ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Raise Healthy Collard Greens in Your Own Back Yard

Updated on January 19, 2023
cygnetbrown profile image

Cygnet Brown is a high school and middle school substitute teacher. She is the author of fourteen books and a long-time gardener.

Collard greens are highly nutritious and tolerant to heat and cold.
Collard greens are highly nutritious and tolerant to heat and cold.

Collard Greens Tolerate Cold Weather, But Not Hot

Although Collards are usually considered a southern vegetable, collards are not only heat tolerant but cold tolerant as well. Collards are more heat tolerant than cabbage or kale. They are also more nutritious than cabbage. Many southerners grow it at the end of the growing season and use them to extend their garden seasons. These leafy Cole vegetables grow well in raised beds.

At a Glance: Growing Collards

Plant in Early spring and in autumn for harvest well into the autumn months.

Planting Depth:1/2 inch deep

Plant distance apart: One inch apart

Germination Time:7-14 days

A Typical Southern Green!

Time until Harvest: 70=85 days

Planting Collards

Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in the spring up to four weeks prior to the last expected frost. Sprinkle kelp powder along the planted rows and water them well. Place seeds one inch apart in rows one foot apart. If planting for a fall crop, plant seeds eight to ten weeks prior to the first autumn frost. As plants begin to grow, thin plants to 12 inches apart and use thinnings for greens.

Raised Bed Buddies for Collards

Collards benefit from being planted in beds with tomatoes because the interplanting of collards with tomatoes decreases the presence of flea beetles which are a primary pest of collards.

Garden Pests

If you plant your collards at the base of your vertically grown tomato plants, flea beetles will be greatly reduced. However, other pests may cause significant problems.

Control cabbage maggots, cabbage loopers, and cabbage worms by sprinkling collard leaves with wood ashes at the first sign of chewed leaves, can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth or hot red pepper dust onto collards.

Harlequin bugs can be controlled by spraying with soapy water. Slugs can be controlled by dampening soil near collards and placing boards on the dampened area. Turn over boards in the morning and remove slugs. Chickens love eating slugs as well as many other insects.

If you see plants that appear to be cut at the base, cutworms are the likely culprit. Cutworms can be controlled by placing ground egg shells or diatomaceous earth around plants.

Diseases that collards can get include black leg, a fungus that forms dark spots on leaves and stems. Another is Black rot which causes black and bad-smelling veins. Club root prevents nutrient and water absorption. Fusarium wilt produces yellow leaves and stunted growth. Remove and burn any affected diseases.

For disease prevention, plant in healthy soil full of organic material, plant in different locations from year to year as well as clean up the garden at the end of the season and remove leaves and stems and place them in a hot compost pile.

Harvesting Collards

Start picking eatable outer leaves when your plants are a foot tall. Remove any dried-out brown or damaged leaves to the compost pile. Continue picking for as long as you are able to pick. Frosts improve flavor, so continue to harvest well into the autumn months.

Collard Greens Nutritional Value

Collard greens offer rich sources of two fat-soluble vitamins, A and K. since vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, avoid high levels of vitamin K if you are using a blood thinner such as warfarin. Collards offer a lower amount of vitamin K than kale so you may want to consume collards instead of kale. Collards are also chock full of water-soluble vitamins. It contains vitamins B-1, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid as well as B-5 and B-6. collards contain 12.7 milligrams of vitamin C per cup or 17 percent of recommended daily intake for women and 14 percent for men. Collards also supply a significant amount of your daily requirement for potassium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, selenium, and zinc as well as 52 milligrams of calcium and O.07 milligrams of iron.

Cooking Collard Greens

Serving Collard Greens

Traditionally, collard greens are served in the south and cooked in bacon grease. Studies have shown that since collards contain large amounts of fat-soluble vitamins A and K. Therefore your grandmother was right, you should consume these vegetables with fat. Adding a small amount of oil (olive oil or coconut oil is a healthier option than bacon grease) to your greens allows you to better absorb these vitamins enabling you to reap the full nutritional benefits of collard greens. Chop your collard greens into slices, then lightly coat with olive oil and steam until tender. If plain steamed collards seem boring, add roasted garlic and lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), or mix the cooked greens with cottage cheese to flavor baked sweet potatoes instead of than marshmallows or butter.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Cygnet Brown


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)