Many people will ask, How long does it take to grow for collard greens?
From seed to harvest, collard greens take about 80 days to mature, but this may vary by variety, so check the back of the seed packet or plant picking.
Regardless of which vegetable is the most “Southern,” collard greens is the state vegetable of South Carolina, and not for nothing, Georgia cities celebrate collard greens with annual festivals!
This vegetable is considered a “must-have” on many Southern tables. Scattered kale is also popular in other parts of the world, with several African countries favoring the vegetable, as well as Brazil, Portugal, and the Kashmir region of Pakistan and India.
Interestingly, although it is touted as a southern favorite for its excellent heat tolerance, it can also be grown in northern regions due to its frost resistance.
The loose-leaf form of collard greens means that it is not immune to certain fungal diseases that can afflict the genus, although it is less immune to them.
This is an important consideration for cultivation in the south, where high humidity provides a pleasant environment for fungal diseases.
As a group, brassicas are appreciated for their nutritional value. collard greens are rich in fiber, manganese, folic acid, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K, although some nutritional value may be lost in the cooking process.
In addition to having good heat tolerance (certainly an advantage in the south), these plants are also known for their preference for cooler growing seasons.
Collard greens can reach 20-36 inches in height and 24-36 inches in width.
They are strong in zones 8-10, which means they are perennials in warmer areas (may live several years). In other areas, they may be annuals.
According to historians, enslaved West Africans were often forced to forage for food when they were kidnapped and brought to American shores, and they may have been relieved to find other collard greens in winter when food was scarce.
Using the cultural wisdom passed down from their ancestors, enslaved peoples knew that leafy greens were nutritious, a quality that must have appealed to these people, who, history tells us, were often malnourished.
The enslaved people put into practice the green cooking methods used by their predecessors – they boiled them until tender and added available seasonings.
Probably descended from the ancient wild cabbage of Asia, collard greens as we know them today originated in the eastern Mediterranean. The ancient Greeks, for example, grew several kinds of collard greens.
The Romans also grew and ate many leafy greens, including collard greens, and the Roman Empire expanded westward throughout Europe, eastward to what we now call the Middle East, and southward to North Africa, with invaders surrounding them.
Whether the Romans or the Celts (who originated in central Europe and predated the Roman occupation of the region) is an unknown place, and whether they brought collards to the British Isles.
They eventually traveled from these extensive areas of the world to the southern United States. The plant was a staple food for African slaves, so this leafy green began its important history in the region.
With a little support, greens, including collard greens, were grown and eaten across much of the continent. collard greens were a familiar and much-appreciated food source.
Typical flavorings during this period of American history include leftovers, crumbs thrown away from plantation owners’ kitchens, such as ham or pigs’ feet, which are still important ingredients in traditional collard greens preparations today.
Economically disadvantaged descendants of other countries living in the American South also appreciated the nutrition and ease of growing collard greens and became heavy consumers of leafy greens as well.
Today, cooking and eating collard greens has been passed down to this day and has been an important part of Southern culture.
collard greens grow best in temperatures ranging from 40 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit but can tolerate temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit. In mild climates, you can grow collard greens throughout the winter. collard greens take 60 to 85 days from germination to harvest. The sowing start time is four to six weeks. Therefore, when planting collars from scratch, you can start harvesting within four weeks of planting.
collard greens are a cool season. It can grow strong in temperatures from 65°F to 75°F (18-24°C) and can withstand frosts up to 25°F (-4°C).
If you have warm summers in your area, start collard greens in late winter or early spring for a late spring or early summer harvest. Where summers are cool, sow in mid to late spring for a late summer-fall harvest. Where summers are hot, sow in midsummer for a late fall or early winter harvest.
Scattered-leaf glycyrrhiza is very hard when struck by frost and is most palatable. Schedule sowing so that collard greens can be harvested in cooler weather.
Recommend you to read “What are collard greens and their benefits“