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Is this black kale plant bolting?

EustaceEustace OxfordPosts: 1,124
I planted this black kale plant around September last year and have already harvested a few leaves. Now, as you can see in the photo below, I can see flower buds forming. Is it bolting? If I cut away the top section with the buds, can I prolong the life of this plant? TIA.

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  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 619
    Looks like it is bolting to me as well. No harm trying to keep it going longer by trimming off the flower buds but not sure if that will stop it from just producing more flower buds from lower down.

    Happy gardening!
  • hatty123hatty123 West YorkshirePosts: 125
    All my kale is doing the same but  the leaves are still good to eat. I'm sowing more kale this weekend, I grew it all through last year, so I'm planning to let the established kale go to flower and In the meantime I should have new plants on the go in a few weeks.from your photo it looks like your kale is sharing a pot? When you grow it again, and if you have the space, I'd give it it's own pot. Mine are in open ground and they can grow to quite a large size with lovely big leaves
  • EustaceEustace OxfordPosts: 1,124
    Thanks @robairdmacraignil and @hatty123 for your advice. I will cut off the flower buds and use up the remaining leaves. There are too many slugs in my garden, that is why I grow them in pots. Also the foxes use these pots to hide their goodies. 

    The curly kale variety which is sharing the same pot has been much more productive though.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,453
    Our kale /Cav nero plants are really large… we’ve been having meals from them all winter. Now they’re coming to an end and putting out flower sprouts that I cut and cook like purple sprouting broccoli …  delicious … When they’re finished … very soon now … the plants will go on the compost heap.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • EustaceEustace OxfordPosts: 1,124
    Thanks @Dovefromabove. Are they susceptible to slug attacks if they're in the ground? 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,453
    edited 3 March
    Slugs will get them anywhere … last spring mine were babies and in pots in a lean to greenhouse 4’ off the ground and were almost destroyed by slugs overnight … but I nurtured them and did rigorous slug patrols in the evening and they recovered.

     We planted them out (in a netted cage to keep the butterflies off)after the broccoli was over and found that as long as we kept the soil around them weed-free they weren’t too troubled by slugs … so regular hoeing at least twice a week was the answer.  

    They need quite a bit of space … given space they’ll grow much bigger. 

    Ours grew to about 2’6” tall and have been marvellous … six plants have given the two of us at least a couple of meals every week right through the winter. 

    I’d not grown it before, but I will again 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 619
    I have found with the Kale I have grown that it seems to be fairly resilient once it gets to a big enough size and is not bothered much by slugs when it is older. Not found it bothered much by the cabbage white caterpillar either but I make an effort to encourage small birds in the garden that may help the plants by picking them off. Here is a video clip showing some damage from the caterpillars or slugs when my most recent crop was younger but it recovered well and is still providing plenty of leaves. I find the red Russian variety to be better flavour than some other types I've tasted.

    Happy gardening!
  • EustaceEustace OxfordPosts: 1,124
    Here is my last harvest of this variety of kale; harvested the flowers too. This is my first year growing kale and I'm planning to grow them again. A relatively easy crop to grow with very little pest attack. I grew them in half barrel pots; might try them in the ground this autumn.

  • war  garden 572war garden 572 Posts: 135
    yes
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