Actually the growing of collard greens is a southern tradition. In many areas of the south the greens are included in the traditional New Year’s meal and it is a great source of vitamins C and Beta Carotene, as well as fiber. Growing collard greens in the garden can provides an abundant supply of the dark-green, leafy vegetable at other times of the year.
When to Plant Collard Greens in the Garden
These vegetables are a cool season vegetable and they are often planted in late summer to early autumn for winter harvest in the south. In more northern areas they can be planted a little earlier for fall or winter harvest. Collards greens are frost tolerant, so growing collard greens in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) growing zones six and below is an ideal late season crop. Frost actually improves the flavor of collard greens. Collard greens planting can also be done in early spring for a summer harvest, but adequate moisture is required for collards greens growing successfully in summer heat. Collard greens is a member of the cabbage family, growing them in the heat may bolt.
How to Plant Collard Greens One of the best collard greens growing environment is one with moist, fertile soil. The area chosen to plant collard greens should be in full sun. Plant the collard greens seeds in rows at least three feet apart, as growing collard greens get large and they need room to grow. You can thin the seedlings to eighteen inches apart for adequate room in the rows. You can include the thinned seedlings in salads or coleslaw for a tasty addition to these dishes. Harvest the collard greens growing in summer before bolting can occur. While sixty to seventy-five days is an average harvest time for growing collard greens to reach maturity, the leaves can be easily picked at any time they are of edible size from the bottom of the large, inedible stalks. Actually knowing when to plant collard greens can lead to the most productive crop. Pests that attack collard greens are similar to those that attack other members of the cabbage family. Aphid pest may congregate on new succulent growth and cabbage loopers may eat holes in the leaves. If aphids are spotted, keep an eye on the underside of the leaves of the collard greens. You need to learn how to control pests on collard greens to prevent damage to your crop. Whatever location you have, just get some collard greens growing in your vegetable garden this year. If they are planted at the right time, growing this vegetable will be an easy and worthwhile gardening experience.