Welcome! In the kitchen, kale can be steamed, stir-fried, or substituted for spinach in … Simply leave the plant alone, harvesting leaves when you want to. Here’s What You Need To Know. One benefit of planting kale and other members of the cabbage family in the later winter is that there are fewer worms and pests around. The plant can survive through the entire winter in areas where temperatures don’t get too cold. According to Cornell University’s Growing Guide, you should start kale for growing in the winter about three months before the first frost date in your area. I’m Emily Steiner and I’m the head editor at ProperlyRooted. If you live in USDA zone 7 or above, kale will grow through the winter, according to Bonnie Plants. Fall is the best time for growing kale in areas where winter doesn’t dip below the teens, or in a cold frame farther north, because the leaves are sweeter when they mature in cooler weather. Storing kale. Kale really grows best when planted in September or early October for a cool season crop here in Texas. Kale might like cold weather, but it’s not a fan of the heat. While winter kales do best in cold weather, they are appropriate to enjoy at any time. For example, if a plant has been basking in balmy weather for weeks, and the temperatures suddenly drop below 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Celsius), even the most hardiest vegetable may not survive. Of course, growing kale in winter will require both your knowledge and attention. With that in mind, we have a quick guide to ensure that you’ll have healthy kale for the cold season. Water well the day before moving, firm in well after transplanting and 'puddle' in the plants with plenty of water. Thin your kale seedlings by keeping the strongest ones until they are 18-24 inches ( 45-60 centimeters) apart in rows. Growing Kale in the fall and winter begins by planting it in late summer (July and August) and early fall (September and very early October). It certainly needs nitrogen but land that has been manured the year before should provide enough. You might want to protect your kale outdoors with a cold frame or hoop house. Kale is hardy and lives over winter in latitudes as far north as Maryland and Pennsylvania.” In my South Carolina garden, kale has withstood temperatures as low as eight degrees Fahrenheit. Cool weather brings out the sweet, nutty flavor of this highly nutritious leafy green. Winter vegetable gardening the garden backyard vegetable gardens backyard vegetable gardens johnny s winter growing guide kale loving oregon gardener finds novel growing kale and collards sweet. So growing kale in the fall and winter will let it mature as the weather cools you will have much better tasting kale. You can plant the seedlings deeper, sinking the stem into the soil up to the first set of leaves, to keep the plants from falling over. Your grasshopper friends might be envious of your harvest (sorry, grasshoppers). Learn more about growing flowering kale in this article so you can enjoy this colorful plant. A cold frame is usually a wooden box with a lid made from clear plastic or glass. If you live in a cold climate like myself where temperatures can dip to 40 below, you’re confined to growing kale indoors. To get a jump start on both seasons you can sow kale seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost and 6-8 weeks before the first winter frost. Some homes are better setup for growing vegetables like kale indoors than others. The cold-hardy vegetable can survive temperatures down to -6C, depending on variety. Similar Posts. And the benefits don’t stop there. You won’t need to be out in the garden, weeding, feeding or watering your kale like you would in the summer. For more details, check out our post Growing Kale in Containers Indoors. Growing kale is relatively trouble free. If you’re interested in planting kale as a fall crop, sow seeds of kale … The most important factor in successful indoor winter growing is access to adequate sunlight. The video also provides tips for getting the most from your planting. Viola Flower vs Pansy: What’s the Difference? Cooking with dandelions is an easy and nutritious way to make use of an edible plant you may have growing … When you transplant, give each plant about 18 inches on all sides. Growing kale in the cooler months helps to prevents many insect pests from damaging the crop. Kale is a little-known relative of broccoli and cabbage, with a taste that appeals to both adults and children. Aggie Horticulture, Texas A & M AgriLife Extension. Harvesting kale. Here’s how to use goji berries plus a recipe roundup of our favorites. Be sure to choose pots that have drainage holes at the bottom. Sow 2 seeds … Just choose plants such as kale, which keep growing even when the temperatures are hovering near freezing. If you don’t have any south-facing windows, you can try to put the kale containers under a fluorescent light. How to Get Rid of Ground Bees in 3 Easy Steps, Best Portable Greenhouse For Outdoor Growing, Best Cordless