Collards (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)
Germination Soil Temp:
Days to Germinate
Date to sow Indoors:
Date to sow Outdoors:
75 - 85 Degrees
4 - 6 weeks before frost
10 - 12 weeks before frost for fall crop
6.0 - 6.5
60 - 65 Degrees
12 - 18 inches
High N, P and K
Avoid the cabbage family
Collards are cool-season, winter hardy plants. The leaves are blue/green. They are cabbage-like plants that do not head.
Soil should be well-drained and high in organic matter. Composted manure or a cover crop should be turned over and incorporated into soil before planting.
Broadcast a complete fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 13-13-13, at a rate of 1 1/2 pounds per 100 square foot before planting apply composted manures or compost teas. If plants begin to lose their green color, sidedress with nitrogen.
Cultivate soil and direct sow from July to September, or plant transplants in August. If seeding, space rows 30 inches apart and thin seeds to 12 to 16 inches.
Plants need adequate water, especially during the hot weather. Water weekly if there is no rain. Keep rows weed free.
Carrots, coriander, fennel, dill and sage.
Blue Max, Champion Long, Georgia, HiCrop, Top Bunch and Vates.
Collard leaves can be harvested when small and would need thinning when 4 inches tall. Some plants may re-sprout after others have harvested. Harvest lower leaves first. Collards taste sweeter after a light frost. There are 65 to 75 days until harvest. It is important to not over cook the collards; they will emit a sulfur smell. Let cooked greens sit for 5 minutes to benefit from the health promoting qualities.
Collards are extremely nutritious. They contain high amounts of folic acid, manganese, calcium, fiber and
vitamins K, A and C.
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Source: UT Extension, PB1578 - Tennessee Master Gardener Handbook