Kale is a hardy vegetable that can handle long periods between waterings. It can also go through periods of drought without wilting. However, it still needs water to grow and thrive.
How often do you need to water kale? The answer depends on the weather, soil conditions, and other factors. Kale plants need about 1 inch of water per week for most varieties. They don’t need as much moisture as some other vegetables, but they still require regular watering for good growth and strong leaves. Watering kale about once a week is sufficient during the summer and every 2 weeks during the winter.
When to Water Kale
Kale is a cool-season crop that grows best in spring or falls when temperatures are between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and not much below freezing at night. Kale germinates well below 50 degrees F but grows slowly until temperatures rise above 60 degrees F. Once temperatures climb above 60 degrees F, kale’s growth rate slows considerably because it prefers cooler weather than most other vegetables do.
Kale grows best with an average annual rainfall of 15 inches per year or more but can withstand drought better than many other plants since it stores water in its leaves rather than using it all up during photosynthesis as most plants do. If your region has mild winters, kale will survive winter.
How To Tell It’s Time to Water Your Kale
Kale is very easy to grow and can be harvested within about two months of planting if you start with seeds or seedlings. You can harvest kale leaves at any time during its growth cycle, but there are some signs that tell you when it’s time to water your kale plants:
Leaves turn yellow or brown: This means that your plant is under stress from a lack of water. If this happens once or twice during the growing season, it’s not a big deal. But if it happens frequently over several days, then you should give them a drink of water right away.
Stems turn brown: Browning stems mean that either too much water has been given or there has been too little water overall over time. It could also mean that there are not enough nutrients available to your plants.
How to Water Kale
Watering kale is a much easier process than watering most garden plants. Kale is a member of the cabbage family and has the same water requirements as other cole crops, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Kale should be watered when it shows signs of wilting. This can occur during hot weather or if you have recently transplanted the plant, which stresses it. Wilting leaves are an indication that your kale needs to be watered.
There are two methods for watering your kale:
Soaker Hose: A soaker hose is a long hose with tiny holes in it that slowly drips water into the ground, allowing it to soak into the soil instead of running off into waterways. This method works well for raised beds because the holes allow for even distribution throughout the bed.
Drip Irrigation System: Drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to plant roots through a series of drip emitters attached to tubing that runs from a water source (e.g., rain barrel or faucet) to each planting bed. The emitters release small amounts of water over time, which allows for even distribution throughout the bed and reduces runoff potential compared with traditional sprinkler systems that deliver large amounts of water.
Signs of Excessive Kale Watering
Kale is a hearty vegetable that’s easy to grow, but it needs to be watered often. If you notice your kale plants wilting, they’re likely suffering from too much water. Kale is hardy enough to weather drought conditions, but overwatering can cause root rot and other issues that harm the plant.
Excessive watering can also cause leaf yellowing and other symptoms of nutrient deficiency.
Excessive watering can cause several problems for kale plants. The most obvious symptom is wilting, or drooping leaves on the plant. Drooping leaves are an indication that the roots have been damaged or killed by over-watering.
Other symptoms include yellowed leaves and leaf curling or crimping.
If you notice these symptoms on your kale plants, it may be time to check your soil’s moisture level and adjust accordingly.
In general, you should water your kale once every week if you live in an area where temperatures are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). If temperatures are below 60 F (15 C), water less frequently — every 2 weeks — until they rise above this mark.