|85 Days to Maturity. Morris Heading" is an Open Pollinated and Heirloom variety that has been used in the southern cuisine for decades. Slow to bolt, tolerant to heat and cold, "Morris Heading" Collards produce heavy heads on short stems. Its taste is similar to that of a cabbage and contains numerous important nutrients. Avoid areas where any of the cabbage family members were grown the previous year This is a very popular category for vegetables that was fairly non-existent 20 years ago. As consumer food preferences have evolved, so have the interest in leafy green varieties for salad mixes. If you don’t live in the South, you might not see Collards or greens very often; they are a leafy, cool-weather vegetable very popular for cooked greens. However, collards grow well throughout the country. A relative of Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Kohlrabi, and Kale, this upright, dark green, waxy plant is a little like a Cabbage that doesn’t make a head. It is one of the most cold-hardy of all vegetables, able to withstand temperatures in the upper teens. In Zone 8 and southward, collards often provide a harvest through the entire winter. You can plant them in spring and fall, although fall-planted collards are favored because the leaves are sweeter when kissed by frost. 500 seeds per package.|
Vegetable Garden – Tips on Growing Southern Collard Greens From Seed
80-90 Days To Harvest from Sowing:
Like all vegetables, collards like full sun, but they will tolerate partial shade as long as they get the equivalent of 4 to 5 hours of sun to bring out their full flavor.
Apply fertilizer and lime according to test recommendations. If you forgo the soil test, work nitrogen-rich amendments such as blood meal, cottonseed meal, or composted manure into the ground before planting. Or, apply a timed-release vegetable food such as 14-14-14 according to label directions.
Collard Greens are easy to transplant. Set plants deeply so that about half the stem is buried. A good general spacing is 36 inches apart. After planting, water the transplants well and apply a liquid starter fertilizer such as fish emulsion or 20-20-20 for a boost.
Collard Greens like a nice, even supply of water. Water regularly, applying 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week if it doesn’t rain. You can measure the amount of water with a rain gauge left in the garden. Mulch with compost, finely ground leaves, weed-free hay, or finely ground bark to keep the soil cool and moist and to keep down weeds. Mulching will also help keep the leaves clean.
Harvest leaves when they are up to 10 inches long, dark green, and still young. Old leaves may be tough or stringy. Pick the lower leaves first, working your way up the plant. You can even harvest leaves when frozen in the garden, but be careful because the frozen plant is brittle.
Of course, wash the leaves thoroughly because soil often clings to the undersides. Insects that like collards include cabbage loppers, slugs, imported cabbageworms, cabbage root maggots, aphids, and flea beetles. Disease problems include black leg, black rot, club root, and yellows. To prevent diseases from building up in the soil, do not plant collards or other Cole crops in the same spot each year. Rotate with a non-Cole crop for 2 years before returning to the same spot.
USDA Hardiness Zone -First Frost Date- Last Frost Date
To be sure about pH, test the soil with a pH meter. Apply fertilizer and lime using the results of the soil test as a guide.
To Measure Soil pH
It is recommended that you use a relatively inexpensive, and follow the manufacturers instructions when testing the pH Level of your Gardens soil. To raise or lower the pH level in the soil either Limestone or Sulfur is utilized. Other materials will accomplish the same results; however the two that are listed are the most commonly used.
Limestone is added to the soil to raise the pH level because limestone is essentially calcium and calcium reacts with water in the soil to yield hydroxyl ions .. a process known as, hydrolysis = thus the pH level in the soil is raised.
Sulfur reacts with bacteria in the soil and produces sulfuric acid, which releases hydrogen ions thus causing the soil to become more acidic =the pH level is lowered.
Application Of Lime (To Raise Soil pH)
To increase your pH by 1.0 point and make your soil more alkaline.
Application of Sulfur (To Lower Soil pH
If your soil needs to be more acidic, sulfur will lower the pH if it is available.
To reduce the soil pH by 1.0 point
Water regularly, applying 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week if it does not rain. You can also measure the amount of water you receive with a rain gauge left in place in the garden, and checked weekly it there is not any chance that it will dry out. If your soil is not naturally rich in nitrogen from an abundant amount of earthworms or by you adding a regular addition of organic, nitrogen-rich compost, then fertilize the plants again with a liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion or a Herb and Vegetable Food as they begin to develop new leaves and continue liquid feeding until the heads are nearly ready to harvest.