Snow Blower For Light Duty Use, The Best Husqvarna Snow Blower For Residential And Professional Use, Our Picks for the Best Fertilizer for Onions, Our Picks for the Best Fertilizer for Kale. Even if you live in a very cold area, where even kale won’t survive, you can still try growing the plant in the winter. What are Microgreens: A Guide to Tiny Greens Big on Nutrients + 5 Recipes, What Does Plantain Look Like: How to Identify Two Species of this Practical Plant, Do You Really Need Dryer Sheets? If you’re lucky to live in a milder climate (kale continues to grow all winter in zones 7 to 10), you can reap the benefits of harvesting fresh kale leaves during the winter months. For many gardeners, that means starting the plants in either July or August. Here’s a fun fact: vegetables that are red or purple contain a pigment called anthocyanin which makes them more resistant to rotting in winter. If your area gets very hot in the summer, it might be easiest to start your kale from seed indoors or in a shaded area, then transplant the seedlings to the garden later on. Luckily, kale belongs to the hardiest, most cold-tolerant group of vegetables which can withstand air temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.2 degrees Celsius). He also offers pointers for caring for your plants in the frame during the winter months and tips on positioning the frame in your garden. For many gardeners, that means starting the plants in either July or August. Growing kale in winter is also possible as they are tolerant of the temperature which is as low as -8°C. The best time to plant kale for a winter harvest is between late July or August (once the scorching heat has passed), to September (in warmer climates). If you are interested in building your own hoop house, the video above from Swamp Boss walks you through the process. Generally, curly-leafed kale does better in winter, with quick-growing, fuller bunches. While some prefer to plant their kale in early spring to harvest before the peak summer months, others prefer to plant in late summer or early fall for winter harvests. Cornell University, Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners. The flavour of kale is actually improved by frosty conditions. Yes, plant Florida friendly varieties of kale like Lacinato, Tuscan, Red Russian, Blue Curled Vates, and Winterbor in the fall and winter months. If temperatures are likely to fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit frequently, you can still grow kales, but it’s best to bring the plant indoors. Kale plants are extremely robust, adaptable to many different situations, and will grow in winter. Let the kale grow in pots indoors or under a shade tree for about a month before you transplant them to the garden. Make Room For Kale How To Grow Gardener S SupplyEat Kale Straight From Your Garden All Winter Green City AcresKale And Carrots Leeks Oh My Growing Your Winter GardenQuick Guide To Growing Kale … You might be able to keep them uncovered all winter depending on the climate, but a bit of straw, or a layer of mulch helps keep the heat in. The best time to plant kale for a winter harvest is between late July or August (once the scorching heat has passed), to September (in warmer climates). You can either plant a few kale seeds specifically for growing inside or bring a container with kale already growing in it inside. It’s important to note that a plant’s cold tolerance is dependent on its preconditioning. Kale should be sown by the end of June for planting out 3 weeks later. An almost fully mature plant will have around 10 leave on it, so this means you’ll need around 18 kale plants fully mature by late October. Kale (Brassica oleracea) belongs to the same family which includes cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and mustard plants. Plant your kale at 10″ spacing. But, instead of being made from wood, it’s made from plastic hoops and sheeting. Another way to protect your kale over the winter is to build a hoop house, or plastic tunnel, over the plants. The plants can be quite ornamental, with leaves that can be curly or tagged, purple or shades of green. Fungi thrives in wet soil so it's important that soil is well-drained as to withstand diseases. Some cultivars are designed to withstand wintry conditions. If you live in an area with milder winters, you can keep growing kale in the garden throughout the season. Usually sow half a dozen seeds 1cm deep in stations 60cm apart in staggered r… In fact, it’s actually best to let the kale be during the winter months. Cold winter weather doesn't mean your vegetable garden has to be empty. There are two ways to extend your kale harvest beyond the first few deep freezes in your area. If you don’t want to build a cold frame or hoop house and the temperatures in your area get too cold even for kale, another way to successfully grow the plant in the winter is to bring it indoors. Protect the plants from birds by covering with netting or fleece. To read more about us, just click the link below. At