This ugly specimen is my “dwarf” green curled kale which is more normally grown as an annual. It has now reached its third birthday and has started to put on some leaf as we enter spring (allegedly). It had much more bulk to it, but I have been eating it over the last two years. My main tactic for forcing it to perennialise is to stop it from flowering. The theory is, if you eat all the flower sprouts as they appear the plant thinks it is being browsed by a deer and eventually gives up, producing leaves instead – which is exactly what happened. Interestingly it stopped producing flowers almost exactly on the longest day.
I have also taken cuttings which I hope will take.
It is now about 5 feet tall which is my main motive for doing this. A tall perennial brassica which continually produces leaves even when you cut it is what I am aiming for. By using up vertical space we can make up for our lack of horizontal space. By living for more than 2 years it removes the need for gardeners to keep sowing seed.
I’m hoping it will grow for many more years and I’m also hoping I can find a cutting that doesn’t like flowering which I will select.