Collard greens are versatile plants. While most members of the brassica family are best-suited to the cooler climates of the northern United States, collard greens can be successfully grown in the Southâ€”hence, their traditional culinary popularity in that region. However, collard greens are also extremely cold-hardy (the flavor is actually improved by frost exposure) and heat-tolerant, making them the ideal choice for would-be brassica growers in a range of locales.
Collard greens are a loose-leafed, non-heading cabbage. Grow your collards in nitrogen-rich soil by direct-seeding or transplanting. Allow 12 inches between transplants in rows 18 to 24 inches apart, or be prepared to thin your seedlings as they grow (direct-seed 12 to 18 inches apart in rows 18 to 24 inches apart, thinning to 12 to 18 inches as the plants grow); harvest large leaves when plant is 10 to 12 inches high, allowing younger leaves to continue developing.Â
About the Author: Samantha Johnson is the author of several books, including a forthcoming book on gardening for children. She raises purebred Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin.