Are you finding it difficult to grow healthy kale that has the capacity to regrow after each harvest?
In this article, I will take you through different kale growing stages — and why each stage is important to the growth and maturity of your plant.
Understanding kale growing stages will make you cultivate a healthy crop that has the capacity to regrow after each harvest.
Kale growing stages are in divided into 3 stages:
- The Sprouting stage
- The repotting Stage
- The maturity stage
Kale goes through distinct changes as it grows. Kale needs 10 – 15 weeks to complete the 3 growing stages — to be ready for the first harvest.
Kale is an easy growing crop that requires little care — especially when you want it to continuously produce leaves. Lack of understanding of kale growing stages, makes people cultivate kale that doesn’t regrow after harvest.
Let’s dive into the 3 growing stages.
Stage #1: Sprouting of Kale
Just like every other crop, when kale is propagated through seeds, it undergoes a sprouting stage.
Sprouting stage is where all the necessary preparation is done. Most of the time, this first growing stage is what determines the complete growing stage of kale.
You need to ensure that at this stage the majority of the work is done if you want to cultivate healthy kale.
First, you need to prepare the soil and the seeds if you want to propagate kale through seeding.
How fast the seed sprouts depend on the manure you add to the soil and how prepared the seeds are.
When you cultivate kale seed in a well prepared soil it will sprout easily and faster than when the soil is mixed with organic manure.
One of the best soils to grow kale is loam soil mix with organic materials.
It Takes Kale 5 – 8 Days To Sprout
Ordinarily, when you plant kale in a soil that is not prepared it takes kale seed 5 – 8 days to germinate.
But when the soil (loam soil) is well prepared with organic materials and well-drained, it will take less than 5 days to sprout.
How rich-nutrient the soil is, will determine how fast kale seed will sprout. The amount of care you provide the seed before you plant will also determine how fast the seed will take to speed up its germination.
The climatic conditions of the environment where you cultivate kale is another factor that determines how long it will take kale to germinate.
If the climate conditions of the environment are favourable to the plant, it will sprout out easily.
Even though kale is a cold weather crop, it still needs warm soil to sprout. Kale is allergic to extremely hot weather especially when repotting.
When it’s at the nursery stage, kale needs warm soil to germinate faster. The warm soil helps to make soil suitable for the plant and dries off the water that could cause rot of roots.
If the soil is rich in nutrients and warm but not well-drained, then kale seed will take more than 5 days for it to germinate.
If you want to shorten your kale sprout days, then you have to ensure the soil is warm, rich in nutrients, and well-drained to germinate easily.
Even though kale is a cold-weather crop, it can still grow and thrive under warm-weather.
At the sprout stage, kale needs much care hence, the seed will rot in the soil without germinating.
When you’re done mixing your soil don’t add any other water until the next day. Otherwise, you’ll create a water log that’ll damage the seed.
Likewise, excess organic materials during this seeding growing stage will stop the plant from growing. Take appropriate measurement of the soil and manure based on how it is listed on the kale pamphlet.
How To Care for a Sprouted Kale
During the sprout growing stage, every care you’ll provide has to be moderate. Don’t over mix the soil or water the soil.
At this growing stage, kale requires regular care.
Kale needs the soil to always be moist. The moist soil will help the seed to form roots.
After the formation of roots, the soil still needs to be moist and maintain the usual rich nutrient.
The first 2 weeks of germination is the most challenging aspect of all the growing stages. That is while maximum care has to be provided if you want to grow healthy kale.
Kale Need Daily Moderate Watering During Sprout Growing Stage
During the sprout growing stage, when the crop is still tender, then it requires daily watering to keep the seed alive till when it will germinate.
Provide the seed moderate watering on a daily basis. When carrying out daily watering, ensure you avoid the water log.
Water long damage kale seed. It makes the seeds rot without germination. Water is very important because it aids germinate but you should watch out for a water log.
There are some days you just need to sprinkle water instead of carrying out watering properly. Sprinkling of water will help to keep the soil moist instead of creating a water log that’ll damage the seeds.
During the sprout growing stage, maintain 1 inch deep soil moist. The 1 inch is enough to create a better environment for the plant to germinate.
