As soon as ground can be worked in spring, prepare a well-drained, fertile garden bed in full sun. Sow groups of 2 to 3 seeds, each group 12 to 18 inches apart. Cover 1/4 inch deep and keep soil evenly moist to ensure good germination. When several inches tall, thin to 1 seedling per group so plants have growing room. Mulch growing plants well to retain moisture. Keep well weeded and watered. Sow again in mid to late summer for another cold hardy crop.
Sow seeds in a container of seed starting mix 2 inches apart and cover 1/4 inch deep. Keep moist and provide a strong light source until seedlings are 3 to 4 inches tall then plant outdoors when danger of frost is over. Transplant seedlings into rich, fertile soil 12 to18 inches apart.
HARVEST AND USE
Begin harvesting large individual outer leaves when plants have 6 to 8 big leaves. Enjoy tasty and highly nutritious collards cooked up in traditional Southern style. Or, chop the leaves and wilt them briefly in hot olive oil with garlic, then add little stock and cook until just tender, sprinkling with fresh lemon juice before serving.
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