night, it can be up to seven degrees warmer inside the tunnel. your password However if you live in an area with extended periods of cold below 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius), sorry, you’re out of luck. Harvest outer leaves from the bottom-up. What are microgreens? You can also get a jumpstart on the next gardening season by sowing kale seeds near the end of winter. Kale is the Scottish chieftain lifting his sword and shield to defy winter’s blast, holding fast to his brave greenery. Growing kale in Florida is actually pretty easy. Prepare pots for your kale that are at least 12 inches (30 cm) wide and deep. The Best Time to Plant. You don’t have to give up gardening in the winter. Fill the pots about 3/4 full with the same growing medium you used to germinate the seeds. The video from GrowVeg highlights a few vegetables that can be sown first thing towards the end of winter, including kale. If you want to get a jump on your garden for the upcoming spring, it is possible to start kale seedlings in the late winter for harvest in the spring or early summer. It turns out that frost and cold temperatures really improve the taste of kale. If planting outdoors, it’s especially important to pick a spot that receives enough sunlight, between 6-8 hours a day. your username. Chard has an undeveloped root making... Read More, Roll up your sleeves and let's learn how to grow microgreens indoors! A good variety of kale to grow in winter is the red kale. A single, fully-grown kale plant will need a container that is about 12 inches (30 cm) deep and equally wide. Otherwise, you’ll need to look into some indoor grow lights. While there are many different cultivars of kale, some used ornamentally,  it most closely resembles its cousin, the cabbage. During my years as a kale lover, I’ve run into a number of kale-eating families with young children who relish the vegetable steamed and served simply … But you will need to make sure that the temperature is not falling down more than that. Kale. Kale loves loamy, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. One option is to use a cold frame to protect the plant from deep freezes. According to Harvest to Table, the temperature inside of a plastic tunnel is often up to 10 degrees warmer than the outside air during the daytime. Instead, you’ll want to get the kale started many months before winter comes around. Depending on the variety, kale plants are ready to harvest in 55 to 75 days if grown from seed (less if you’re working with a transplant). A spring feed will improve results. In fact, vegetable gardening in the winter can be more laid-back than in warmer months since you don't have as much to tend to. Depending on the layout of your home, it might be difficult to find a spot for the kale that will give it the amount of natural light it needs to thrive. Author: Jason R Gray. Kale keeps well in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week. Kale needs up to eight hours of sunlight per day. Other vegetables that belong to this exclusive cold-resistant club include: beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, collards, kohlrabi, parsley, spinach, garlic, leeks, radish, mustard, and turnip. Dive into our Kale Growing guide for information on planting, growing, and harvesting this hard-working beauty. After the first heavy fall frost, apply mulch. You don’t need to water it, since the ground is likely to be frozen, and you can’t really feed it during the winter either. According to Cornell University’s Growing Guide, you should start kale for growing in the winter about three months before the first frost date in your area. Growing kale in winter takes a bit of planning and planting (but you already knew that). Just when the last of your summer crop has been cleared away, kale comes into its own, providing a steady supply of tender leaves right through winter to the following spring. Kale is one of the more hardy vegetables around, meaning it can withstand very cold temperatures. Josh is co-founder of RusticWise. Plant several successive crops and you can easily have kale all-year round. Winter gardeners know that a touch of frost turns these leafy greens sweet. Kale is a cold-hardy biennial vegetable that regrows after harvesting, can continue growing throughout winter in milder climates, and continue to produce more tasty leaves come springtime. If you have a vegetable garden, consider planting kale. Microgreens don't require... Read More, A guide to growing cabbage in winter, a cold-hardy vegetable. Crop rotation is also strongly recommended so that members of the cabbage family are not grown in … In addition, the cooler weather and frost actually improves the flavor of kale. But kale also holds its own in gardens that receive a blanket of snow, awakening again February when it sloughs off winter’s dormancy and starts to grow again. Growing leafy vegetables indoors under an artifical light is a good way to keep your gardening hobby going during icy winters. It i… Growing Red Kale. This