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Information for Gardeners

Collards

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Best grown in cool weather and will look similar to a cabbage without forming a head. It is widely used as a cooked green especially after it has been hit by frost, which will sweeten the flavor.

Planting:

Plant seeds ¼-½” deep. Soil temperature should be 21°C for optimal germination in 4-7 days. Transplant or thin small plants to 18” apart in rows 32-36” apart. Transplants can be started in late April for a late May planting. Transplant 4-6 weeks after seeding. Collards can also be grown for a late harvest, as it is frost hardy.

Growing:

Grows best in full sun, however it can take some shade. Prepare a rich, loose soil that holds moisture well and has a pH level of 6.0-6.5. Collards are heavy feeders and will benefit from a side dressing of fertilizer 1-2 times throughout the growing season.

Harvest:

All green parts of the plant are edible and may be harvested throughout the growing season. Pick the larger leaves when the plants are 10-12” tall. By harvesting this method it will allow the younger leaves to continually develop for later use. As with other cole crops, frost will improve the flavor later in the fall.

Storage:

Collards store well compared to most other greens. Wrap unwashed greens in moist paper towels and place in a sealed plastic bag. They will stay fresh for 4-5 days in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. When ready to use, wash thoroughly.

Pests and diseases:

Flea beetle or cabbage moth will affect these types of crops, use of row covers or BT is encouraged after transplanting.