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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

  • Potting healthy plants in dirty containers invites disease pathogens. Scrub used pots inside and outside with a soft brush using a solution of mild dish washing detergent and warm water. Place small plastic pots on the top shelf of the dishwasher for an even more thorough cleaning. Remove the crusty residues from fertilizer salts by wetting them with vinegar and scrubbing with a stiff brush.

    To clean stained and moldy terra-cotta pots simply soak them in a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water for a few minutes. Air-dry and rinse in clean water.
    To clean pots containing plants, cover the plant with a paper or plastic bag. Spray the bleach solution on outer pot surfaces rather than dipping it. Allow to dry and then rinse. Scrub stubborn spots gently with a vegetable brush while rinsing.