will allow you to have a steady supply of kale from late fall through the next spring without aphids, harlequin bugs and other pests that attack kale during the warmer weather. If your summers are mild and the temperatures don’t really climb above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you can direct sow kale seeds in your garden in July or August. A hoop house is similar to a cold frame, as it provides insulation and lets the sun shine in. However, if the same plant had experienced a bit of cold to toughen it up beforehand, it may do just fine. Kale can be grown as a cut-and-come-again crop. Kale … Growing kale in containers indoors is a great way to secure a year-round source of... Read More, A guide to growing swiss chard indoors in containers. Once you get into mid February, the plants will start to regenerate leaves you picked over the winter. When spring rolls around, hopefully your kale has survived the winter and will begin producing leaves at a faster rate. According to Inhabitat, the windowsill of a south-facing window is often the ideal spot for growing vegetables indoors, especially during the winter. Seeds can be grown indoors or outside. Kale is a cold-hardy crop that can be planted in early spring or late summer. Kale is a biennial, so you can harvest it in winter and you will also see a late spurt of growth in spring before the plant goes to seed. Harvesting kale. A closeup look at the differences between two popular blooms: a viola flower vs pansy. https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/vegetables/coldtoler.html, These cold-hardy vegetables may stick it out through winter, http://vegvariety.cce.cornell.edu/main/showVarieties.php?searchCriteria=kale&searchIn=1&crop_id=0&sortBy=overallrating&order=DESC, https://bonnieplants.ca/how-to-grow/growing-kale/, Growing Kale in Containers Indoors: A Step-by-Step Guide, Growing Swiss Chard Indoors + 8 Tasty Recipes, How to Grow Microgreens Indoors: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide, Growing Cabbage in Winter + 5 Easy Cabbage Recipes, Eating Purslane: Health Benefits and How To Prepare This Tasty Plant, Coriander Shelf Life: Tips on Storing Dried and Fresh Coriander to Extend Storage Time, How to Use Goji Berries + a Roundup of 17 Tasty Goji Recipes. In the video from Growing Wisdom, Dave Epstein explains the benefits of putting kale and other cold-hardy vegetables in a cold frame for the winter. White Russian seeds are available on Amazon. Treat your kale to a few freezing nights and it will help transform its … How to Grow Vegetables in Winter. You have to be aware of where and how you will plant kale. Cooking with Dandelions: How to Forage + 2 Ways to Improve the Taste of Dandelion Greens. Photo by Monika licensed under CC BY 2.0. You want to time the planting so that the kale is still growing as the temperatures start to fall. 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. Young tender leaves can be harvested for salads. Growing Kale Seeds Indoors. I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to the site and hope that you can find what you’re looking for. If you are blessed with a window (south-facing works best, but it’s not necessary) that gets between 6-8 hours of sunlight a day, you should be good to go. As the ground thaws again in the spring, it will resume growth and you can resume watering it. Those in short growing windows will have no trouble with this fast-growing plant, whose leaves sweeten as the temperatures drop. Growing kale in winter is a great way to keep a source of leafy greens all year. When he’s not tinkering in the garden, or fixing something around the house, you can find him working on a vast array of random side projects. Sow in seedling trays (also called plugs) with a multi-purpose potting soil. Plant a few varieties of... Read More. Growing kale can be done in all types of soil, although they prefer sunny, well-drained areas. Tips on planting, harvesting and taking caring of kale in winter . Seeds germinate in 7-10 days. Kale (Brassica oleracea) is a leafy vegetable in the Brassica or cole crop family. When temperatures drop, kale and other cold-tolerant plants don’t die, they just slow down. ... How to Grow Lettuce and Kale Indoors to Beat the Winter Gardening Blues. People are often wondering what the coldest temperature is that kale can tolerate. Check out a list of over 50 kale varieties here. In zone 7, the lowest temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit. But this only applies within an air temperature range of 40-98 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4-36.7 degrees Celsius). Space 45cm (18in) between plants. Grow kale in modular trays as they seem to do much better than direct sown plants. Kale is one of the most accommodating crops you can grow, providing fresh greens in the depths of winter. There’s an informative article from Oregon State University that says as a general guideline, growth rate doubles every increase of 18 degrees Fahrenheit (7.7 degrees Celsius). Here