I still have kale in my garden and I so want to leave it growing through winter, but I’m torn. Although it’s very hardy and looks incredible when tinged with frost, it also serves as a magnet for cabbage family pests. And there are many. So long as my kale remains standing, the buggers have a reason to nestle into the nearby soil and wait out the winter. When the weather warms, they will crawl out and start seeking out my new seedlings. Maybe I’ll compromise and only leave the kale standing every other year, so the population doesn’t continue to build. What do you do?
I tend to use kale more like an Asian green than a cabbage. I even use it uncooked, when young and tender. This time of year I generally sautee it. If you are finding your kale is getting bitter, add a splash of lemon to offset it. It works.
Favorite Kale Varieties
- Red Russian – Sweet and tender, with rosy-purple stems and splashes
- Nero di Tuscana – Great flavor with puckered, blistered leaves, but very attractive to snails
- Redbor – Frilly and definitely red, this one is especially winter hardy