Bright green kale peeking through the melting snow proved my experiment. I had heard that kale could survive winter temperatures and now I’ve confirmed it in my garden.
“So what?” you say. When you live in the north with 3 short months of a summer growing season, being able to eat garden fresh produce as soon as the snow melts is a big deal!
Although it did snow today, our winter snow actually melted 3 weeks ago in
this unseasonably warm spring we’re having, so this curly leaf kale has been filling out and adding leaves. It’s about to be picked to make kale chips for an after school snack. By the way, this is a Dwarf Curly Kale. I would not buy a dwarf variety again. Why grow miniature when you get more produce from a full size plant?
These stalks are a picture of the other kale I planted last year, Italian Lacinato Nero Toscana, also known as Dinosaur Kale. Obviously, they didn’t survive the winter. They had thinner leaves and were a little more delicate than the curly leaf variety. So, it appears the hardiness varies by variety.
If you’d like to have gorgeous greens grace your garden as soon as the snow melts next year, tuck this little kale tidbit in the back of your mind. When you’re putting your garden to bed in the fall don’t pull up the kale.
Update: I’ve changed my mind about the dwarf kale and planted some again this year. It’s more tender and delicate than the regular curly leaf kale. The dwarf is nice for salads. When I make kale chips with the dwarf variety I rarely need to remove the rib.