georiga collards

WAYNE0101May 27, 2003

Any collard growers out there? I grow them every year and they do ok but,the stalks don't get much bigger than a quarter (us money).Seems to me the stalk should be thicker. The leaves only get to about 4" x 6".I was told that Ga.collards get huge. Any ideas?

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Hi Wayne, I grow GC as a fall crop every year so don't see their full potential as a summer crop. I believe the secret is to give them plenty of space to expand and grow that big, maybe 2' between plants. Happy harvest, vgkg

    Bookmark   May 28, 2003 at 7:32AM
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GardenHound1(z9 fla)


    Bookmark   January 9, 2004 at 10:52AM
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mstrgrdnr(8 GA)

Collards are grown for their foliage, hence you need to apply a high nitrogen fertilizer. I use 33-0-0 at a rate of about 2 tablespoons per plant applied around the plant. Do not apply it right at the base of the plant. Give it about a 3 inch margin. Also, do not let the fertilizer get on the leaves, it will burn them.

If you don't like commercial fertilizers, then use compost, manure, or a combination of the two. I apply this combination to all of my growing beds at a rate of about 30 pounds per bed. My beds are 4 x 8'.

One thing to remember with any of the Cole crops...collards, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc is that they are heavy feeders. You must provide them with plenty to eat before and during their cycle. You must also replenish the soil after they are gone so that your next crop will do ok.

My collards generally get 2 feet tall and approx 2 feet wide. Clip the larger leaves from the bottom up. I generally get three cuttings or so per plant, sometimes more.

Keep an eye out for cabbage loopers and cabbage worms. They are green caterpillars that hang out usually on the undersides of the leaves and will eat your crop up faster than you can say Cole slaw.

Good gardening.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2004 at 7:46PM
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jayreynolds(zone 6/7)

I agree with Aubrey. a good collard plant started in spring and kept healthy will bear leaves up to nearly two feet long, and will continue through the winter in your zone 9. Otherwise I find them fully hardy down to 20F. Light frosts improve the sugar content and flavor. I don't clip the leaves or "top" the plant, rather I snap off the bottom 2-4 leaves each harvest, and as soon as they regain at least 1 foot I snap off again. The cabbage butterflies tend to lay eggs on the lower leaves, so this eliminates most damage. Bt is the preferred treatment for caterpillars. I sell a 'bunch' of collards by holding as many stems in my hand as possible, for $1.00.

This is one crop everyone should grow, because it is a nutritional powerhouse.

I've grown the "georgia" variety, plus some of the "cabbage
collards". In long-season areas like Florida, and elsewhere, these have short internode lengths which make the plant stay shorter rather than reaching 3 feet tall after 6-9 months. The highest quality leaves i've found were from a variety called "Hicrop".

Here is a link that might be useful: hicrop collards

    Bookmark   February 23, 2004 at 7:22AM
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Jan_Hobbs(z6a TN, USA)

You guys are right there after my DH's own heart....he's from the Tar Hill state (NC,) and they know their collards, too. Have some coming up in a Winter Sown pot right now.

Another way to feed them is with manure tea (a couple of 5-gallon buckets of manure dumped in a big barrel and then filled with water....dilute before giving your collards...or any plants... a good drink every 2 weeks.)

While they are very nutritious, just a word of caution, if you are on a blood thinner aka Coumadin, for instance.... don't, I say I say DON'T eat very many of them very often, or it WILL make your blood much too thin to please the Dr. Ask him/her before you eat them.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 11:24PM
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mrsnatural1962(eastern NC)

WHat can I do to get rid of those green worms? I would prefer something natural.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 8:02AM
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karen22(z9 fla)

Leave them alone, there is a wasp species that will come get them and carry them off.... :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2004 at 8:23AM
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mstrgrdnr(8 GA)

I have never heard of a wasp species which dines on either cabbage loopers or cabbage worms. These little beasties will eat your crop up in a quick hurry if you don't do something.

I hand pick them (or pay my children to). When that doesn't work any more I spray with Bt which is a natural, soil borne bacteria readily available in powder or liquid form at your local garden center. I much prefer the liquid though because it is easier to apply and goes where I want it to go. Because Bt is natural, you can pick and eat your crops right away without worry. Each application is effective for about a week or so unless it rains. Make sure you get the tops and the bottoms of the leaves and remember that the worms must eat the leaves after they have been sprayed in order to ingest the poison. They will then stop eating within 3 days or so and then die.

