If you are wondering do collard greens come back every year, we will help you find the answer. This article will try to describe this forgotten but delicious plant. Here, you can learn some new things about this vitamin bomb, how to grow it and how to use it in cooking.
All About Collard Greens
Collard is a plant that comes from the Mediterranean. It belongs to the cabbage family, including cabbage, kale, cauliflower, etc. It is not used in our diet as often as other cabbages, but its composition of vitamins and minerals is of far higher quality. The diet uses leaves that contain vitamin C, potassium, beta carotene, and antioxidants involved in the prevention of many diseases.
Collard greens are a biennial plant, although some can be grown for many years. A leaf rosette is formed in the first year, 23 – 47 in or 60 – 120 cm high. In the second year, the formation of flowers with seeds occurs. The leaves are long, wrinkled, and usually green. In our diet, we use the leaf blades that we separate from the stem of the plant. It requires warm growing conditions for growth and development and is a resistant plant to high and low temperatures. It can be grown almost all year round.
Collard Greens Care Guide
This plant is exceptionally temperate in terms of external factors of cultivation. Today there are many varieties of this plant on the market. Common to all sorts are the essential characteristics of cultivation and external factors. Below we will go through all the most essential elements that collard greens need to grow.
Collard greens are not a demanding plant so that it can tolerate different types of soil, but it thrives best on deep, structural soils, with an acidity of 6 to 7.2. It does not like heavy and poorly drained soils. It will also give better yields on better ground.
A sunny spot is chosen for planting collard greens. The optimum temperature for vegetative growth is between 59°F and 68°F or 15°C and 20°C. It tolerates higher temperatures and drought well.
During more prolonged periods of drought, it will stop growing for a short time, but after the first rains, it rises again and develops new, better, and tastier leaves.
It also tolerates low temperatures, snow, and frost. The best conditions are achieved during moderate temperatures, such as in the spring. Moderately warm temperatures during the day, around 68°F or 20°C, and nights without temperatures below 50°F or 10°C. During sunny or hot days, we can shadow them.
Collard greens do not have overly high irrigation requirements. Its growth and development require moderate moisture during the growing season. This is a plant resistant to shorter periods of drought so that it will survive for a few days without water. To achieve its high yield and tasty leaves, it is necessary to maintain constant humidity.
During warmer days, daily watering in the morning or evening is recommended. If the temperature jumps above average, you can water twice a day. Due to the high temperature, the leaves can become bitter.
There are two ways to plant collard greens:
- From seed
- From previously prepared seedlings
Growing collard greens from seed
Sowing seeds is recommended in early spring, usually in early March or late summer in August. The seed sowing depth is about 0.3 in or 1 cm deep in the soil. Collard greens develop a lush leaf rosette and require a space about 19 in or 50 cm away from other plants for their growth.
Growing collard greens from prepared seedlings
The most common form of planting Collard greens is growing from seedlings. A couple of weeks before the planned planting, the seeds are sown on a warm surface such as nurseries to produce plant seedlings. When the plants grow to the required height, they are transplanted.
The distance between the seedlings should be 20 x 20 in or 0.5 × 0.5 m. Seedlings are grown on raised beds but should not be grown in direct sunlight due to burns. Raised beds are suitable because the soil in them heats up faster. You can add fertilizers to the cultivation beds.
This plant also has no unique or special measures during its cultivation. In addition to constant watering, you must take care to keep the plants free of weeds. Weeds can be removed by timely hoeing of plants or by placing mulch foil.
If the plants are densely packed, they need to be diluted to increase the airiness between the plants. If the plants are not airy enough, the moisture will stay on the leaves longer and plant diseases such as powdery mildew, rot, and the like will form.
When planting plants, the best results are achieved by enriching the soil with an organic fertilizer. By the soil’s needs (it is best to do a soil analysis), you can add manure or pelleted manure, which you can also buy. During the intensive growth phase, it would be good to supplement with some nitrogen fertilizer for the plants to progress faster.
Collard green leaves are ready for harvest 75 to 85 days after planting or 85 to 95 days after sowing. The tastiest leaves are those after the first frosts – cold temperatures cause the conversion of carbohydrates in the leaves into sugar.
The harvest of this plant is done from the lower to the higher parts. We can use a sharp knife for harvesting or break it by hand. We carefully separate the leaves from the stem to not injure the whole plant. It is recommended that a minimum of four leaves remain on the plant, which will help the plant form new ones through photosynthesis.
After harvesting, the leaves are thoroughly washed and left for storage. They can stay in the refrigerator for up to ten days, and we can use them all year round by freezing them.
Q: Do collard greens overwinter?
A: Collard greens can survive the winter. It is usually a biennial plant (depending on the variety). It forms a leaf rosette in the first year and an inflorescence with fruits in the second. During mild winters, the plant will overwinter without problems. It would be desirable to protect them with thermal foils during severe winters.
Q: How long will collards produce?
A: The time required from sowing to harvest depends on several factors such as the number of days with moderate heat, cultivation method, soil type, choice of soil position, etc. Usually, collard green leaves are ready for harvest 75 to 85 days after planting or 85 to 95 days after sowing.
Q: What month do you plant collards?
A: Sowing or planting collard greens can be done during early spring, early March or late summer, or August. When searching for the perfect time, think of your local temperatures and read the seed label as well.
Our question: Do collard greens come back every year? Has an answer: It depends on the choice of variety, but in most cases, collard greens is a biennial or two-year plant that in the first year directs its strength to the production of leaves, while in the second year to the production of seeds for propagation. During cultivation, the leaves are renewed, so we constantly have leaves to feed.
After two years, the plant dies and does not regenerate again. So we can replant our collard greens every two years. A specific part of the plants will grow every year by dropping seeds on the ground, but the precise answer is that collard greens do not come back every year.
We hope that you have found all the necessary information you need to grow your favorite cabbages and that we have answered your question.