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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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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Fresh herbs can turn a nice dinner into a gourmet meal. Every gardener should have a small area close to the kitchen door full of wonderful herbs, but don't get carried away and plant every herb available. Start with herbs that can be used almost every day. In the warm-season garden, plant basil and oregano to spice up salads, pastas and to make pesto. Mints like peppermint or spearmint add flavor to ice tea. Rosemary sprigs make wonderful basting brushes for chicken on the grill and thyme is great for seasoning meats, bean and vegetable dishes.  In the cool-season garden include chives for baked potatoes, cilantro for wonderful Mexican dishes and parsley for garnishes and flavor.