Kale needs frost - but why?
Kale is usually harvested after the first frost. It is said that it is less bitter then. That's right, but why? It is widely believed that kale converts bitter substances into sugar. But this is not the case. The kale forms bitter substances in order to protect itself against predators. If it freezes or if it is quite cold for a long time (temperatures above freezing point are often sufficient), it stops this activity, but continues to form fructose through photosynthesis.
- Is Kale Perennial?
- Harvesting kale after the frost?
- Sow kale properly
Harvest kale after several frosts
Therefore, kale can be harvested not only after the first frost, but also after several. The longer you wait, the lower the bitter substance content and the higher the fructose content.
Your kale has lots of lush green leaves and it just won't freeze or freeze? On the Internet you will find that brief storage in the freezer can help here. Unfortunately we have to disappoint you. The metabolic processes only work with live kale and therefore cannot be made up for with harvested kale.
Harvest kale all winter long
Kale is harvested three to five months after sowing. The harvest time for kale usually starts in October and can last until February - if you harvest correctly: Only harvest the outer leaves of kale, because it will continue to grow happily if you give it the opportunity. In the second year it also develops yellow flowers, the seeds of which you can use for propagation.
Find out here how to store your kale correctly so that it stays fresh for a long time.