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This is our first year growing kale and although it is not large enough to harvest yet, it has been growing rapidly during the last two hot weeks.

When it reaches a size that we are able to begin harvesting, how much can be harvested at a time? I've read that outer leaves can be removed, but can anyone recommend a limit of how much to take such that the plants continue growing and producing into the fall? Will the kale's new growth occur in the center as with rhubarb?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I start cutting kale when it's about 3" high for "baby kale" salads. At that size, if you cut one stem per plant, it will keep growing. It takes quite a bit to make a salad, but you can mix them with your beet green thinnings, some small spinach leaves, and chard thinnings for a very nice salad.

With larger plants, I've cut maybe one-third to half of the stalks off and the new stalks keep growing.

You will see it putting out new leaves and stems in the center.

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Thanks for this - it had not even occurred to me that I could cut a few leaves for salad while they're still only about 15cm – Michael Jul 15 '12 at 19:13

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