Vates Collard is an open-pollinated collard variety that can be grown throughout the winter in most regions of the country. Collards are one of the most cold-tolerant crops you can grow, but are also heat-tolerant and slow to bolt as temperatures warm in late spring/early summer. They produce a significant amount of biomass and harvest per plant. While they are a staple of southern cooking, they taste great no matter where they’re grown.
Vates Collard was given its name as an acronym for the Virginia Truck Experiment Station, where a significant amount of collard research was conducted in the early to mid-1900s. This variety can be single-cut or cropped for continual production. Harvest individual leaves by pulling them off the main stalk. Leave smaller leaves in the center to allow the plant to continue to photosynthesize and produce future harvests.
Vates Collard may be direct-seeded or transplanted, depending on the desired harvest. Direct seed if smaller heads and single-cut harvests are desired. Using a walk-behind planter, densely plant rows of collards and cut before plants reach full size. If larger, full-size leaves are desired, we suggest transplanting. Transplanting allows for more consistent plant spacing and prevents seedlings from competing with weeds in the early stages of the plant.
We recommend starting transplants 3-4 weeks before the desired outdoor planting date. Collard transplants grow great in our heavy-duty seed starting trays, where they develop a solid root ball with roots that are trained to grow downward. Plants are ready to go in the ground when they can be easily pulled from the cells in the seed starting tray.
Vates Collard Planting Information
Planting Method: direct seed or transplant
When to Plant: early spring and fall
Planting Depth: 1/4″
Seed Spacing: 12″
Row Spacing: 2-3′
Days to Maturity: 75
Disease Resistance: None