Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group)
A tasty and fun plant to grow in the vegetable garden. People have been making walking sticks from these plants for centuries. Prefers rich, moist soil until established for best results. Harvest the leaves which grow along with the stock as needed. Provide moist, well-fertilized soil and shelter. Harvest edible leaves from bottom-up from September to October and through winter in mild climates. Plants that overwinter will increase in height in the second year before blooming. Walking stick cabbage was an essential staple used in farming to feed livestock in the 1800s.
Sow seeds indoors 0,5cm deep, lightly covering the seeds in peat pots, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost. The soil should be fertile and rich in organic matter, but also well-drained. Water the soil daily with a light setting until germination has occurred. Collards will typically germinate within 7 to 14 days after sowing. Space each plant roughly 20cm apart from one another, spacing each row about 50cm apart. Plant out just after the last frost. Can also be direct seeded outdoors 3 months before fall frost. Collards are most tender and delicious after a frost. Harvest may continue even after snow.