When to Plant Collard Green Seeds
Collard greens are a cool season vegetable, and are often planted in late summer to early autumn for winter harvest in the south. Very cold hardy (harvest can continue right through snow), you will find that frost improves the flavor of collard greens! In more northern areas, collards may be planted mid-to-late summer for an abundant supply of this dark-green leafy vegetable for fall or winter harvest. You can also plant early in the Spring when weather is cool and frost has passed, but make sure to maintain adequate moisture for summer crops.
Where to Plant Collard Green Seeds
Choose an area that has well-draining soil and is in a spot that gets full sun.
How to Plant Collard Green Seeds
Direct sowing Collard seeds is the recommended practice, but it is possible to get a head start on the crops and start indoors. If you want to start indoors, do so 3-4 weeks before last frost, 1/4 inches deep. Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F. As soon as seedling emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill, or grow them 3-4 inches under fluorescent lights for 16 hours a day, off for 8 hours. Raise lights as they grow taller. Please note, the plants will need to be accustomed to outside life before transplanting them. You can get them ready for the garden by moving them to a location sheltered from wind and hot sun, bringing them back inside if frost is a threat. For direct sowing, plant 1/4 deep into your garden in rows 30 inches apart. Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days depending on weather and soil conditions.
How to Harvest Collard Greens
Harvest whole plants at about 6-8 inches. If sown in the fall, wait until after a light frost to improve flavor. Alternatively, you can pick bottom leaves as needed, and inner buds will continue to produce. Wrap harvested leaves in a damp paper towel and put in a perforated plastic bag to store in refrigerator.