Does Kale reseed itself?
Kale is easy to maintain. It’s a sturdy plant that can withstand a cold winter. Yes, the plant will freeze during the period.
But as soon as the weather gets a little warmer in the transition between winter and spring, your Kale will be among the first to welcome the sun.
Kale is a unique plant that is easy to grow. What most people don’t know is that Kale can reseed itself. Even though it takes close to one full year for the seeds to set, you can harvest Kale leaves all year long.
Kale belongs to the brassica family, with cabbage, spinach, collard green, and others. The plant family can automatically reseed, given they are in prime condition. Saving the seeds is optional if you want to rotate your produce.
How to care for self-seed plants
In general, most self-seed plants are easy to care for. They are sturdy, and most of them are available all year. You can combine planting several plants in the same square.
However, you need to pay attention to the distance and depth of your seeds when sowing. That’s because self-seed plants tend to grow near their parent’s plants.
Each packet will tell you the guide on depth and distance you can follow. Of course, you can adjust it later when you’re already better at gardening.
Another thing you need to pay attention to is fertilizer and soil moisture. Some plants prefer it wet, while others only need moist soil to grow. The same goes for fertilizer.
You may think that plants need lots of fertilizer to grow faster and bigger. But giving too much fertilizer may backfire and cause your plants to wither earlier.
When does Kale Seed?
As a reseeding plant, growing Kale requires minimum care. However, you have to remember that Kale is a biannual plant.
\It means it takes up to two years for the plant to complete a life cycle. But you can start harvesting the leaves one year after the seed set.
However, Kale starts to seed when you see its stalks. A kale stalk can be as tall as a three-year-old. You can save the seeds or let them free fall and reseed them near the parents’ plants.
For outdoor planting, it’s best to start sowing in the winter so you can start your harvest as early as the next summer. But if you’re planting indoors, you can start 4-6 weeks early before the last frost.
Can I save Kale Seeds?
Keep in mind that the leaves come to harvest long before the stalk and seeds when it comes to Brassica plants such as Kale. Kale stalks start to grow after they complete a cycle. So within one to two years, you can see the stalks.
Don’t forget to use a plastic sheet to protect your plants during winter. As soon as spring comes, Kale and other Brassica, you have started growing stalks.
Wait until the seeds are maturing on the stalks before cutting them near the plant. You can use paper bags to cover these stalks as they are brittle and prone to breaking from winds.
You can screen the seeds from the dried stalk by gently flailing the paper bags. Then you can start the winnowing process before preserving the seeds.
Why is Kale popular?
You may think Kale is only good for your steak’s side dish. In comparison, Kale is one of the popular plants in a salad. But there is more from these green vegetables than what you usually know.
Kale has high fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and beta-carotene. That is why it’s gaining popularity as an ingredient for other dishes. You can find Kale, spinach smoothies, ice cream, and other snacks.
Being self-seeding also helps propel Kale’s popularity. You can plant Kale in your garden and start harvesting as soon as the seed is set and they start to give leaves.
You don’t have to worry about repeating the seeding process since the plant will do it for you.
What other plants that Reseed?
Most of the Brassica plants, such as Kale, can reseed themselves. You can easily have a small garden at home that you can keep all year long with minimum effort. Examples of brassica plants are cabbage and chards.
Lettuce, Arugula, and tomatoes are some of the popular vegetables that reseed themselves.
Remember that hybrid plants can’t reseed even though the parents are. For example, when you plant seedless tomatoes, you still have to save the seeds and plant them manually at the proper time.
Tomatoes are self-seed plants, but the hybrid seedless variant is not. It’s best to read the instructions in the packets to know whether the plants are self-seed.