Collard greens are in the Brassicaceae Family, very similar to normal cabbage but do not form a head. They are grown solely for their leaves that grow outwards from the main stalk on inedible stems. Like most other greens, collards are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Collard greens can be either direct sown to the garden or planted as seedling transplants. Direct sown seeds can be planted thickly, about 1 every inch (25mm) This will give you plenty of super young greens to harvest and use raw in salad before many other salad greens are available.
As long as collards are grown in a well fertilized soil with adequate moisture and weeds are kept to a minimum growing collards will be one of the easiest things you will grow in the garden.
The amount of work involved in caring for collard greens will depending mostly on how much self control you have. At what point do you break down and run to the garden to rob the growing collards of their tender young leaves.
A well harvested collard greens bed will take very little maintenance, the more you take the more they grow.
To help reduce disease, do not plant collards or other member of the Brassicaceae family in the same place in the garden more than once every two or three years, a four year rotation is better but often more difficult in the home garden.
|Veggie Garden Dairy|
|Also Known As||Borekale|
|Botanical||Family - Brassicaceae, Species - Brassica oleracea, Cultivar group - Acephala Group|
|Plant Type||Cool season - biennial - leafy vegetable|
|Planting Position||Sunny position but welcomes shade in the hottest part of the season - requiring a minimum of 3-4 hours of direct sunlight daily.|
|Seed Viability||5 years|
|Germination||5-8 days at 40-80 F (4-27 C)|
|Growing Temp||50-70 F (10-21 C)|
|Seed to Transplant||5-6 weeks|
|Planting Method||Direct sow or Seedling transplants|
|When to Plant||Spring and again in mid-summer for fall-winter harvest|
|Time to Plant||As soon as 2 - 4 weeks before the average date of the last 32 F (0 C) freeze in the spring in your area but not before soil temperatures are consistently 40° F (4° C) and above.|
|Seed Sowing||Direct sowing collard seeds - 1/2 inch (12 mm) deep - 2 inches (5 cm) apart in rows 24-30 inches (60-75 cm) apart|
|Plant Spacing||Transplant or thin seedlings 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) apart - gradually thin to 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) apart in rows 24-30 inches (60-75 cm) apart|
|Soil Conditions||Well drained - High organic matter - Low to medium fertility|
|Fertilizer||Low fertilizer needs, 2-3 quarts per 100 sq feet (2.2-3.3 liters per 9.3 square meters) preplanting of All-Purpose 5-5-5 Organic Fertilizer , same rate for each side dressing.|
|When to Fertilize||2 weeks before sowing or transplanting - when transplanting use liquid starter fertilizer - side-dress every 3-4 weeks.|
|Days to Harvest||55-60 days - depending on conditions and variety.|