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.
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.
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.
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.
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.