’s also easy to make.
You can use any number of methods for harvesting kale, just like what we mentioned, and you’ll find that this vegetable is easy to grow and maintain. It’s best to harvest your kale at least two days before you eat it, as this will allow the leaves time to fully mature and develop their full flavor.
Now that you know how to harvest kale try it out for yourself!