The fresh, nutrient-rich flavor of collard greens is like no other in the garden. A versatile vegetable, collards can be eaten fresh, steamed, sautéed or blanched and frozen for later reheating. After purchasing or growing your own tender collard seedlings, transplant collard green plants correctly to ensure a good harvest. A hardy plant, collards can survive under a light frost, so starting a little earlier in the season is possible or you can plant out again in late summer for fall harvests.
Work the soil in the bed area where you want the collards to go to loosen it once outdoor temperatures reach a low of 45 degrees Fahrenheit with the soil is holding above 50 degrees.
Add a few inches of compost or well-rotted manure to the bed and mix it in with the soil to fertilize it. You should try to work the soil in as deep as 8 inches so growing roots will come into contact with it.
Select two or three collard plants for each household member of the variety you prefer. Dig a hole for each plant, spacing the plants 15 to 18 inches apart with each row spaced three feet apart. Set one transplant in each hole and pat the soil enough to support the weight of the seedling.
Water the soil around the plant well and keep the soil well moist for the first month after planting. Start watering only once or twice a week after the first month depending on the rainfall in your area.
Apply more compost or old manure to the surface and gently work it in, careful not to disturb the roots, after the first month once you notice new growth appear. Do not fertilize again later in the season.
Things You Will Need
- Compost or well-rotted manure
- Hand trowel
- Collard plants
- Many gardeners find the flavor of the collards is enhanced after a light frost, but take precautions to protect your plants if a heavy frost threatens.
- Don't allow the soil to dry out during the first month after planting the collard greens, because the roots aren't yet well established. You can't expect un-established plants to find water lower down in the soil, so dry soil can kill the transplant.
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