Since people started understanding all the wonderful health advantages Kale provides, it has grown in popularity. It has grown to be so well-liked that many people are now cultivating it in their gardens. However, Kale sometimes has an issue, which you could occasionally experience. The many black spots that might develop on kale leaves are the issue. So, what are those black spots on Kale?
Simply said, black spots on Kale are dead or decaying kale cells brought on by a bacterial or fungal infection of the kale plant. When these illnesses attack the plant, they produce poisons and proteins that devastate its defenses. The result is the death of plant cells. Nobody wants to eat Kale that is covered with deadly black specks. However, with the right care and treatment, you can stop these bacterial and fungal illnesses from ever infecting your Kale.
Is Kale With Black Spots Safe To Eat?
It’s okay to consume kale with black spots since it poses no threat to people. Although that bowl of kale won’t look as attractive as kale without blemishes, it’s still okay to consume. Look for fresh-harvested, bright-green leaves for the loveliest kale. Compared to darker leaves, kale with bright green leaves is fresher, sharper, and more delicious.
Dark leaves suggest the plant was under stress due to illness, drought, or heat, which might affect the taste. However, because plants create compounds that combat oxidative stress as protection during times of damage, it could enhance the antioxidant qualities of kale leaves.
When purchasing kale, if you have any concerns regarding how long elapsed between harvest and sale, ask them! One approach to get a fresh bunch of kale is to purchase it at a nearby farmer’s market. It is in the early spring, early winter, and late autumn. Kale is a cool-weather crop. Therefore the winter is when it grows the best.
Why Does Kale Have Black Spots?
Dead cells caused by a bacterial or fungal infection in the leaves cause the little black spots on the kale leaves. Once an infection has infected the plant, it starts to create proteins and poisons that weaken the plant’s defenses. The kale develops a black tint in those spots where the virus eventually destroys the plant’s cells.
The little black specks that sometimes appear on kale are these dead cells. Despite what some people may tell you, you’ll be relieved to find that these spots are harmless. This is so because the bacteria that infect kale have evolved to target plants rather than people.
A bacterial or fungal illness that is not spreadable to humans is the cause of these patches. It is okay to consume kale with black spots since these illnesses do not have a negligible detrimental impact on people.
This does not imply that you should consume it, however. These black spots on kale are dead cells and have a far more unpleasant flavor than the green portions. It is advised that you use kale with no black spots at all since these might alter the flavor of any cuisine you prepare.
Alternately, cut off and discard the leaf sections that are most seriously damaged. If you can, burn them instead of composting them to get rid of the virus and stop it from spreading to your plants.
How Can Kale’s Black Spots Be Removed?
Any black spots on the kale plant are most likely the result of leaf spots. Even though the condition known as leaf spot can be treated, it is much better to try to prevent it from happening in the first place. Because of these two reasons:
Fungus Spots On The Leaf
Leaf spots, a common condition, frequently result in black spots on kale (although the spots can also be brown). Alternaria brassicae, a fungus, cause this condition; if left untreated, the spots will enlarge. You might also notice black patches that resemble targets with concentric rings emerging from them as the condition worsens.
If the climate is warm and humid while you are growing kale, the Alternaria Leaf spot will likely appear on it. Pull out any potential weeds in the area before planting your kale in order to avoid the fungus that can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown.
Bacteria Spotted On A Leaf
Fungus is another typical contributor to leaf spots in addition to bacteria. You will see black dots and brown patches with yellow haloes similar to the concentric rings described above, much as you would with fungal leaf spots when your kale is infected with bacterial leaf rot.
The dots could be as small as 3/16 inches in diameter and appear anywhere on the leaf. The bacterial leaf spot grows better in cold, moist environments than the fungal leaf spots. If you know your kale has the illness, you should not leave it in water for a long time.
It will thus be more likely to propagate to another location. Another reason why hydroponics is preferable. Keep the kale leaves dry if you store them inside. The bacteria may travel through the plant’s seed as well as other areas, similar to how fungi cause leaf spots.
What Are The Best Remedies For Leaf Spot?
There are many methods to cure leaf spots, but the best action is to stop them before they get this bad. Even while treatment is crucial, prevention always comes out on top.
Drugs That Kill Fungi (Fungal)
Even though there are numerous ways to treat leaf spots, fungicides are usually necessary (which may not be ideal if you’re growing kale at home). If you’re an organic farmer, you can use Captan or copper as fungicides, but if you don’t mind using something stronger, you can also use some of the fungicides sold commercially!
If using any fungicide bothers you, neem oil can be a great substitute. Those who have used it claim that it is a natural insecticide that is highly effective. The best part is that plants treated with neem oil may still be eaten. You need to apply neem oil to your kale for one day before eating it for the remedy to work. To be safe, you should also thoroughly wash the kale.
Remove Infected Leaves
Remove and burn any sick leaves as soon as you locate them. Additionally, the best course of action is to completely remove the kale if its bulk has been contaminated to stop the infection from spreading to other plants.
Baking soda use
Additionally, kale may be organically treated by being sprayed with a baking soda solution. To produce this mixture, mix one teaspoon baking soda with two tablespoons of vegetable oil, water, and dishwashing liquid.
Your kale has to be resistant to the treatment in order for this method to function. In other words, apply a little and let it rest on a few leaves for 24 hours. If you see any harm to the leaves, choose an alternative course of action.
How To Choose Quality Kale
Do you know how to pick high-quality kale apart from black spots? Kale should be uniformly dark, rich green. If the leaves are limp or withering, or if they have a yellowish or brownish tinge, the kale was likely improperly picked and handled, potentially losing nutrients.
Consider choosing smaller bunches of kale rather than bigger ones that can go bad soon since wilting or limp leaves can also be a sign that kale is beyond its prime (which will lead it to turn yellow). Also, be sure to avoid purchasing any veggies that have slime on them. As a result of their excessive water exposure, the leaves or stems may have developed fungus.
How You Can Prevent These Black Spots From Forming
It is possible to stop these black spots from appearing on your kale if you grow it yourself. The main thing you can do is ensure the soil is always completely weed-free and clean underneath the kale you are growing. This significantly impacts preventing bacterial or fungal infections in your kale.
It’s also crucial to make sure your vegetable garden receives adequate airflow. Making sure the plants receive enough sunlight and avoiding packing too many plants too closely together are two ways to achieve this. Growing kale in the shade is not recommended.
Avoid watering your kale from above, so the leaves don’t get wet. This might promote the spread of the infection. Instead, irrigate from below the surface, so only the soil is moist. These are the main steps to prevent black spots from becoming a problem for kale growers.
If you buy kale from a market or store, choose only leaves that appear healthy, and watch out for buying too much at once. If you don’t, black spots might start to appear while you’re putting the leaves in the fridge.
Conclusion On Black Spots On Kale
If you’re aiming to eat better, kale should become a regular diet. But avoid kale with extremely dark leaves for the finest taste. Kale with black spots may not taste as good as fresh, green kale without any blemishes. Eat the kale if you have it at home if you don’t want to waste food, but don’t expect it to taste as good. Avoid purchasing kale with black spots at the grocery store or farmer’s market for the finest flavor. You deserve it, so go ahead and treat yourself to a large bunch of dark green leaves!
Hiiii! My name is Ruth and I am an experienced chef with a passion for food and cooking. My love of baking began when I was nine, and I have since been refining my skills in the kitchen ever since.