Before this year, I had heard that kale could be planted in the fall and could be picked after a frost but I had no idea it would still be edible in January. To be fair, I am in southeast Michigan so kale may not do as well further north but it has survived a few single digit days so far.
The kale in my garden is a trooper. When the temps drop way below freezing without snowfall, it will freeze. Not to worry though. The frozen kale will thaw out within minutes of being inside. You can do the same thing with spinach but the quality of the spinach is not that great.
Those of you that have tried picking frozen spinach know what I am talking about. If you pick frozen spinach, the leaves are limp and slimy. That is not the case with kale though. The thawed out kale is as edible as when it is picked unfrozen from the plant. Who would have guessed it?
You said the kale will freeze when we do not have a lot of snow. What about when the plants are covered with snow? When the temps drop way below freezing and we have snow, the kale doesn't freeze. The snow acts as an insulator and must keep the kale warm enough. This is a cool thing to see.
Last time it snowed heavy, my son and I went out to play the next day. While we were out, we dug my kale plants out from beneath the snow. I was amazed that the plants were in as good as condition as they were. They looked dark green and were not limp at all. In fact, we picked a bunch that day for venison stew for dinner. Garden produce in Michigan in the winter.... you cannot beat that!
|Uncovering the kale.|
|Looks good still.|
|Ready for the pot.|
If you are in to gardening, plant some kale in the fall for the winter. The green kale that you will be eating in January just might be enough to keep you sane enough until spring!