Scientific Name

Brassica oleracea


Collards thrive in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH range between 6.0-7.5. Start seeds in seedlings trays 3-4 weeks before the last frost in spring to harvest throughout summer and in August to harvest in fall. Transplant in nutrient-rich soil.


Collards do best when planted in cool, early spring and can be grown in succession with a late summer planting. If  you have a greenhouse and you are in a hardiness zone of 6 and above, you can grow collards through winter by covering the plants with frost cover in unheated conditions. 

Collards love cool weather and can survive light frost when grown with no protection; however, they cannot usually withstand temperatures below 20F. Check The Utopian Ultracross Collard Greens out if you are looking for a cold-hardy selection of collard seeds.


Pick individual leaves based on your preference of size. Collards typically have better flavor after they withstand light frost which transforms the complex carbohydrates in the cell walls of the leaves into sugar molecules.

Culinary Use

Oftentimes cooked with smoked, cured or salted meats such as bacon or ham hocks, collard greens is a traditional vegetable in the American South, specifically celebrated by Black people. Similarly, this plant is traditionally grown and part of the diet of the people of Turkey. 

Seed Saving

Collards are outbreeding plants, their flowers get pollinated by insects, they can easily cross-pollinate with other collard varieties and other members of cole crops (i.e. cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, heading and sprouting broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi), and it is recommended to keep 0.5-2.0 mi of isolation distance between different varieties of these crops.


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