Collards are easy to grow and disease free. Transplant outside as soon as the soil can be worked. They handle the cold and tolerate some heat. Plant after danger of frost. Space plants 24″ apart in rows 3′ apart. Collards grow best when the daytime temperature range is between 60-65 degrees F.
Although Collards take some time to mature, you can begin using the older outside leaves as needed. By using the outer leaves first, this allows the plant to keep on producing new, more tender, center leaves. Don’t cut the whole plant, though, if you want it to keep on producing. As plants produce generously, it is easy to get more than you need. Days to harvest 75-85 days.
Collards brassica oleracea var. medullosa
High yielding, slow to bolt. Vigorous
with dark green, smooth leaves. Mild,
sweet flavor. Rapid regrowth after harvest.
Harvest 55 days.
Large leaves, slow bolting.
Harvest 75 days.
Collards culture –
Collard greens are grown for their large, dark-colored, edible leaves. The name “collard” comes from the word “colewort” (cabbage plant). Collard greens are classified in the same group as cabbage, broccoli, kale and spring greens. In many parts of the world, collard greens are grown as a garden ornamental.
Widely considered to be a healthy food, collard greens are a good source of vitamin C and soluble fiber, and contain a number of nutrients that have potent anticancer properties. A staple of Southern U.S. cuisine, they are often prepared with other similar green leafy vegetables, such as kale, turnip greens, spinach, and mustard greens and are eaten year round. Typical seasonings when cooking collards can consist of smoked and salted meats (ham hocks, smoked turkey drumsticks, pork neck bones, fatback or other fatty meat), diced onions, vinegar, salt, and black, white, or crushed red pepper. Some cooks even add a small amount of sugar. Collard greens may also be thinly sliced and fermented to make collard kraut, which is often cooked with flat dumplings.
Collards are commercially cultivated for their thick, slightly bitter, edible leaves. While available year-round, they are tastier and more nutritious after the first frost. Kept refrigerated, fresh collard leaves can be stored for about three days. Once cooked, they can be frozen and stored for greater lengths of time.