Tuesday 11 February 2014

Cavolo Nero - final picking

My Cavolo Nero has reached the end of the line too now. It was starting to form flowers, so I felt that it was best to pick it all and get one last batch of leaves. In the past I have a couple of times left Cavolo Nero to flower. It first produces a mass of tiny shoots a bit like miniature Sprouting Broccoli, which are quite nice to eat if you catch them at the right time, but they soon go stringy. Then eventually the flowers open like a shower of bright yellow stars! The bees love these flowers, but there is a downside too - the plants grow huge and straggly, taking up more space than I can tolerate in my compact little plot. So up they come...

 You can see here how the stems of the Cavolo Nero have become elongated as the tips begin to form flowers.

 The lower part of the stem is bare where the leaves have been picked from the bottum upwards:

 Taking the plants indoors, I cut off  and discarded the lower stems, but kept the bushy "crowns" intact.

That's a decent amount of greens! Because we were not going to be able to use the crowns immediately, I washed them and packed them into large "Stayfresh Longer" bags. I find these bags very useful indeed. They keep fruit and veg fresh for ages. The Cavolo Nero would probably last 3 weeks if I wanted it to.


  1. I find those bags invaluable in the summer for keeping veg fresh when the garden is at full steam.

  2. I keep watching my kale under the snow. It is hardier than the Cavolo Nero. I'm hoping it survives as I love kale in the spring. It is often the first edible greens from the garden.

  3. Haven't seen those bags before Mark. They look good.

  4. This is the second time I've heard about those bags recently. We don't have a Lakeland in Leeds so I must pop in when I'm next in York.

  5. I haven't seen those bags either not even spotted them in the Lakeland book that we regularly have delivered. What is special about them?

    1. Sue, the bags are impregnated with something that stops the fruit or veg from ripening aka decaying quite so rapidly. They are also a lot stronger than a normal bag, so they are god for storing things like mucky parsnips!

  6. Just as yours is finishing, mine is almost starting! I had one late sown plant that lingered on my balcony and finally got planted in the garden in early November when there was some space. It's come through the winter and is now visibly starting to grow - I'm thinking two small sowings a year is the way to go if you want year round kale (although the mild winter has undoubtedly helped!)

  7. about to do the same to my plants!


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