When to start harvesting kale, spinach and chard

These leaves provide an ongoing bounty throughout the summer months…you can just pick them and pick them and keep enjoying them right through till late autumn (and occasionally beyond!)

Once you’ve planted them, give them 2-3 weeks to get their roots established. Once they are happy in their new home, they’ll be quite good at growing more and more leaves as you pick them.

Cavolo Nero: This is probably the slowest to grow, but you can still start harvesting relatively quickly. When the lower leaves start to reach about 15cm long. Always harvest the leaves from the lower part of the plant first, as new leaves will keep growing from the top. You should be able to keep picking a few leaves from each plant right through to October/November.

Red Russian Kale: You can pick the outer leaves once they are about 10cm, making sure you leave the younger, inner leaves to keep growing. This way you will get an ongoing crop for months!

Curly Kale: Start to pick the outer leaves when the leaves reach approx 10cm long. Leave the inner, younger leaves to keep on growing.

Perpetual Spinach & Chard: We like to let some of our spinach and chard plants grow quite big for leaves to use in cooking, whilst picking from other plants for baby salad leaves and keeping them quite small. For larger leaves, wait 4-5 weeks after planting until the leaves reach 15-20cm long. For baby leaves, start picking as soon as 2-3 weeks after planting while the leaves are sill small. Either way, when you do harvest them, just cut the outer leaves, nice and close to the base of the plant, to encourage new leaves to keep growing from the centre.