This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
A kind of kale. Probably several somewhat different plants pass as collards, the characteristic being that they produce tufts or rosettes of leaves that are removed and used as greens. Usually referred to Brassica oleracea variety acephala. See Brassica.
In the South, a form of the plant known as Georgia collards is much grown for domestic use and the southern market. The plant grows 2 to 4 feet high and forms no head, but the central leaves often form a kind of loose rosette. These tender leaves are eaten as a potherb, as all other kales are. Fig. 1031, shows a Georgia collard, with a heavy crown. The seeds of collard may be started in a frame under glass, or in a seed-bed in the open. As far south as the orange-belt, they are usually started in February and March, in order that the plants may mature before the dry, hot weather. Farther north they are started in July or August and the plants are ready for use before cold weather. Transplant to rows 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart, and 3 feet apart in the row. Till as for cabbage.
Fig. 1031. Collards.
Young cabbage plants are sometimes eaten as "greens" under the name of collards; and cabbage seeds are sown for this specific purpose. In the North, where heading cabbages can be raised, collards of whatever kind are not greatly prized. L H B