Kale is a green, leafy plant from the “cabbage” family which contains abundant nutrients and beneficial to the body. It comes from the Brassicaceae family just like cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
Its benefits cannot be overlooked as some of its benefits include: boosting digestive health, blood pressure management, protection against cancer and type 2 diabetes. Kale contains fibre, calcium, vitamins such as vitamin C &K, iron, antioxidants amongst other nutrients which protect the body against various health problems.
Unwanted toxins are removed by antioxidants and this activity results from natural processes and environmental pressures. Varieties of kale include: Lacinato, red Russian kale, Redbox kale, dwarf curly blue kale, and Siberian kale.
Read also: How To Grow Barlotti Beans From Seeds
Kale is known to be a cold-hardy crop whose best time for planting is early spring or late summer. Autumn is characterised by low temperature and this also makes it suitable for growing kale. The cool weather helps in developing the sweet and nutty flavour of nutritious leafy green kale. Kale can be grown in spring, summer or fall and it can be grown using several methods.
Kale cutting is a method of kale propagation just like cuttings from other plants are also methods by which such plants can be propagated. Below is an explanation of a method by which kale cuttings are grown.
1) Remove three inches of the top bud from the middle of a kale plant, also with several budding leaves.
2) Lower the stem into rooting hormone or honey. This is based on preference and not compulsory. However, dipping of the stem into the rooting hormone or honey will help with the growth of the kale.
3) Ensure to cut off some of the foliage so that the root growth can be focused on by the plant.
4) Dryness of the plant should be prevented as much as possible. Therefore, ensure the plant is kept moist/wet and within some weeks, a new root system will develop.
Read also: How To Grow Artichokes From Seeds And Crowns
It has been stated that there are different methods by which kale can be grown and of course, including kale cuttings. Kale being a versatile plant can be grown in both traditional and raised beds likewise it being grown in containers and pots. Another major way by which kale cuttings can be grown is growing it in water.
GROWING OF KALE CUTTINGS IN WATER
Get your kale cutting and remove all leaves from the stem. After that, carefully place the stem into a jar full of water. Make sure three-quarter of the jar is filled with water. The jar should thereafter be placed in a sunny place for growth to start taking place. To get adequate and suitable amount of sunlight, a windowsill is more preferable for the jar placement.
Soak the stem in water for a week. There is an appearance of leaves on the part of the stem outside water
After soaking the stems in water, some observations are taken note of which are:
i) Growth of leaves from the main stem
ii) Change of colour of some secondary stalks to yellow which are also loosened enough to fall from the main stem of the kale.
Two weeks after the above processes, there is an appearance of roots coming from the lower part of the main stem which is in water. With this, a transplantation of the stem can be made in raised bed or ground. However, at this stage, it doesn’t necessarily mean a transplantation must be made.
Just like the way the stems can be transplanted in raised bed or ground, the stems can also be left in water but with the addition of some little quantity of soil into the water.
Read also: How To Grow Black Beans From Seeds At Home
TEMPERATURE AND LIGHT
Sunlight is essential for healthy growth of kale plants. Approximately, 4-6 hours of sunlight is required. The jar/container can be kept next to the south-facing window for rapid growth and development. Kales are cold lover plants and resist heat which makes morning sun more suitable for them as afternoon sun produces heat which can destroy the plant. The most suitable temperature for growing kale is 70°F.
Just like crops, kales can also be infested by pests. Certain pests such as aphids, cabbage worms, cabbage loopers and flea beetles thereby causing diseases such as clubroot and black rot. The most common pests are cabbage worms and flea beetles.
Cabbage worms create holes on kale and can be controlled by putting them with their eggs in soapy water or using bacterial insecticide sprays. Flea beetles form a cluster between leaves and eat the plant. It can be controlled by using diatomaceous earth (DE) or a product containing pyrethrin.
Related: How To Grow Caraway Plant From Seeds
The most suitable time to harvest kale is when the leaf sizes are similar to the size of one’s hand. Maturity of kale takes about 30-40 days. There are certain steps to follow when harvesting kale which are listed below:
Step1: From the lowest section of the plant, harvest the oldest and lowest leaves. A discolouration of the leaf indicates that such leaf is bad and should be thrown away. Discolouration comes in a yellowish colour form. Torn leaves should also be discarded. The leaves should be harvested from the base carefully sequentially.
Step2: Avoid touching the central and new leaves of the kale plant subjected to picking. This is due to the fact that the centre of the plant contains the terminal bud which helps to keep the kale plant productive.
Step3: The above processes can be repeated each week or when the leaves are needed for consumption. The small and young leaves are edible. In cases by which larger leaves of spinach are being used, ensure that the ribs are removed before cooking them.
STORING OF KALE
There are cases in which harvested kales can be in excess and not needed for consumption for that period of time. In such situations, the kales can be stored. A loose plastic produce bag is best suitable for storing kales. These bags can then be stored in a refrigerator. However, kales are perishable food items and it is best to use the stored kale within a week.
Frequently asked questions
Can you regrow kale from stems?
Yes, you can regrow kale from a side stem that has many leaves. To grow from stem, use a clean shears to trim the stem off. Cut where the stem meets the main stem of the kale plant. If you cut from the top steps, you can kill the plant. So, avoid cutting the kale plant from top.
Can you grow kale from a leaf?
You cannot grow kale from a single leaf but you can grow from stems that have numerous leaves just as I explained above.
Does kale regrow after picking?
If you harvest the kale leaves the right way, kale plant will keep producing new leaves from the top of the kale plant as it grows taller. Make sure you don’t harvest kale leaves from top, if you want the plant to continue producing more leaves.
What happens if you plant kale too close together?
This totally depends on your needs and space. If you have a small garden space and also you want to produce more kale, then the best idea is to grow crowd kale plants too close together in order to produce more kale. However, if you have large space, you can space them apart so that enough air can pass in and out of the kale plants.
How many times can you harvest kale?
After you make the first harvest, you can come back and harvest your kale plant when the kale leaves have grown to about the size of a fully grown up man. How many times you can harvest your kale also depends on your climatic zone and the season you are growing in, you can harvest your kale plant after 1-2 weeks.
In this article, we discussed how to grow kale from cuttings. I hope you will find this kale growing guide helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.
1.”HOW TO GROW KALE CUTTINGS IN THE WATER?” Retrieved from here
2. “Growth and Development Response of Kale (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala L.) Seedlings to Different Commercial Growing Media” retrieved from researchgate