Have you ever wondered what kale roots look like? Probably not. But here you go anyway: the root system of a lacinato kale plant (aka “dino kale”).
This is not a suggestion that you dig up your kale plants. In fact, autumn is the best season for kale — cooler temperatures mean sweeter leaves from all your brassicas. Keep watering and harvesting your kale plants, and they’ll keep producing through fall and into winter. Throughout winter, if your weather is mild.
In fact, though it’s technically just a biennial, your kale can keep producing for years, if you let it. This root is from the patch of lacinato kale that I planted a few years back, and the plants are still going strong. Or would be, if I hadn’t pulled them up by their roots.
And why, none of you are wondering, would I rip out perfectly good kale plants? Because I planted a new, smaller stand of kale in another part of the garden. The old kale patch is switching to a cover crop — probably crimson clover — for the winter, and some sort of legume in the spring. Nonstop excitement around here.
If you do have kale around (for you non-gardeners, there’s plenty of kale at the markets these days), this is one of my favorite things to do with it: warm kale salad with roasted butternut squash, parsnips, and caramelized red onions.