are ten reasons to make kale a staple in your winter garden. Kale can handle the cold and will keep growing even after a few frosts. The frame insulates the kale and other plants while still letting sunlight in. Not all types of kale are created equal when it comes to being cold-hardy. Unlike the other leaf brassicas, kale is still fairly near to it’s wild ancestry and because of this doesn’t require a very rich soil to grow well. If left to mature for winter greens, plants can be left in the ground through the winter and picked as required for soups and stews. Home - Gardening - Growing Kale in Winter (Ultimate Guide). >> Take a look at kale seeds on Amazon <<. According to Burpee, kale can survive even when temperatures fall to 10 below zero Fahrenheit. Whether you have dried coriander seeds, or fresh coriander leaves (aka cilantro), we’ll go over coriander shelf life and how to properly store it for optimal freshness. Plant a few varieties of late-maturing cabbage to enjoy all winter long. Seeds can be grown indoors or outside. Eating purslane – health benefits and how to incorporate this tasty, tangy succulent plant into your diet. When other vegetables wilt at the first signs of frost, kale is just finding its stride. Growing Kale in Winter: Making the Most of this Cold-Hardy Vegetable. The above-mentioned varieties are all edible, Florida can actually grow ornamental kale … But attempts to grow kale in the winter greenhouse had failed. Sow around three or four seeds ¼ inches (5 millimeters) deep in each spot you want a plant to sprout. Kale is very rich in iron and other nutrients, like Vitamins A and C. When it comes to healthy eating, kale should definitely be included in your diet. Luckily growing kale from seed is fairly easy and most kale varieties do well in containers. Here are a few varieties that are cold-resistant (because there’s nothing more soul-crushing than having a crop failure in the dead of winter). The leaves grow from a central stem that elongates as it grows. Kale will need some sunlight to thrive indoors over the winter. A guide to growing cabbage in winter, a cold-hardy vegetable. Learn why microgreens are so healthy, how to use them in the kitchen plus how to grow them yourself. Log into your account. Make sure to keep at least four leaves at the crown of each plant. When it gets colder than that, you will need to provide some heat for it to continue or wait until the outside temperatures rise and the plants start growing again. Like the old fable of the grasshopper and the ant, doing a bit of extra work lets you reap the benefits of fresh kale to brighten the cold winter months. The sill or ledge of a window that faces south can be an ideal spot for kale. Sow 1 seed per cell 2cm deep but make sure they are planted out before the roots become restricted and pot bound. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Ornamental kale plants can make a wonderful red, pink, purple, or white show in the cool season garden with very minimal care. This explains why so many red-colored kale varieties made this list! Although kale will grow the winter in many areas, you don’t actually plant it during the winter if you want to harvest it then. Same, same, but different. You can cook, blend, bake, and drink goji berries. Otherwise do not feed as this will cause soft and sappy growth to go too tall and it won’t stand the winter winds and chills The flat leaved kales do not like being transplanted and should be sown in situ. And since I'm writing about kale (and getting hungry), here's a recipe for a delicious Three Greens Gratin you can make with kale for a satisfying winter meal. If your home doesn’t have a window that faces south or if it doesn’t get much natural light at all, you’ll wa… Why It’s Time to Ditch Them, Can a Freezer Be Kept in an Unheated Garage? Kale continues to do fine until soil temperatures hover around 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.7 degrees Celsius). Depending on your weather conditions, you may need to protect your kale from harsh elements by keeping them in a low tunnel (with metal hoops and plastic sheeting), or some other shelter of blankets and covers. The USDA has divided the United States into zones based on the lowest temperature that area sees each year. Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients. Water well in dry weather and conserve soil moisture with a mulch. & m AgriLife Extension time I comment i… water well in containers cousin, the video above from Swamp walks. To Ditch them, can a Freezer be Kept in an Unheated Garage before you them. Roots become restricted and pot bound kale harvest beyond the first heavy fall frost kale! Even growing kale in winter a few frosts areas where temperatures don ’ t die, are! Winter and will begin producing leaves at the first heavy fall frost, apply mulch under a shade tree about... You already knew that ) crop, sow seeds of kale is the red kale but you already knew )! They seem to do much better tasting kale has survived the winter seeds on