Since people started understanding all the great health benefits kale provides, it has grown in popularity. In fact, it has grown to be so well-liked that many people are now cultivating it in their gardens. Kale occasionally has a problem, though, which you might experience. The numerous black spots that might develop on kale leaves are the issue.
What exactly are the dark spots on the kale? Simply said, black sites on kale are dead or decaying kale cells brought on by bacteria or fungi of the kale plant. When the plant is attacked by these illnesses, they produce poisons and proteins that devastate its defences. The result is the death of plant cells.
Today, we’ll talk more about this, including the source of these spots and whether or not the leaves are still edible.
Why You Should Eat Kale
Superfood status is given to kale. It is a leafy cruciferous vegetable that, together with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, is a member of the cabbage family. One of the leafy greens with the most concentration of nutrients is kale.
One of the healthiest plant foods available is kale. You should eat the thing; it has a ton of beneficial chemicals and essential elements that we won’t discuss in this essay. Each day! The fact that kale is minimal in calories is even better news.
Some people find it challenging to include kale in their diets. Here are some suggestions:
- Green smoothies benefit from their use nicely.
- It tastes nice in a wrap or salad if it is finely shredded.
- For a tremendous hot vegetable dish, steam it with potato and onion.
- Towards the cooking process, you can shred a few leaves and add them to your soup.
- Kale chips, which you can prepare at home in your air fryer or oven, are a particular favorite.
There are countless ways to utilize this great vegetable. But what if the kale you purchase or cultivate has black spots on it? Is it still functional?
What Causes Black Spots on Kale?
The leaf spot is the most frequent reason for black holes in kale. Leaf spots primarily come in two varieties. Both bacterial and fungal leaf spots are among them. In both instances, the appearance and the result are essentially the same.
Black or brown dots appear on the leaves of a plant once it contracts the leaf spot. The black dots occasionally have a yellow halo around them. Additionally, the marks are typical all the same size. The bubbles expand and run together when it’s rainy.
The leaf dries out and falls off as the number of black dots rises. The dots will seem speckled under dry conditions. This is because the black spots represent collections of cells that are perishing.
Both bacteria and fungal leaf spots prosper in warm and damp temperatures. The black spots on kale also slow down the plant’s growth. The plant becomes more vulnerable to additional infections or diseases as a result.
They are, therefore, more prone to happen in the summer. In the summer, watering your kale with overhead sprinklers will also give your plants enough moisture, leading to infection. The leaf spot bacteria can also spread to plants in your yard through wind and rain.
Additionally, the illness overwinters in the soil near the sick plants once an infection occurs. The disease is still present in the garden waste, diseased plants and trees’ seeds, leaves, stems, and fruits.
There are various types of leaf spots. However, bacterial and Alternaria leaf spots are the most prevalent leaf spots that kale plants experience.
Alternaria Leaf Spot
The Alternaria fungus disease may cause black spots on kale. The fungus Alternaria alternata is responsible for the leaf spots on kale. Once the fungus’ spores touch down on the plant and favorable conditions for growth exist, the disease starts to spread.
Infected leaves’ spots produce asexual spores produced by the Alternaria. The term “conidia” refers to these spores. The conidia may fall if the humidity suddenly drops or rises. The spores can then be dispersed to neighboring plants by air currents.
The conidia wait until dusk, when the dew point increases, before attaching to the kale leaves. Conidia can germinate at this time due to the humidity in the air. The fungus will enter the leaf, take hold, and begin to spread within 12 hours.
Yellow, black, or brown patches on your leaf are the first indication that Alternaria species are present. More spots start to show up on the kale leaf as it spreads. In severe circumstances, the leaf may suffer damage, wilt, and die.
If there is enough damage, it may spread to the stem and cause the plant to topple. Alternaria can also penetrate the plant’s roots and impact there.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
The second factor contributing to black spots on kale is bacterial leaf spots. These are brought on by members of the Xanthomonas genus of bacteria. These bacteria, unlike Alternaria, may overwinter on plant detritus but cannot endure long periods in just soil or water.
Ineffective pathogens are bacteria. To infect the leaf, they need holes like lesions. The majority of the lesions that the bacteria employ to harm a plant come from insects. Furthermore, because the germs are transferred by seeds, neighboring plants might easily contract them.
The bacteria thrive when there is water splashing or overhead irrigation. The disease can spread quickly if there is a lot of moisture because it prefers damp, chilly environments. Therefore, subjecting the plant to dry circumstances can prevent the bacteria from spreading.
The yellow-tinted, tiny, angular patches are caused by the Xanthomonas bacterium. These areas first have the appearance of being wet. Once the infection starts, the lesions will immediately turn black. The lesions dry out as they become older.
The lesions multiply and group together in extreme situations, leading to premature defoliation. The kale leaves will then wilt and turn brown. Because the bacteria like moist environments, bacterial leaf spots might spread if it rains frequently.
It can also be easier for bacterial leaf spot disease to spread when irrigation systems are used to irrigate plants. The bacteria, however, cannot thrive in soil and water without the plant. The damp surroundings simply facilitate bacterial germination.
Should You Eat Kale With Black Spots?
The bacterial or fungal illness that caused these patches is not spreadable to humans. Eating kale with black spots is okay because these illnesses do not have a negligible detrimental impact on humans.
This doesn’t mean that you can consume it, though. These black areas on the kale are dead cells and have a far more unpleasant flavor than the green portions. It is advised that you use kale that has no black spots at all because these could alter the taste of whatever cuisine you prepare with it.
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 garden.
How To Stop Black Spots Appearing On Kales
If you cultivate your own kale, you can prevent these black spots from forming on it. The ideal strategy is to always keep the soil beneath the kale you are growing weed-free and clean. This has a substantial impact on kale illness prevention due to bacteria or fungi.
Making sure your vegetable garden gets enough ventilation is also very important. Two strategies to do this are to make sure the plants get enough sunlight and refrain from clustering too many plants together. Kale should not be grown in the shade.
To prevent the leaves from becoming moist, resist spraying your kale upwards. Instead, irrigate underneath the surface so that the soil is the only thing that is wet. This might aid in the infection’s propagation.
These are the crucial methods to use if you grow your own kale to prevent black spots from becoming a problem.
Only choose leaves that seem healthy when purchasing kale from a store or supermarket, and be careful not to buy too much at once. If you don’t, the leaves could develop black patches while being stored in the refrigerator.
Xanthomonas bacteria and Alternaria alternative fungi are to blame for the black patches on kale. Your kale leaves could still become contaminated, even if it is easy to avoid bacteria and fungi. The good news is a cure exists for the black spots.
You can continue to eat your kale without fear of contracting an infection. However, be sure that your garden is not a haven for leaf spots if you want to reap the full nutritional benefits of your kale.
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.