Expose Kale Seeds to 6 Hours Sunlight When It Starts Sprouting
During the sprout stage, kale seeds need at least 6 hours of sunlight. The 6 hours of sunlight is enough for kale seeds to sprout easily.
The seed will also sprout even when the number of hours that you expose kale seed to is less than 6 hours.
The sunlight will help to keep the soil dried when cultivating kale. Because at the sprout stage, kale doesn’t need a log of water even though it requires water to speed up the growth.
The sunlight will also aid photosynthesis that enable the plant to sprout easily. So, at the sprouting stage, kale needs growing light. Providing growing light during the sprout growing stage is very important.
Stage #2: Repotting Kale (Repot kale To a Bigger Pot Or Garden)
Repotting helps to give kale crops fresh potting soil or garden soil. Because fresh potting soil or garden soil has enough and fresh nutrients that kale feeds on.
Leaving the crop inside the same pot when it has overgrown past the pot will retard its growth.
Repotting kale into a new pot or garden will give the plant a better growing environment to grow.
Repot kale when the roots are coming out from the pot or when the roots overgrow the soil. The causes of kale roots grow over the soil as a result of lack of space. You need to repot the plant into a bigger space.
Why Is Repotting Important When Growing Kale?
During the growing stages of kale, repotting is very important. Repotting into a new pot helps the crop have bigger space to spread its roots.
Repotting kale into a new pot is a vital aspect of the growing stages. If you don’t repot kale as at when due, the small pot with poor soil will retard its growth.
The initial pot doesn’t have enough space to accommodate its roots. Once plants, especially kale, start to experience lack of space to accommodate its roots, then carry out repotting.
If you don’t repot, the plant will overgrown the pot. That’s when you start seeing roots coming out from the soil.
Small pots cause plants to suffer malnutrition and water because the space is no longer big enough to hold much for the plant to absorb.
Continuously using the small to grow the plant will make the plants not have enough nutrients and water.
Repotting is important because it will make kale grow healthy leaves and blossom.
Repotting is not just to change kale’s container. Rather the main focus of repotting is to give the plant fresh potting soil that has the capacity to hold enough nutrients and water.
Fresh soil contains fresh nutrients that kale can feed on and have enough space to spread its roots.
Repot Kale To Another Bigger Pot After 2 weeks Of Sprout Growing Stage
Repotting is very important but knowing when to repot kale is a major challenge to many people.
You don’t repot kale because the plant has grown leaves. Neither will you repot because it has some roots under the soil.
There is a considerable period that is suitable for you to repot kale, if you want it to grow healthy and regrow after harvesting.
Kale is soft and fast and reacts to any changes either weather conditions or factors that aid its growth process.
Kale is easy to dry off especially if its roots are affected. You wouldn’t want to damage your kale during repotting. Therefore you need to ensure the plant gets to 2 weeks after germination.
During the 2 weeks process of germination, you have to feed the crop with nitrogen and that’ll help it establish.
The growth rate of your kale will determine when to repot. But the least period to report kale is 2 weeks after germination.
Kale that has slow growth doesn’t need to be repot after 2 weeks. Allow such kale to stay for at least one month before repotting.
When you go ahead to repot slow growing kale into another growing environment, the plant might dry off because the roots are not strong yet.
Likewise other plants, it’s not strong yet to withstand such a process. So, you need to ensure your kale has grown to some certain stage before you carry out repotting.
Repotting kale 2 weeks after germination or sprout is enough time for the plant roots to be strong and have the capacity to withstand the repotting process.
Is It Difficult To Repot Kale?
Repotting of crops helps to make the crops get a better growing environment. Repotting makes available fresh water and much nutrients for the crops to feed on.
The same happens to kale when you repot it into a new pot. The new pot has enough space to hold enough nutrients and water.
To repot kale is not difficult as many people take it to be. It seems difficult to them because whenever they repot, the crop ends up dying.
Kale can easily dry when you repot in the wrong way. Kale’s roots are very delicate and highly sensitive to any weather changes or growing environment.
To repot kale is by removing it from one smaller pot to a bigger pot. Using a trowel, or knife to move soil along with roots to another pot.
