When to Plant Collards

Collards seedlings for transplanting into garden

Collards are a hardy cool-weather crop. It can be grown in early spring and in mid to late autumn.

Sow collards seeds in the garden 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost. Start transplants 6 to 8 weeks before setting out in the garden. Transplants can be set in the garden 4 weeks before to 2 weeks after the last frost. Start transplants for a fall crop about 95 days before the first expected frost.

Collards grow best in well-drained sandy soil but will adapt to a wide range of conditions. Collards will grow well in loamy soil that is well-drained. Plant collards in full sun.

Collards reach maturity 70 to 80 days after sowing, but you can start harvesting as soon as leaves are edible size, in about 40 days. Extend the harvest by picking a few leaves at a time from the bottom of the stalk, working upward. Collards are best when used soon after harvest.

Collard plant grow collards in garden
Young collards plant in the garden

Collards seed sowing dates

(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)

Average date of the last frostPlanting dates
Jan. 30Jan. 1-Feb. 1
Feb. 8Jan. 1-Feb. 15
Feb. 18Jan. 1-Mar. 15
Feb. 28Jan. 15-Mar. 15
Mar. 10Feb. 1-Apr. 1
Mar. 20Feb. 15-May 1
Mar. 30Mar. 1-June 1
Apr. 10Mar. 1-June 1
Apr. 20Mar. 10-June 1
Apr. 30Apr. 1-June 1
May 10Apr. 15-June 1
May 20May 1-June 1
May 30May 10-June 1
June 10May 20-June 1
Collard greens plant grow
Collard greens ready for harvest

Collards planting details

  • Sowing depth: ½ inch (12mm)
  • Space between plant after thinning: 15-18 inches (30-45cm)
  • Days to sprout: 4-10
  • Days to harvest: 70-80 days for mature plants; small plants can be harvested at edible size about 40 days after setting out transplants
  • Storage period: 2-4 weeks
  • Seeds per 100 row feet: ½ ounce (14 grams)
  • Yield per 100 row feet: 50 pounds (20kg)
  • Varieties: Champion, Georgia, Hicrop

Related articles of interest:

How to Grow Collards

Collards Seed Starting Tips

Collards Growing Quick Tips

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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