Collard Greens are an old-time vegetable from the south. The Georgia Southern Creole variety is a non-hybrid, non-GMO variety known for high yields and good flavor. These cruciferous (green leafy) vegetables grow to about 3 feet in height with large leaves that are tolerant even of poor soils. This Creole food staple is often mixed with other related greens such as mustard greens, turnip greens, kale and spinach. It is also related to cabbage. Like other greens its flavor will actually improve with a slight frost. Collards are rich in vitamins A, C, antioxidant and fiber and are reported to contain compounds that could prevent cancer. At the same time, they are low in calories and fat. For a quick preparation, collards are excellent when chopped and sautéed in garlic and oil. But traditional southern recipes tend to be much more creative than that, often pairing these with smoked meat or adding them to soups and stews.
Growing Information: Collard greens are tolerant of poor soil, but will do best in a rich sandy loam with a ph of about 5.5-6.8. Collards have deep roots, so it is important to cultivate your soil deeply in preparation. That will also ensure that the soil will drain better too. The seeds can be direct sown at a depth of 1/8” in raised rows that are about 18 inches apart. Young seedlings should be well-watered and thinned to about 6” when they are about 2” tall. You may also choose to start seeds indoor and transplant your seedlings. Fertilize with a high nitrogen fertilizer when preparing the soil and throughout the season. You can harvest the outer leaves as the plants grow or pull the entire plant at the end of the season.
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