Collard Greens

Botanical name: Brassica oleracea acephala

Plant type: Vegetable

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Soil pH: Neutral to Slightly Alkaline


  • You can plant collards anytime from early spring to early summer. If you plant collards late in the summer you can harvest it from fall until the ground freezes in winter.
  • Mix 1-1/2 cups of 5-10-10 fertilizer per 25 feet of row into the top 3 to 4 inches of soil.
  • Plant the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep into well-drained, light soil.
  • After about 2 weeks, thin the seedlings so that they are spaced 8 to 12 inches apart.


  • Water the plants regularly but be sure not to over-water them.

  • Mulch the soil heavily after the first hard freeze; the plants may continue to produce leaves throughout the winter.


  • Cabbageworms
  • Flea beetles
  • Aphids


  • Collards is ready to harvest when the leaves are about the size of your hand.

  •  Pick about one fistful of leaves per harvest. Avoid picking the terminal bud (found at the top center of the plant) because this will help to keep the plant productive.

  • The small, tender leaves can be eaten uncooked and used in salads.

  • Cut and cook the larger leaves like spinach, but be sure to remove the ribs before cooking.

  •  You can store collards as you would any other leafy green; put the collards in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. It should last about 1 week.