Growing Collard Greens In Containers

  • BEST QUALITY – This package contains 500 Georgia Southern Collard seeds.====>
  • HARDINESS ZONES – Collard plants can over-winter from about USDA hardiness zones plant 6 on up, but they are only biennial.
  • DAYS TO HARVEST – Most Collards varieties are ready to harvest in 55 to 75 days. You can harvest leaves as needed or cut the entire plant.
  • GROWTH RATE – Georgia’s southern collard plant can reach up to 36 inches tall. They have dark greenish-blue, slightly crumpled leaves, that don’t form heads.


Collard Greens in a Pot

Choose a container for your collard or turnip greens. The container should be 12 inches deep and large enough to carry around one gallon of soil per plant for best growth. Your container can be made of glazed ceramic, plastic, or terra cotta, but it must have drainage holes to prevent root rot.

Construct the Container

Fill the container halfway with potting soil. The soil does not have to be specially formulated for veggies or seed starting, but it should contain a balance of organic and mineral content, such as compost and perlite, to give the plants with nutrients and adequate drainage. Avoid using garden soil unless it is organic matter-rich and well-draining.

Sow Collard and Turnip Seeds

Turnip and collard green seeds should be planted 1/2 inch deep in soil-filled containers. To maximize greens production, select a turnip cultivar that does not grow a huge root. There are several variations on this theme, including “All Top,” “Seven Top,” “Shogin,” and “Topper.”

Due to the fact that turnips and collards like cool temperatures, set the pots outside in a sunny location; there is no need to sow the seeds indoors. If desired, collard green seeds can be started indoors in late February and transplanted outside in early March. Turnips are notoriously difficult to transplant and should always be planted immediately outside. Maintain a moist but not wet soil condition, and the seeds will sprout after 10 to 14 days.

Appropriate Seedling Spacing

Once the seedlings reach 3 to 4 inches in height, thin them. Collards should be thinned to one plant every ten inches of space, while turnips can be planted as close as four inches apart, according to the University of Illinois Extension.


Observation and Harvest

Provide Irrigation for the Plants

Fill your containers with water as soon as the top two inches of soil feel dry. Never let the soil to dry out completely, otherwise the greens may have an unpleasant flavor. When growing turnip or collard greens in a pot, if you use porous terra cotta containers, the soil will quickly dry out in dry and windy weather, so check the soil frequently.


Utilize Fertilizer Regularly

Feed your greens once every two to three weeks with a balanced fertilizer. Avoid low-nitrogen fertilizers, as these will inhibit leaf production.


Pest surveillance

Slugs, caterpillars, and leaf-eating insects should all be checked. Often, insects can be eliminated with a rapid jet of water from the hose. Slugs and caterpillars can be manually removed. If the problem persists, use row covers to keep pests away from your plants.


Collected Leafy Greens

Harvest any turnip leaves that reach a height of four to six inches. Collard greens can be harvested when they are half-grown or completely developed. Cut the leaf near the plant’s base with sharp garden or kitchen scissors. Harvest your greens as early in the morning as possible for the finest flavor.


Trim no more than one-third of the leaves off a single plant to maintain productivity throughout the season. Alternatively, you can wait until the collard plant is fully matured and pick the entire plant all at once, according to North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension.


Finish the Harvest

When daily temperatures average 75 degrees, discard or harvest all turnip and collard plants. The arrival of warmer weather signals the plants’ readiness to commence seed production. This diverts energy away from the leaves, imparting a harsh and rough flavor.

Soil, Planting, and Maintainance

Start with strong young Bonnie Plants® collards rather than seed for faster results and a better likelihood of success. Bonnie has been cultivating plants for home gardeners for more than a century, so you can trust us.

Arrange spring plants Plant 3 to 4 weeks before the final frost in late summer; for fall and winter harvests, plant 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost in late July. Collards, like all vegetables, prefer full sun, but will take partial shade if they receive the equivalent of four to five hours of sun to develop their full flavor. Plant in fertile soil, as collards need to grow quickly in order to yield sensitive leaves.

To avoid clubroot disease, they require healthy, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. To determine the pH of your soil, use a do-it-yourself kit or one obtained from your local Cooperative Extension office. If all of that sounds too hard, skip the testing and just improve your existing soil with Miracle-Gro® Performance OrganicsTM All Purpose In-Ground Soil, which is enriched with aged compost to provide an optimal growing environment for plant roots.

See how growing greens in containers can be a little bit of work but it sure is worth it once you get them suckers cooked and served to the family. Anyhow lets get back to business.


If you’re growing collard greens in summer spring try a raised bed, fill it with organic Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Raised Bed Mix, a specially formulated soil mixture with the ideal weight and texture for raised bed cultivation. To encourage collards to grow vigorously in containers, use Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Container Mix.


Outstanding soil is only half of the equation for robust, healthy plants. The remaining half is high-quality plant food. Feed your plants Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition once a week during the growth season (as directed on the package!) to ensure a plentiful supply of leaves. Because the plants produce an abundance of foliage that is collected frequently, consistent feeding coincides with regular harvesting.


Collards are simple to grow. They should be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart. Water and fertilize immediately after planting.


Collards appreciate a steady supply of water. Regularly water, applying 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week if rain does not fall in sufficient quantities to equal that amount. A rain gauge left in the garden can be used to determine the amount of water. Apply organic mulch like as compost, finely ground leaves, weed-free hay, or finely ground bark to retain moisture and control weeds. Mulching will also aid in the maintenance of clean leaves.===>


Maintain a soil pH between 6.5 and 6.8 to ward off clubroot disease. Although clubroot is most prevalent on cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and turnips, it affects all cabbage family members. Maintaining a clean garden is the greatest approach to avoid difficulties. Collard loopers, slugs, imported cabbageworms, cabbage root maggots, aphids, and flea beetles are all insects that enjoy collards. Black leg, black rot, and clubroot are all examples of disease concerns. To avoid disease outbreaks in the soil, avoid planting collards or other members of the “cole crop” family (such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts) in the same location year after year. Rotate for two years with a non-cole crop before returning to the same location.

Harvesting and Keeping

Harvest leaves up to 10 inches long, dark green, and tender. The leaves of mature trees may be stiff or stringy. Begin with the bottom leaves and work your way up the plant. You can also pick leaves from frozen plants in the garden, but caution is advised due to the brittle nature of the frozen plant. Naturally, fully wash the leaves before using them in collard greens dishes, as soil frequently adheres to the undersides. Collard leaves stay well in the refrigerator for several days.

What size container for collard greens?

Collards grow to be rather large and require a large container. Utilize a minimum of a 3-gallon container. Alternatively, use a 5 gallon pail, or get creative and grow multiple plants in a half-barrel of oak. You may sow seeds now or in early spring in your balcony containers.


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