Make sure your kale is up to 2 weeks at least before carrying out repotting on it. If kale is not up to 2 weeks chances are the plant dries immediately after repotting.
Buit when kale is above 2 weeks, repotting it into a new bigger pot will not make the dries off.
Irrespective of how you cut off the roots when repotting, the plant still maintains the same growing state.
It’s not difficult to report kale but only becomes difficult when the plant has not grown up to the point for it to withstand any damage to its roots.
Once you notice your kale doesn’t have the capacity to withstand repotting then don’t repot. Give kale enough time for it to grow and establish before you repot.
Besides, you can only repot any crop or plant that has overgrown the pot. It overgrown when the roots start coming out or grow over the soil.
Wait until your kale’s roots start coming out from the soil or become bigger than the pot before you repot.
Early Morning And Late Evening Is The Best Time To Repot Kale
Early morning or late evening is the best time to repot kale because when you expose its fragile roots to hot weather, the crop might hardly survive.
Also, when you pull out the roots from the soil, the green part of kale is highly sensitive and begins to fold up.
For best results when transplanting, it’s a great idea to give that area of your garden, window box or field a little water a few days prior. This is referred to as “pre-irrigating” and ensures that your soil is moist and ready to host new plants.
Use a trowel, butter knife or simply your hand to dig a little hole in the soil, plop the transplant in, and cover up the base of the plant.
There’s no need to use much force in this process, just make sure to give the transplant a little push down to settle it in.
Kale Require Watering When Repot To a Bigger Pot
Part of the growing stages of kale is watering. Water is an important part when growing kale. Kale needs water more than it needs sunlight.
Before you plant kale seed, make the soil to be 1 inch moist. Moist soil helps kale to speed up its growth compared to its noti moisture.
Likewise, before you repot kale, ensure the soil needs to be well-drained. Hardly will kale grow from a soil that is not well-drained or moisture.
At this growing stage after repotting, you need to provide the plant enough water that will make the plant grow speedily.
Watering helps to soak the soil for kale’s root to penetrate easily and absorb nutrients faster.
Kale needs more water during the sprouting stage than when it’s repotted. At the initial stage, the seed requires water to break out and develop seed.
It’s a cold water crop that requires moderate watering to keep growing healthy and strong. However, when the weather is a bit hot, kale needs more water to keep the soil cold.
Stage #3: Maturity Stage Of Kale
The maturity stage of kale is an interesting part of the crop. Especially when you cultivate the purpose of regrowing after harvesting.
Irrespective of the species of kale, it takes between 8 – 10 week it to mature for harvesting. Every gardener looks forward to the maturity stage of the crop because that is when it makes available precious leaves for many health benefits.
When kale has grown to the maturity stage, you need to harvest it for the crop to remain healthy and strong.
The more you harvest the leaves the more the plant keeps on growing new leaves. You need to ensure you provide the plant all the care stated here after harvesting.
How To Harvest Kale For It To Keep Growing
Harvest growing stage is the most important aspect of the plants. Because when kale is matured, you need to harvest it to keep on regrowing new leaves.
To harvest kale for it to produce new is by removing the oldest bottom leaves after they have been touched by frost while leaving the top most leaves for the crop to start growing from there.
Use pruner or scissor to pick the oldest leaves from the lowest section of the plants. Ensure you remove the leaves from the connecting bud to the stem. After picking, discard those leaves that appear yellowed or ragged.
Leave the top most leaves and pick your way down to the last leaves.
The top most leaves is what the plant uses for photosynthesis. Kale regrows easily when the top most leaves are not cut off from the stem.
After harvesting, Kale will regrow new leaves all winter in zones 7 to 10 when you provide the crop with maximum care.
Regular harvesting of kale will keep the healthy and strong to regrow new leaves for multiple growing seasons.
Here you have the complete growing stages for kale, starting from sprout to harvest stage.
Every growing stage of a kale plant requires different care. The rate at which you water kale during the sprout growing stage is different from when the plant has been repotted.
However, understanding each growing stage will make you cultivate a healthy kale that has the capacity to regrow after each harvest.