Collard greens are a great salad green to grow in the garden. These tips on how to grow collard greens will help you with every step of the way.
Collard greens aren’t just full of vitamins, they are also easy to grow. They do well in cooler temperatures, making them the perfect addition to your fall garden! If you are curious about collard greens and think they might be a leafy green you wish to try, consider these tips for growing collard greens. They might just be the perfect fall vegetable to add to your gardening space.
How to Grow Collard Greens
How to Start Collard Greens from Seeds
If you live in an area with a short growing season, you may wish to start your collard green seeds indoors. The seeds will prefer nutrient-rich, loose soil, so peat pots or trays may be ideal when starting seeds.
Prepare to plan your collard green seeds about 6 weeks before the last frost of the season. Plant seeds about ½ an inch deep and cover loosely with soil. Because you will thin seedlings out, you don’t need to worry about overcrowding. Keep soil moist and in an area that gets at least 8 hours of sun per day. If you don’t have a space with this type of sunlight, artificial light will suffice.
How to Transplant Collard Green Seedlings
Once all threat of frost has passed and outdoor temperatures reach 75 degrees, you can plant your collard green seedlings. Plant seedlings so they are at least 12 inches apart. Collard greens need lots of room to spread out! Plant in rows, spacing each row at minimum 2 feet apart.
Because collard greens do well in cooler temperatures and actually taste less bitter when grown in cooler temps, you can plant your seedlings late summer and even early fall as well. If you get extremely hot summers, you may wish to wait for this time period in order to grow plants with the best flavor.
Like your seeds, you want to be sure you are using nutrient-rich soil that drains well. Collard greens like most leafy greens tend to have shallow roots that don’t want to be swamped in mud. An area with full sun is good idea, but collard greens will still do well in area with partial sum.
How to Grow Collard Green Seedlings
Once your collard green seedlings are off and running, there are some tips you will want to keep in mind in order to keep them healthy and flourishing. As mentioned above, if you live in an area with scorching summers, then wait to plant until late summer and early fall. This way your plants will taste better and produce a higher yield for you.
Aphids love to dine on collard greens. You might also have issues with animals such as deer, chipmunks, and rabbits. There are many natural deterrents you can use (purchased at most gardening centers) or you can try planting pest repelling herbs around the collard greens to help keep them at bay.
Collard greens will do well if they are given at minimum 2 inches of water per week. Keep soil moist and cool by using mulch around the plant, and be sure to remove weeds as soon as they are spotted. The shallow roots of collard greens make them susceptible to weeds, so keeping them at bay is important.
How to Grow Collard Greens in a Container
Many people like growing salad gardens in containers and like most greens, collard greens do well when planted in pots. Size is important when planting in containers, so always pick a pot that is at least 3 times the depth of the roots. You should also only place one plant per 12-18 inch pot, as the collard greens tend to grow outward.
You should make the sure the pot drains well (add additional drainage holes if needed) as well as a nutrient-rich soil. You can still use mulch to keep the soil cool and moist, and take the same pest precautions as mentioned above.
How to Harvest Collard Greens:
Your collard greens will be ready to harvest about 75 days after you plant the seedlings. Leaves will be green and tender, never tough. To harvest the leaves, cut from the base of the plant, always working your way from the outside of your plant inward.
Like most leafy greens, collard greens don’t store well. You should plan on using them right after harvesting. Collard greens can be steamed in bacon or broth until tender, which is how most people like to enjoy them!
Give collard greens a chance and see all they have to offer. Consider these tips for growing collard greens and see what kind of success you can achieve!