60 days. A much improved Vates selection. Dark green and large, the cabbage-like leaves retain their eating quality up to 2 weeks longer than other Vates types. Try Champion braised with a touch of olive oil and garlic. Especially good with ham or pork chops.
Winter Growing Information
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|Seed Depth||Seed Spacing||Soil Temp for Germ.||Days to Germ.||Thin Plants To||Approximately 250 seeds per gram.|
Brassica oleracea, Acephala Group Collards are among the best vegetable sources of vitamin K. This nutrient is said to limit neuronal damage in the brain, aiding in the prevention, or delaying onset of Alzheimer's disease.
CULTURE: Collards like fairly rich, neutral pH soil just like all other brassica crops. Direct sow the seed in the spring through mid-July. Below the seed, band 1 cup of our complete fertilizer per 10 row feet. Plant in rows 2-4 feet apart. Cover the seed with fine soil, sifted compost, or vermiculite to ensure good germination. Keep uniformly moist. After the seedlings are about 3 inches tall, thin to the strongest plants. After plants are well established, mix in around the base of each plant 1/4-1/2 cup of our complete fertilizer to provide optimum nutrition. When transplanting, set at the same final spacing as direct sown. Younger seedlings, 6-8 weeks old, with 5-6 true leaves are better able to tolerate adverse weather conditions.
DISEASE: Generally trouble free. The home gardener can help prevent viral and fungal diseases by practicing long crop rotations, using sterile starting mixes if transplanting, and practicing general sanitation procedures.
INSECTS/PESTS: Not as susceptible to pests as other cole crops. If you have problems, see Brassica Insect Information below.
HARVEST: Start picking individual leaves about 2 months after planting. Harvest leaves as you need them, or pick and refrigerate for no more than a few days. Collards usually survive down to 10°F allowing winter harvests. In the spring the flowers make delicious ''broccoli''. Twelve plants will more than satisfy the average family.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 80%. Days to maturity are calculated from date of direct seeding. Usual seed life: 3 years.
Brassica Insect Information
Aphids: Control aphids with a hard spray of water, Hot Pepper Wax, Insect Killing Soap, or Pyrethrin. Also, select varieties that mature later in the season when aphid populations decline.
Cabbage worms, loopers, and root maggots: The first sign of cabbage worms will be white diamond-back moths fluttering near the plants. They lay their yellowish-colored eggs on the undersides of leaves, which hatch into caterpillars that can cause severe root and head damage. To control light infestations, spray plants with Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). For heavy infestations, bait cabbage worms by mixing wheat bran into a BT solution. Add 1 tablespoon of molasses. Broadcast the bran mixture around the base of plants. Reapply as necessary. Using Reemay or Grow Guard 20 can also provide control.
Flea beetles: Flea beetles chew tiny pinholes in leaves. Early control is essential to minimize the damage. Spray young plants with Pyrethrin every 2 days. Using floating row covers such as Summer Insect Barrier can also provide control.
Symphylans: In some areas of the US, symphylans (also known as garden centipede) can severely retard the plant growth of cole crops. Only 1/4 inch long, white, and very active, they eat the root hairs of developing plants. Contact your local county extension agent if you suspect you have a problem.