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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

  • How can you tell when it is time to harvest the backyard apple, peach, pear and cherry trees? Time the picking to coincide with the fruit being fully ripe to yield its peak of flavor and nutrition. Here’s what to look for:
    - The fruit will look ripe. Its skin will be flush with color rather than the green shade it had while developing all summer.
    - The fruit will feel ripe. It will yield to a gentle squeeze indicating the flesh has softened somewhat.
    - It will also smell ripe becoming pleasantly fragrant, especially when the sun has warmed it.
    - The best indication that fruit is ready for picking is that it picks easily. Truly ripe fruit virtually falls into your hand when grasped. But harvest before it drops onto the ground and attracts bees.