Collards Growing Guide

Brassica oleracea var. viridis


Crop Rotation Group

Brassicas (Cabbage family) 


Fertile, well-drained soil with plenty of well rotted compost dug in.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant



Not usually required, but may be needed if plants grow slowly even though the weather is comfortably warm.


Single Plants: 30cm (11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 30cm (11") with 40cm (1' 3") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow indoors in spring and set out under cloches when plants have 5 leaves. Start another planting indoors in midsummer, and set out in early autumn.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


The flavour of collards is improved by cool temperatures, so autumn is the preferred time to grow this crop.


Harvest leaves individually, when they are about the size of your hand.


In late spring and summer, the caterpillars of cabbage white butterflies may feed on leaves. Exclude them with fine mesh or netting. In cool weather, watch for outbreaks of grey-green cabbage aphids in leaf crevices. Pick off and compost badly infested leaves.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Collards