Overwintering Kale Plants In A Greenhouse For Seed

There are many opportunities for market gardeners to save seed on their farm.

If you have a winter greenhouse full of Kale. You are only a few steps away from a pile of Kale seed!

Here is what overwintering Kale for seed looks like …

January – Come see our greenhouse

shhh …. Kale is sleeping. (Kale is very tired after heavy autumn harvests for CSA baskets.)

March – Kale is awake!

Some Kale plants didn’t make it through the January – February cold.

Winter can be cruel.

The Tourne-Sol seed crew filled the empty holes with Kale plants from other beds.

Late April – Kale reaches for the sky.

Mid May – Kale is in full flower!

Now we wait for seed!

I’ll keep you posted on the kale seed harvest.

Are you letting anything that overwintered in your green house go to seed? If so, please tell me about it in the comments.

Do you wish you had kept some of your overwintered plants for seed? I’d love to hear those dreams too!


3 thoughts on “Overwintering Kale Plants In A Greenhouse For Seed

  1. That’s interesting. I’ve tried growing southern European brassica varieties here in the UK, and they’ve had no frost resistance whatever, and didn’t come through to set seed. I’ve been thinking of trying to overwinter them in the polytunnel. It would probably work. the other suggestion I’ve had is to bury them, and then dig them out once the cold weather was past, but I’ more sceptical about their survival.

    1. How cold are your winter low temperatures?

      Outside we go down to -35C but in the greenhouse under row cover it is probably -6 at lowest.

      We have good survival on a lot of Kales and brassica rapas. We bring other Brassicas (such as kohlrabi into a cold room.)

      Have you tried any Kales from US or Canadian see companies? I wonder if they would be hardier than those from Southern Europe.

      Dan

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