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All About Collards

CAN I GROW COLLARDS?


Collards prefer rich, well-drained soil in full sun. In spring sow seed directly in the garden 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep after danger of heavy frost.
Space the rows 30 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 6 to 8 inches apart.
You can also star the seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting.
The plants need 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water every week.
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PLANT HISTORY


A close relative of cabbage and kale, collards form rosettes of leaves rather than heads. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, and have a delicious, mild, cabbage like flavor. Collards are easier to grow than cabbage, as they tolerate a wider range of temperatures and growing conditions. They can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees F, but also grow well in hot summer weather.
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HARVEST TIPS


Harvest whole collard plants when they are 6 to 8 inches tall. Or, pick the bottom leaves as you need them, and the inner buds will keep producing more foliage. Wait until after a light frost to harvest in fall, as frost sweetens the flavor.
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RECIPES & STORAGE


Enjoy collard greens steamed, sautéed, or boiled. They can be used to flavor soups or stews, or cooked and served with ham and pork.
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See all our collards

Read the next Article: All About Artichokes

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • There’s nothing like going into the garden in the middle of December to pull large, luscious parsnips for your holiday dinner. Wash and gently scrub the roots, then briefly steam them to make paring easier. With larger roots, remove the woody core and use only the tender outer flesh.

    To retain the parsnip's delightful, sweet flavor, don’t boil them as the sugar in the roots dissolves in water. Many people ruin the taste of parsnips by cooking them until they’re mushy and bland. The best way to prepare parsnips is to brown the slices in butter or sauté them in a little oil, keeping the heat low to lock in the flavors and avoid scorching the sugar in the flesh. Or simply bake them. If you want a simple side dish for Christmas dinner, steam parsnip slices with fresh peas until tender and serve drenched in melted butter. It’s so delicious, it’s almost decadent!