Good gardening.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2004 at 7:08PM
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bushpoet(z6 Bronx NY)

First line of defense against those beasties is to set out your collards or other brassicas under row covers & leave them on for the entire season. Works w/mustards too to keep flea beetles off. Otherwise, those tiny parasitic wasps that lay eggs on & kill caterpillars can be encouraged by intercropping flowers that attract them and other "beneficial" insects: chamomile, calendula, borage, lemonbalm, anise hyssop and cosmos are my favorites.

Allowing cilantro to go to flower among the collards does the trick in my garden - but doesn't seem to be enough so I've also used hot pepper wax, homemade garlic/hot pepper soap spray & neem. The neem was fabulous - just get the formulation that does not have inert ingredients.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 11:21AM
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jayreynolds(zone 6/7)

someone wrote me asking me for seeds of "cabbage collards".
The email address wouldn't receive mail, so I'm responding that I don't have seeds. The variety below appears to be the same. They don't offer bulk sales online, but will sell larger quantities through their catalog or by phone order.
good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: I recommend

    Bookmark   April 24, 2004 at 5:05PM
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bostonwolf(z6 MA)

I grew some in a pot up here last year. They were great until I went away on vacation for a weekend, which is the exact weekend some sort of catepillar showed up on he plant and ate almost the whole thing. I couldn't get rid of them after that though lord knows I tried.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2004 at 11:50AM
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earl(SW Ohio 5-6)

I've got 9 Georgia collard plants and have cooked two pots of greens from them. Love those collards! I'm going to add 8 more plants to the bed. I didn't plant any mustard this spring, but will plant some where my garlic is now for harvest this fall. I cook them in water which I've rendered the flavor from a piece of smoked ham/hock/neckbones. When in a hurry, just use ham seasoning. But collards wouldn't be collards unless I have some year or so old pepper vinegar to sprinkle on them. To make pepper vinegar put some hot peppers in a jar and add boiling white vinegar, cap, and let age a year or two. And don't forget the cornbread!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2004 at 8:52PM
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love georgia collards,i am in zone 5 and my collards do extremely well..i start seed in side about march and put them outside as soon as soil warms up ,they get about 3feet tall and 2 and half feet wide they are so beautiful i use compost,horse neighbors keek asking when i'm going to eat them..i said not frost hit them LOLthe leaves look like like fans.i use flour n red pepper for the worms. don't have but a few worms.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 9:48AM
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yes i would like to know if it is safe to springle moth balls around vegetables?such as collards,tomatoes,sweetpotatoes.the racoons,oppossums chipmunks are eating the tomatoes.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 9:24PM
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bstring122(5 Germany)

I am having very good success with my GA Collards in Reilingen Germany!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2004 at 6:35AM
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kumquat12(z8b FL)

I was living in Atlanta in 2002. I left my collards in the ground after the winter harvest and they stayed nice all summer. Didn't grow, but did not get eaten by bugs. Then we moved to Florida. I left 4 broccoli plants in the ground last Spring, and they are starting to grow. They also bolted to seed in the summer and some seedlings are coming up. I just like to experiment. A man from N Florida here said he had planted collards and then his wife became very ill and he never pulled them up in the hot weather, because he was so preoccupied. He said the next Fall he had the best crop from them he had ever harvested.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2004 at 11:22PM
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bstring122(5 Germany)

My little patch in Reilingen Germany still has GA Collards, winter turnips, sage and rutabaga active. Click on the URL for 'snow collards'

Here is a link that might be useful: The Stringfield Gardens

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 5:00AM
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Be aware that there are several strains of collards, if i were you i would try ordering seeds from two sources, then save the seeds from the best variety.. bill

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 4:14PM
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This is the first year I will grow collards of any kind. They happen to be Georgia because I happened to find a pack of seed in a rack somewhere.

Last spring, though, I found a kale plant (closely related) sprouting up from the previous year's plant. It was not seed that sprouted. The same old stem sprouted new leaves and grew all summer.

I mostly do not clean out the beds until spring. You never know what might come up. I also can find all the perennials because the previous year's plant is still there. When the bulbs start to bloom, I start to clean out last year's stalks and stems.

I recently bought collard greens at the grocery store (I had never tasted them before). For those who say they taste the same as kale and/or cabbage, I have to say that they do not taste like the kale or cabbage that I know.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:33PM
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