Collard greens are a hearty, leafy green that is easy to grow and can grow in all four seasons.
The leaves have a mild flavor that complements other foods. In the winter cold, there is nothing like a warm bowl of soup with collard greens on top to fill you up.
They are rich in vitamin K and C, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium. They contain lutein (a powerful antioxidant) and beta-carotene (vitamin A).
This vegetable can help prevent cancer and heart disease as well as keep your bones strong.
Collard greens also help with detoxification because it helps the liver metabolize alcohol faster which makes this vegetable great for hangovers.
How to plant collard seeds
Plant collard seeds during the winter so that they can grow in the spring.
The seeds should be soaked overnight before planting them. The best time to plant them is approximately 5-6 weeks before the last frost.
Once planted, you will have to keep the soil moist and keep an eye on any weeds that may come up.
Steps to plant collard seeds:
- Prep the soil by adding in a good amount of compost and mulch or applying a thin layer of organic fertilizer.
- Water the area well and break up any clumps in the soil with a spade or tiller to help things settle better when you are planting your seedlings.
- Weed your garden bed one more time before planting, making sure to pull all plants out by their roots (some weeds can grow back).
- Plant your collard seeds, spacing them about three inches apart from each other, and then water again to make sure that they are deeply rooted into the ground.
- Cover with some straw or other mulch for germination
Growing collard greens in containers
It is possible to use containers as a method to grow these types of greens. The only thing that can be tricky is the potting mix, which needs to be rich in nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
If you do not add enough nitrogen or potassium the collard greens will grow but they won’t taste that great or look good. Growing collard greens in containers can be done with some planning and patience. Follow these steps to plant your collard greens in containers.
- Find the right pot or container for your needs. Ensure that it has good drainage holes for excess water to flow out and choose a pot that is at least 4 inches wide.
- Prepare the soil by adding compost or fertilizer so that it has sufficient nutrients. It would be preferable to use a fertilizer rich in nitrogen.
- Plant seeds at an even depth, spacing them apart so they do not cross over each other’s root zone
- Keep the soil moist but not wet by watering daily or as needed when weather is warm and dry, and every two days when weather is cool and damp. Ensure that the pot is placed in a sunny area.
Collard companion plants
Collard greens are often seen as a great companion plant for other vegetables. Other plants that they can be paired with include kale, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, and onions. Collards are known to help deter pests like whitefly and caterpillars that can harm crops.