Collards Growing Guide

All you need to know to grow successfully!

Plant Family:
Brassicaceae
Plant Type:
Perennial
Growing Difficulty:
Easy
Typical Zones Grown In:
4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Planting Depth:

3-4 seeds 5mm (¼”) deep
Maturity Time:
50-70 days
Companion Plants:
Chamomile,Dill,Mint,Rosemary,Sage,Tomato

Planting Guidelines

The following are general guides to follow. However, nothing is set in stone. Feel free to experiment!

How to Start:
Direct Sow or Start Indoors if you want an extra challenge
When to Direct Sow:
March,April,May,June,July
Sprouting Time:
7-10 days.
Spacing (cm):
45-60cm (18-24″)
Row Spacing (cm):
75-90cm (30-36″)

Square Foot Spacing:

1 Plants
Sun Exposure:
Part Shade, Full Sun
Typical Season:
Cool season
When To Harvest:
January, March, February, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
How to Harvest:
Kale and collards can both be grown as a cut and come again crop for salad mixes by direct-seeding and cutting when plants are 5-8cm (2-3″) tall. They will re-grow. Or pick leaves from the bottom up on mature plants as you need them. In spring, the surviving plants start to flower, so eat the delicious flowering steps and buds.

Tips to Growing Organically

Growing without the use of pesticides and herbicides is easier than you may think and it’s better for the environment!

Companion Plants:
Chamomile,Dill,Mint,Rosemary,Sage,Tomato
Common Pests:
Protect from cabbage moths and other insect pests with floating row cover.
Common Disease:
Prevent disease with a strict 4-year crop rotation, avoiding planting Brassicas in the same spot more than once every four years.
Bonus Grow Tips:
Tree Collards are a staple in a permaculture landscape. Tree Collards are a highly productive perennial Brassica, producing delicious blue-green, or purple leaves which taste similar to kale. Like most brassicas, Tree Collards are especially sweet during the cooler months of the year

Collard greens are a leafy green vegetable that belong to the Brassica family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. They have large, dark green leaves that are typically cooked before eating. Collards are a staple food in Southern cuisine and are often boiled with ham hocks or other seasonings to create a flavorful side dish. They are high in nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and calcium, and are also a good source of fiber. Collards are a cool-season crop that can be grown in the spring and fall, and prefer well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter.

Brief Growing Guide

  1. Soil Preparation: Collards prefer well-drained, fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. Amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility.
  2. Planting: Collards can be planted in early spring or late summer, but perform best in cool weather. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and 2-3 inches apart in rows about 18-24 inches apart. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate, which usually takes 7-10 days.
  3. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist throughout the growing season, but avoid overwatering which can cause the plants to rot.
  4. Fertilization: Collards benefit from regular fertilization with a balanced organic fertilizer or compost tea every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season.
  5. Pest and Disease Control: Collards are generally pest and disease-resistant, but can sometimes be affected by aphids, cabbage worms, or downy mildew. Use organic insecticides or companion planting with beneficial insects to control pests, and avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases.
  6. Harvesting: Harvest collards when the leaves are large enough to use, but before they become tough and bitter. Cut the outer leaves at the base with a sharp knife or scissors, leaving the center leaves to continue growing. Collards can be harvested multiple times, but allow some of the leaves to grow back before cutting again.

By following these steps, you can successfully grow delicious and nutritious collards organically.

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