If you don’t live in the South, you might not see collards very often, though they’re gaining popularity as a leafy, cool-weather vegetable for cooked greens. Upright, dark green, waxy plant is a little like a cabbage that doesn’t make a head. It is one of the most cold-hardy of all vegetables, able to withstand temperatures in the upper teens. In zone 8 and southward, collards often provide a harvest through the entire winter. You can plant them in spring and fall, although collards planted in fall gardens are favored because the leaves are sweeter when kissed by frost.
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Bonnie Plants Georgia collards are prized for sweet, cabbage flavor. Leaves are ruffled and blue-green. Leaves taste best when young. Rich in vitamins and minerals. Grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade and even appreciates it in spring in hot climates. Withstands cold weather; frost makes leaves sweet. Great for fall.
- Light Full sun to part shade
- Matures 45+ days
- Plant spacing 18 to 24 inches apart
- Plant size 24 to 36 inches tall
Quick Guide to Growing Collards
- Plant collard greens in spring 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost. These plants will grow well in raised beds, containers, and in-ground gardens.
- Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart in an area with full sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8.
- Improve your native soil by mixing in several inches of compost or other rich organic matter.
- Collards do best with an even supply of water. Be sure to give them 1 to 1.5 inches of water weekly.
- Collards are fast growers and producers, so it’s essential to feed them regularly with a water-soluble plant food.
- Add a 3-inch layer of mulch made from organic material to keep soil moist and prevent weeds.
- Harvest the young leaves of collard greens when they are dark green and 10 inches long.