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June 9, 2013
Red Russian kale in the evening light

Red Russian kale in the evening light

Kale isn’t one of those vegetables that I fell in love with at first sight. It took time. But I think I know the turning point: when Anna told me about her Killer Kale Salad. Since then, I have been all about kale and I eat that salad as much as I can, when kale is available.

No, not flea beetle. This is gophers' work.

No, not flea beetle. This is gophers’ work.

This year, I have been waiting for kale. I planned for lots of it to be ready by the beginning of June. Having it ready this week is not far off, except for the fact that it was large enough to harvest earlier, maybe a couple weeks ago. The problem has been pest damage (mostly) and weeds (a little bit).

I got hit hard by flea beetle this year. I mentioned it in an earlier post, that it wiped out my arugula, purple mizuna and most of the bok choi. And it got into the kale. I have had very little damage from flea beetles in kale in the past, so I wasn’t expecting it there. They nibble the leaves, leaving little holes. As I noted before, it was already too late. Once they are there, they are there. All I could do was wait for the kale to get bigger and the leaves to grow out of the flea beetle’s list of preferred vegetables.

Two beds of kale weeded, one and a half to go.

Two beds of kale weeded, one and a half to go.

That finally seems to be happening. This past week, I spent some time in the kale, first pulling thistle out, then getting the rest of the weeds out. The weeds had gotten quite big. It was one of those things where I would walk by and say to myself, “Now is the perfect time to hoe the kale.” But I never did it, because something else was always more important. When the thistles got too big and the weeds were starting to go to seed, it was time. I am not quite done yet, though, one more bed to go. I did discover that the flea beetle is not so abundant is it was earlier and I just might have enough to harvest. I hope, when I go out tomorrow morning to decide what goes on the list, I am still right on this one.

Kale planted with kohlrabi, and a few weeds.

Kale planted with kohlrabi, and a few weeds.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 9, 2013 10:53 pm

    Can’t wait for your kale to be ready – with or without flea beetle holes! 🙂

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