Collard Greens

Quick Reference

Type of Harvest: Continuous harvest

Transplant/Direct Sow: Direct sow or transplant

When to Plant: Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the average last frost date for spring, and 4 weeks before the average first frost date for a fall garden. Direct sow as soon as the ground workable.

Days to Germinate: 6-12 days

Days to Maturity: 80 days

Planting Depth: 1/4 ” deep

Germination Temp: 45°F

Seed Spacing: Plant 1” apart. Thin to 12” apart for mature plants or 2-4 inches apart for baby leaves.

Row Spacing: 2' apart

Light: Full sun

Soil pH: 6.0-6.5 pH

Water: 1- 1 ½” of water per week. Do not water if it rains.

Soil Temperature: Minimum 45°F. These are cool weather loving plants.

Fertilizer: 10-10-10 N-P-K ratio

Rotation: Rotate Collard Greens to avoid pest damage. You can plant Collards in the same spot every year if you amend the soil. These plants need nitrogen.


Harvest Type

Collard greens are both a single harvest and a continuous harvest. If you use them all at once, they are a single harvest. If you harvest them in the cut-and-come-again method they are a continuous harvest that will last about 8 months out of the year.

Transplant / Direct Sow

In the spring, start seeds indoors about 4-6 weeks before the average last frost date. Collards are a cool loving crop. You can direct sow seeds when the soil temp is around 45°F. Direct so or start seedlings 4-6 weeks before the average first frost date. These are plants what will do well in most winter gardens.


Full Sun

When to Plant:

Transplant or direct sow seeds when the soil temperature is 45°F.

Days to germinate

It takes Collard Green seeds about 6-10 days to sprout.

Days to maturity

It takes about 80 days for Collard Greens to reach full maturity; but you can cut leaves as soon as they are four inches long.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds 1/4" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Germination is best when the soil is 45F.

Spacing Between Plants

Plant seeds 1" apart and thin to 12" apart for mature harvests. For baby leaves you can space plants 2-4 inches apart.

TIP: Don't be afraid to over-plant Collard Greens if you have the extra room. Your livestock will love them. Chickens will particularly like the greens during winter months.

Companion Plants

Potatoes, Dill, Broccoli, Cauliflower, mustards, peas.

Growing conditions

Collard greens like a little cold weather. Start with good, well-draining soil—water with 1-2" of water per week, keeping the ground evenly moist. Plant in full sun. Collard greens are one of the last brassica plants to bolt, but they will bolt in hot weather. .

Tip: Collard greens like other plants in the brassica family are a favorite for aphids. You can minimize pest issues with Collard Greens by installing a row cover.


You should rotate Collard Greens every year to avoid pest issues. These are also plants that are heavy nitrogen feeders.

Anticipated yields

Plan your garden yield at 4-10 Collard Green plants per person. Expect 2-3 pounds of collard greens per plant. Plant 30-45 plants for a family of four. Plant more than you think you will need as this is a very versatile plant. Any extras can be fed to livestock and chickens.

Fall & Winter Garden 30
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