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University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
Kale is primarily a cool-season crop in our area but you don’t need to remove it when the weather turns warm. It will grow year-round and even for several years. The problem you are likely to see in the summer is that it gets buggy. If you can tolerate the giant whiteflies and aphids, you can leave it as a decoy plant to attract the pests away from your other plants and to feed the lady beetles so that they will stick around. Kale grows well in the ground or in containers and is not picky about the soil. If the plant gets too big and grows a tall stalk, like walking stick kale, you can cut off the top, remove the lower three or four leaves from the stalk, and stick it back in the ground and water it. It will regrow easily. You could also wait for the seeds and grow again from seed. It will probably be pest-free again and pleasantly edible when the weather turns cooler.
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