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Brassica oleracea

Champion Collard

Regular price $5.45 USD
Regular price Sale price $5.45 USD
Sale Sold out
# of seeds per packet
Organic Status
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70 days. We think collards are underutilized in the garden and kitchen. It’s just about the easiest vegetable to grow. Started in the early spring, collards will produce copious amounts of greens from spring through late fall. Champion is quite cold hardy and with luck (and perhaps some protection), plants will survive the winter and provide early spring baby greens and collard raab (flowering stalks). Sometimes collards will become perennial if flowering stalks are removed from plants in spring or early summer (we have a patch that is 4 years old!). Collards develop sweetness as the weather turns cooler in the fall. Highly nutritious. Prepare collards like kale—harvest younger, more tender leaves, remove stems and chop small. Soy sauce and garlic really enhance collard's flavor. Alternatively, you can prepare a “mess-o-greens,” the traditional African-American way with ham hocks and long-cooking. Collards can be preserved by blanching and freezing. WGS


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Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Collards tolerate cold weather so they can be started extra early. Start collard seeds indoors 3/1 at 72-85° (can use a heating mat). Days to germination: 5-8. Transplant outside 3/27, 12” apart. Or, sow collard seeds directly outside anytime 3/27 – 8/1. Sow 3-4 seeds together in a group ½” deep, spaced 12” between groups. Keep seeds evenly moist until germination. Thin to the strongest plant in each group. Protect collard plants from deer, groundhogs, and rabbits which will devour them. Collard plants may be eaten by several different species of caterpillars. If they cause damage, hand remove caterpillars or spray organic BT.



Harvest individual leaves off of mature plants once they are 2 months old. Don’t remove more than 1/3 of the leaves at a time.


Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Collards are somewhat difficult to save seed from. Collard plants must overwinter in order to bloom and produce seed. Sometimes collard plants will survive the winter with protection. Collard is in the Brassica family so it is insect pollinated and cross-pollinated. Collards will cross with any Brassica oleracea that are flowering at the same time (broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cauliflower). Isolation distance: ½ mile. It can suffer from inbreeding depression if you don’t save seeds from enough plants. Minimum population size: 10-50 plants. To harvest seed, allow plants to flower and collect seed from mature pods.

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Seed Stories

Although generally grouped with Kale as a leafy green member of the Brassica oleracea tribe, genetic markers show that collards are more closely related to cabbage. The name is thought to come from a linguistic corruption of “cole wort” in the Southern United States, where collards have been grown for centuries.

Champion was released in 1979 by the Virginia Truck Experimental Station (VTES) and was selected from their earlier Vates strain for more compact habit and later bolting (after overwintering).

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Growing Instructions