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Sun Jul 24, 2016, 02:38 PM

Can you cut back kale and, if so, how far?

I'm growing lacinato kale and it's doing very well. I'd like to keep it producing through the winter under a greenhouse cover and I'm thinking if I cut it back to about an inch from the ground at the end of August it might sprout new leaves throughout the fall and into winter. I'm in zone 5 by the way. Has anyone tried this?

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Reply Can you cut back kale and, if so, how far? (Original post)
Vinca Jul 2016 OP
Warren Stupidity Jul 2016 #1
Elad Jul 2016 #2
Vinca Jul 2016 #3

Response to Vinca (Original post)

Sun Jul 24, 2016, 03:02 PM

1. It's best to go cold turkey.

 

Kale addiction is a serious problem. Kale is also a gateway vegetable that leads directly to spinach and arugula abuse.

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Response to Vinca (Original post)

Sun Jul 24, 2016, 08:28 PM

2. You won't have enough light to make that work.

Having it in a greenhouse doesn't increase the sun, which is required for new growth. You may be able to do something like that if you cut it back all the way NOW (although I'd recommend just harvesting all the leaves, as each leaf node will produce new shoots. If you cut the whole thing back you eliminate all the leaf nodes.) - there'd be enough weeks of sun left for new growth - but much better to just harvest mature leaves a few at a time all fall/winter, leaving the youngest, and watch it bounce back and start producing again in the early spring, when no one else has anything to eat from their garden.

But whatever you do, it won't put on new growth from October-March. Which is fine, if you've grown it big enough before then to allow you to pick off leaves a few at a time all winter.

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Response to Elad (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 25, 2016, 07:19 AM

3. Thanks. I hadn't considered the hours of sunlight.

I'll do some experimenting . . . cut some back, cover some up with the greenhouse gizmo and cover some with hay. If I get anything out of it I'm sure it will beat grocery store kale.

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