If planting outdoors, it’s especially important to pick a spot that receives enough sunlight, between 6-8 hours a day. 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. Home - Gardening - Growing Kale in Winter (Ultimate Guide). Why It’s Time to Ditch Them, Can a Freezer Be Kept in an Unheated Garage? Kale (Brassica oleracea) is a leafy vegetable in the Brassica or cole crop family. Kale can be grown as a cut-and-come-again crop. Sow around three or four seeds ¼ inches (5 millimeters) deep in each spot you want a plant to sprout. 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. Once you get into mid February, the plants will start to regenerate leaves you picked over the winter. Here’s What You Need To Know. The flavour of kale is actually improved by frosty conditions. Another way to protect your kale over the winter is to build a hoop house, or plastic tunnel, over the plants. A spring feed will improve results. Some cultivars are designed to withstand wintry conditions. 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. The frame insulates the kale and other plants while still letting sunlight in. 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. 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. Makes sense, right? Kale might like cold weather, but it’s not a fan of the heat. 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? Plant your kale at 10″ spacing. However, they can be blanched and then frozen to store for later use. This explains why so many red-colored kale varieties made this list! It’s a prolific ‘cut and come again’ cropper. You won’t need to be out in the garden, weeding, feeding or watering your kale like you would in the summer. 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. In the kitchen, kale can be steamed, stir-fried, or substituted for spinach in omelets, casseroles, or even quesadillas. Seeds germinate in 7-10 days. 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. 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). 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. If planting outdoors, it’s especially important to pick a spot that receives enough sunlight, between 6-8 hours a day. Let the kale grow in pots indoors or under a shade tree for about a month before you transplant them to the garden. 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. You might want to protect your kale outdoors with a cold frame or hoop house. If you are interested in building your own hoop house, the video above from Swamp Boss walks you through the process. Kale Has a Good Return per Plant . When temperatures drop, kale and other cold-tolerant plants don’t die, they just slow down. Harvesting kale. At night, it can be up to seven degrees warmer inside the tunnel. 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. Winter weather growing is only possible in winter weather. Josh is co-founder of RusticWise. 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. Your grasshopper friends might be envious of your harvest (sorry, grasshoppers). A guide to growing cabbage in winter, a cold-hardy vegetable. 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). But this only applies within an air temperature range of 40-98 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4-36.7 degrees Celsius). 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).